Sugar Ray Leonard is a retired professional boxer who is considered by many to be one of the best boxers who ever lived. He was the first boxer to win more than $100,000,000 in purses and won world titles in five weight divisions during his career. EDUinReview will now take a look at the education background of this athlete.
Leonard was born on May 17, 1956 in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. He was the fifth of seven children born to Cicero and Getha Leonard. When Sugar Ray was 10-years old, his family moved to Palmer Park, Maryland, where he grew up. As a child, Leonard enjoyed reading comic books and playing with his dog. He was a very shy child. He was also a very good student and never caused problems for his parents.
In 1973, Leonard’s high school girlfriend told him she was pregnant. The couple decided to have the baby but wait to get married until after Leonard competed in the 1976 Olympics. When his girlfriend filed for child support, Leonard said that he would support his son, even if he had to sacrifice his plans to attend college to do so. Then, both of his parents became very ill very suddenly, and Leonard became the bread winner for his family. This is when he decided to become a professional boxer to pay the bills and support his family.
Leonard had a very successful career, even early on. During his first professional fight against Luis “The Bull” Vega, Leonard won by a six-round unanimous decision and was paid $40,044 for the fight. He fought his first world-ranked opponent, Floyd Mayweather, on September 9, 2978 and won by knocking Mayweather out. He won his first NABF Welterweight Championship on August 12, 1979 against Pete Ranzany, whom he knocked out in only four rounds.
Over the years, Leonard had many successful fights and won world titles in five different weight classes. His career record is 36-3-1 with a staggering 25 KOs.
On a personal note, Leonard did marry his high school sweetheart and mother of his child, Juanita Wikinson in 1980. They had another child, Jarrel, in 1984. The couple divorced 10 years later and Juanita accused Leonard of physical abuse during their marriage and that he was an occasional cocaine user. Leonard admitted that the accusations were true but that he quit using drugs in 1986.
In 1989, Leonard met his future second wife, Bernadetter Robi at a Luther Vandross concert. The couple was married in August 1993 at Leonard’s estate in Pacific Palisades, California. They have two children: Camille and Daniel Ray.
Leonard is not a stranger to reality television because he is Khole Kardashian’s godfather and has appeared on several episodes of Keeping Up with the Kardashians. This might prove to be a beneficial experience for Leonard when he competes on the 12th season of Dancing with the Stars.
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