Feature | Aug 05 2015

Legends’ last fights: Sugar Ray Leonard

George Gigney looks at the ring swansongs of some of boxing’s greatest fighters
US CHALLENGER SUGAR RAY LEONARD SITS ON MAT AFTER SUFFERING A TKO BYDEFENDING CHAMPION CAMACHO DURING ...

Sugar Ray Leonard walked away from boxing for good in 1997 when, at the age of 40, Hector Camacho ended his ill-fated comeback by stopping him in five rounds.

He had beaten the best of his generation in Roberto Duran, Marvin Hagler and Thomas Hearns, but Leonard still wanted more and for a purse of $4million to fight Camacho, decided to fight on.

When Mayweather faces the press before his fight with Berto, he is likely to be probed over why he has chosen such an undeserving opponent. When Leonard spoke to the media before fighting Camacho, it was to field questions over why he was still fighting in the first place.

With a bulging bank balance, having been the first fighter to make over $100million in earnings, Sugar Ray did not need the money.

Our preview claimed a fight between Leonard and Camacho in their primes would have been unimaginable, such would have been the gulf in class. However, given Leonard’s age and the fact he had not fought in six years, we picked Camacho to beat him, despite Ray being a 7-4 favourite.

Hector did just that, dropping Leonard in the fifth before unleashing a barrage of punches which forced referee Joe Cortez’s intervention.

It was a sad end to a glittering career and Leonard rightfully decided not to return to the ring.

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