Boxing


Sugar Ray Leonard And Floyd Mayweather Senior Relive Their 1978 Clash, Floyd Says Ray Never Beat Him Fair And Square!

Sugar Ray LeonardBy James Slater: Whatever you think of The WBC, you have to concede that it must have been an exciting few days in Las Vegas just recently due to the organisation’s convention being held there. Gathered in “Fight Town” have been so many great fighters - both active and retired - the whole atmosphere must have been truly something special.

Thanks to the roving camera of web site Fightsaga.com, a most interesting meeting between two such great fighters was captured on film this past Friday. Living legend Sugar Ray Leonard and former accomplished pro turned even more accomplished trainer Floyd Mayweather Senior met up, and the two former fighters, now in their mid/late 50’s, engaged in a friendly debate about their September 1978 meeting.

Back then, Leonard was already a massive star, the 1976 Olympic gold medallist sporting a 13-0 pro ledger and well on his way to professional gold. Mayweather was not too shabby himself at 15-1 (the loss coming via 2nd-round stoppage defeat to Tyrone Phelps - the loss subsequently avenged). Had “Big Floyd,” as Mayweather would become known in his 2000 training days, when looking after his son “Money” as well as greats like Oscar De La Hoya, beaten Leonard, he would have changed his life forever.

Instead, Leonard rose to the occasion of his stiffest test to date well, scoring two knockdowns in the 8th and TKO’ing Mayweather in the 10th-round of the welterweight meeting. However, to this day, Mayweather believes that if it wasn’t for a hand injury he would have won the fight - as he said to Sugar Ray in Vegas this past week.

“You didn’t beat me fair and square. I fought you with one hand,” Floyd Snr. said.

“But that was YOUR problem,” Ray shot back with a grin.

The two legends hugged and had nothing but respect for one another.

“How old are you now?” Floyd enquired

“55,” Ray answered.

“I’m 58 - we should do it again,” said Floyd.

The room full of people came to life in a big way, those in attendance clearly enjoying the banter between the two former boxing masters. Mayweather really does seem to think he would have won had it not been for the hand issue, though:

“I wasn’t scared of Leonard at all,” Mayweather told Fight Saga. “I knew I could beat him. I fractured my hand in the 8th-round in the fight against Art McKnight (less than a month before the Leonard fight; a 10-round points win for Mayweather). I told my manager that I didn’t want to do it [the Leonard fight]. He told me not to worry, a doctor would be there to give me a shot. Well, guess what? He never showed!

“He [Leonard] didn’t know it, but he was hurting me by hitting my right hand. I was blocking his lefts and my [injured] hand was screaming. I don’t want to take anything from Leonard. I respect him for everything he accomplished. But I know if my hand was okay I could have beaten him.”

Why not check out Floyd’s claims for yourself - the fight is up on You Tube!

Article posted on 17.12.2011



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