It took place on Monday, April 6, 1987 at Caesars Palace and it was promoted by Bob Arum’s Top Rank®. The SuperFight: Hagler vs. Leonard, with Marvin Hagler defending his middleweight title against Sugar Ray Leonard, making a return after a three-year absence from the ring and a big question mark about his surgically-repaired eye. It was one the biggest and most successful sporting events of that era. Caesars Palace was sold out with 15,000 spectators and an estimated 400 million more watching worldwide via closed-circuit or on pay-tv. The media credentialed for fight week was close to 1,1000. It was the quintessential promotion of that time and the foundation on which mega fights are now promoted. And the result? It is as hotly debated today as it was 30 years ago when the judges’ scores were read that night. Dave Moretti scored it 115-113 for Leonard. Lou Fillippo scored it 115-113 for Hagler. Jo Jo Guerra scored it 118-110 for Leonard, making him the new middleweight champion, and completing one of the greatest career comebacks in boxing .
Like many other people right now, boxing great Sugar Ray Leonard has an opinion on what would – or will – happen, when boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather meets UFC legend Conor McGregor. But don’t think for one minute that the Hall of Famer who met and defeated such fellow greats as Tommy Hearns, Roberto Duran and Marvelous Marvin Hagler is getting carried away by the hype.
Of all the sad, even shocking endings to a great boxing career, the way the once untouchable Sugar Ray Leonard went out against Hector Camacho (RIP) has to rank pretty highly in the doom and gloom stakes.
It was no Muhammad Ali taking a prolonged beating at the hands of Larry Holmes (this fight, not Ali’s last, but often thought of as such; Ali actually having another sad affair, against Trevor Berbick a little over a year later), but the sight of “feather-fist” Camacho hammering what was left of Sugar Ray – the man who had stood up to anything and everything great punchers like Tommy Hearns, Marvin Hagler and Roberto Duran were able to put on him – into the canvas inside five rounds was disturbing viewing all the same.
Angel Garcia proudly holds up a poster promoting his son’s 147-pound title unification bout with Keith Thurman, and points to Thurman being on the left side of the poster, as favorite, or the so-called “A-side” fighter in the match-up.
It’s not viewed as a slight within the Garcia camp. The underdog role – the “B-side” – is one that Danny Garcia has come to embrace on the path to multiple world titles and a 33-0 professional record. It’s tough to be a B-side when you’ve put together the résumé that Danny Garcia has in 10 years as a professional. But this fight provided the opportunity, and Angel Garcia insists that he wanted it that way.
Who killed JFK?
Whatever happened to Lord Lucan?
Where did Jimmy Hoffa go?
The above mysteries of history are likely to never, ever be solved and we are destined to be at the mercy of the conspiracy theorists when it comes to answers. But in the sport of boxing there are arguably two fights /events /strange endings that continue to top the list when it comes to asking, what really happened? These two fights are the Ali-Liston fights of the mid 1960s, and the second Roberto Duran-Sugar Ray Leonard fight of 1980 (okay, that’s actually three fights).
The Bible of Boxing, Ring Magazine recently took it upon itself to try and rank the ten greatest living fighters. With the recent, sad passing of the incomparable Muhammad Ali, the editors, with contributions from various experts, set to work compiling their top-10. A mammoth task, one sure to court debate, even controversy (something the editors of Ring fully expected and are prepared for!) picking these ten special fighters resulted in the following list:
LOS ANGELES (June 21, 2016) – Former five-division boxing world champion and International Boxing Hall of Famer Sugar Ray Leonard will be on hand for an electric night of boxing at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino on July 15. Fans with tickets to the event will get a chance to meet the former undisputed welterweight champion and former Olympic gold medalist at the Special Events Center prior to the televised fights from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Over three decades ago, May 11th 1984, former unified welterweight king Sugar Ray Leonard, boxing as a light-middleweight, fought for the first time since a near two year layoff. Going in with the little-known Kevin Howard, Leonard was returning to the ring having announced his retirement in November of 1982 due to suffering a detached retina in his left eye.
Coming back with an idea of perhaps making a bold challenge for Marvelous Marvin Hagler’s middleweight crown (Hagler acted as co-commentator for HBO), Leonard was thoroughly dissatisfied with his performance against Howard. Not only did Sugar Ray feel rusty, he was also knocked down in the bout, the 4th-round knockdown from a Howard right hand to the head being the 27-year-old’s first-ever trip to the canvas during a largely glorious career.
There have always been debatable decisions in boxing and there will continue to be so. Yet when it comes to picking one fight that is sure to cause a very passionate debate on the subject of who should have been awarded the judges’ decision, there is one fight that is the big daddy of them all: Sugar Ray Leonard’s 12-round split decision victory over reigning and defending middleweight king Marvelous Marvin Hagler.
Forty-two years after he captured his first National Golden Gloves Tournament title at Lowell Memorial Auditorium, Hall-of-Famer Sugar Ray Leonard returns Saturday, October 10 to the same historic building as a television analyst for Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on NBCSN, promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with Murphys Boxing, airing live from Lowell, Massachusetts.