Anybody who’s even a casual boxing fan remembers the two fights between Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard, the rematch ending with the 8th round “no mas” from Duran.
Sugar Ray relives that moment and others today in our interview on Fresh Air. He has a new memoir called The Big Fight – My Life in and Out of the Ring.
It’s easy to forget what Leonard accomplished. He was just under 5’10,” and in a 20-year professional career, he won world titles in five different weight classes.
In our interview, he explains how he prepared mentally for fights, what it’s like to take a withering punch, and how it feels to land one on your opponent.
He talks about what it was like to be suddenly rich and famous, with five brothers and sisters (two of them with drug problems) constantly asking him for cash. And he talks about his own alcoholism and cocaine use and a sexual molestation he suffered as a young man from an Olympic coach.
Leonard’s enjoyable company. You can hear the show at 3 and 7 on WHYY. If you’re listening outside the Philly area, find a station here. And you can always listen, download the show, or get more information at the Fresh Air website.