Feature | Highlight 3 | Issue | Premium | Jan 14 2020

He fought Sugar Ray Leonard, sparred Lennox Lewis and had an exhibition with Tommy Hearns. Donny Lalonde reveals all

Matt Bozeat hears tales from the golden boy Donny Lalonde
Donny Lalonde
Heinz Kluetmeier

THE feeling was, the fight between Sugar Ray Leonard and Donny Lalonde may prove to be no fight at all. Lalonde went along with that.

“I was overconfident,” said the Canadian, actually a sizeable underdog going into his second defence of the WBC light-heavyweight championship in Las Vegas in November 1988. “I didn’t care how slick he was. If a 175lb guy hits a 147lb guy on the chin, it’s over. I could be behind on the cards, but if I hit him on the chin, that was it. I thought I was invincible. I thought it was a mismatch.”

If Lalonde was to knock out Leonard, it would surely be with his right hand. Because of an injury to his left shoulder picked up playing ice hockey in his teens, Lalonde struggled to throw his lead hand with authority. HBO commentators went as far as to describe him as a “one-handed fighter” during the Leonard fight and as Lalonde revealed in an honest interview with Boxing News from his Costa Rican home, he had problems with his good hand as well.


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