What Was Sugar Ray Leonards Best Performance

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Joeywill, Aug 18, 2021.

  1. Mark Dunham

    Mark Dunham Active Member Full Member

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    hard to pick one. people forget about his performances as a contender but the one that comes to mind is the job he did on Duran. He really put the kibosh on him and I think he destroyed his confidence for all time. You would think Duran would have been more motivated in the rubber match

    That guy in the video, sparring with Leonard, why did he do such a DUMB THING???

    you would think the general public would exercise caution when in the ring with professionals. The same happened when another Sugar insulted the great Robinson and paid for it.
     
  2. Mark Dunham

    Mark Dunham Active Member Full Member

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    This excuse never prevented Leonard from taking fights with Kevin Howard, Don Lalonde, and Terry Norris

    I think Pryor deserved a fight with Leonard but being the threat he was perceived by the Leonard camp, the match didn't materialize, nor did the fight with prime Hagler
     
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  3. Drew101

    Drew101 Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    1st Hearns fight.
     
  4. Reinhardt

    Reinhardt Boxing Addict Full Member

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    No question about it, his best performance was in his loss to Roberto Duran. He fought at a torrid pace for 15 rounds against one of the top 5 pound for pound fighters of all time. That fight was A+ fighting at it's best.
     
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  5. Mark Dunham

    Mark Dunham Active Member Full Member

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    I thought his performance in the rematch was far stronger. He gave Duran fits and showed none of the insecurities & doubts of the first fight.
     
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  6. Man_Machine

    Man_Machine Boxing Addict Full Member

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    There's a good few to choose from, really.
    In his first incarnation, Leonard was just electrifying.
    Even if one takes the different levels of competition into consideration, he simply looked brilliant.

    When we look at the higher end of the opposition, I think the Benitez win was a truly well-crafted victory - educated and controlled.

    In Hearns I, it could be argued that Leonard was for the first time, a little out of his depth and we saw Leonard on the verge of being undone - only to dramatically rise to the occasion and reassert himself to win.

    These two performances, against the caliber of guys he was up against, both stand out for me.

    Honorable mentions: Kalule; Green.
     
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  7. Reinhardt

    Reinhardt Boxing Addict Full Member

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    What happened in the second fight had more to do with what Duran was than what Leonard was. Another thing, in the first fight Ray sure didn't look insecure toe to toe with Duran did he?
     
  8. mark ant

    mark ant Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    He said skills, Ray was desperate when he caught Hearns, he was clearly being out-boxed before Tommy started to wilt, it was a scrappy win.
     
  9. mark ant

    mark ant Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    He got caught a lot in that fight.
     
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  10. Nigel_Benn

    Nigel_Benn Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Hagler. Whatever one thinks about the result, it was truly remarkable to come back after such a long lay off and compete with a still dangerous Hagler.
     
  11. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    When you are that outsized against a guy with that sort of speed, skill and power things are gonna get scrappy. How did Duran, coming off a brilliant stoppage of Moore followed by a still very much revered loss against Hagler look against Hearns?
     
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  12. Mark Dunham

    Mark Dunham Active Member Full Member

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    You might not be able to tell but I read he was a bit apprehensive before the first fight, being awed by Duran's rep. I read that the left that Duran hit Leonard with in the second jarred him enough to ram his teeth into the gums. But he hung tough and to be honest, I didnt have the impression that Leonard really lost. It was that close although others may disagree.

    The second fight was altogether different as Ray set out to destroy Duran mentally and he had the tools to do just that. It worked to perfection.
     
  13. Mark Dunham

    Mark Dunham Active Member Full Member

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    Still dangerous?

    In what way? He had no speed, no legs, no snap, no reflexes who could not so much as hit a stationary target stuck on the ropes. Hagler was essentially a physically depleted fighter. About the only weapon he had left was a decent jab, but nothing else
     
  14. Titan1

    Titan1 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    I think Ray was at a higher level, but it's all good:thumbsup:! Keep well as well, bud.
     
  15. Bokaj

    Bokaj Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    This discussion made me for the first time really think about what a consistent performer Leonard was during his peak. Some top performances when he really needed them and also looking great against the more regular type contenders. Montreal is somewhat the exception, since he looked a bit psyched out, but even then he left nothing in the ring and fought to the last second with everything he had.

    I'd have to say Hearns I, though. Far from his most aesthetic performance, but he dug deep and showed a new side of himself against a terrifying opponent and brought home the W. Duran II the close runner up, since you could be forgiven for thinking that Duran took his soul in the first one, but he put together a great game plan to make Duran do the unthinkable and quit.

    The ones where he looked best, considering the opp, was Benitez. That was his most skillful one.
     
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