Re: Sugar Ray Leonard; worthy of being a top 20 ATG
Sorry to spoil the party but no. By the end of 1981 Sugar had the BEGINNINGS of a promising career but next to dozens of other greats, those feats dwindle into insignificance and are only impressive to fans belonging to HIS era
In order to do that he would have to had beaten a prime Hagler 1982-83ish and frankly, he wasnt good enough nor man enough to do that
another approach, an easier one would have been to ignore the middleweight division for a time until Hagler cleared out and settled for a fight with Pryor fresh off a bombastic bombing of Arguello and defnitely entering his prime. Leonard might have won but we'll never know
a nice follow up would be to then take on his heir Donald Curry who hit his prime in 85.
HAd he defeated both men, Sugar could be worthy of a top 20 spot becuz it would prove he's consistent in winning big fights. as it was, he only won 3/4 by 1981 which translates into 75%
something else that wouldve helped his rep would have been to take more chances as he got older and prove his mettle against younger stars with lots of speed such as Micheal Nunn & Terry Norris
Sugar wanted to fight at the time but only against tired, worn out names which confirm my original suspicions that he wasnt up to fighting prime Hagler but his eye wasnt the reason for it