What Was Sugar Ray Leonards Best Performance

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

  1. TBooze

    TBooze Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Oct 22, 2006
    He did, for a brief period Kalule was truly exceptional, and it took absolute prime Ray Leonard to take his '0'; in an if not hard, then challenging fight.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2021
  2. ETM

    ETM I thought I did enough to win. Full Member

    Mar 19, 2012
    Zab Judah caught Floyd with a righthook and dropped him early in their fight.
  3. ETM

    ETM I thought I did enough to win. Full Member

    Mar 19, 2012
    Watch the 4 Kings on Amazon Prime. Its a 4 part documentary. You'll understand.
  4. Man_Machine

    Man_Machine Boxing Addict Full Member

    Jun 9, 2010
    I watched Leonard/Kalule again not long ago. It did look like Leonard was shipping a bit of leather, relatively speaking, but Kalule was strong and so his successes made more of a visual impression. He was pretty good, too.

    But, really, Leonard was out-muscling the muscle and scored the stoppage, in the end. It was another impressive win, in my book.
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  5. Balder

    Balder Well-Known Member Full Member

    Nov 10, 2012
    Duran 1.

    It was probably his best showing. He lost, but what he showed in that fight was breathtaking and humbling. The only other fight that comes close is Hearn's 1.

    But, I have never seen a better Leonard than when he faced Duran the first time.
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  6. mark ant

    mark ant Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    May 4, 2017
    Leonard got completely out-boxed, no way could he beat Duran on the inside.
  7. surfinghb

    surfinghb Boxing Addict Full Member

    Aug 26, 2017
    well maybe because Duran, Hearns , and Hagler kept fighting and Ray did not ... Maybe because Duran has 119 fights and Ray only has 40 fights .. Does it make sense now?? Actually I really do not see how it is possible to hate and spitefully underrate Leonard .. what is that like 1 in a 1000?.. He was the most popular boxer in the sport even throughout his 4 or 5 different retirements that spanned over 10 years and easily in the top 5 of all time in popularity .... so I think when it comes to Ray the complete opposite rings true

    ... It's Hearns 1 for me
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2021
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  8. Journeyman92

    Journeyman92 "Jack sure can whack” banned Full Member

    Sep 22, 2021
    No need to be a lil pissy **** come off it. All I’m saying is I’ve seen plenty of Leonard hate here that I just don’t get- certainly more common then 1\1000 here. Why would the others fighting longer have anything to do with anything?
    surfinghb likes this.
  9. White Bomber

    White Bomber Well-Known Member Full Member

    Mar 31, 2021
    He got out-boxed that match and only turned it around due to Hearns getting tired. Had it been a 12 rounder, Hearns wins a UD.
  10. Tomatron

    Tomatron Member Full Member

    Jul 26, 2021
    That’s what I respect about it, showed a champions heart and battled back from adversity when it was really needed. It’s brilliant being on top and beating people comfortably, but when you are under the cosh and turn it around against another all time great, makes it a bit special for me. But I know it’s subjective.
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  11. Pugguy

    Pugguy Active Member Full Member

    Aug 22, 2021
    Not to apologise for Duran as it was ALL on him, but in New Orleans, he was somewhat physically and mentally removed from the super conditioned and intense version of himself in Montreal.

    That doesn’t alter the fact that Ray came to fight “his” own fight for better advantage in the rematch. I noticed Duran even appearing to extend his glove at the opening of round 1 as if for a courtesy tap. It appeared that Ray didn’t reciprocate. Duran, doing that?

    Also, after the first fight Ray’s camp complained that Duran was allowed to wrestle too much by Padilla. I don’t entirely agree with their grievance but the rematch ref. was very mindful to break anything that liked like a clinch or precursor to inside fighting. In a nut shell, a better Ray but a worse Duran and different ref treatment for the rematch.

    I really liked Ray’s performance v Kalule. Fighting at about 153 lb for the 3rd time in his career, Ray looked just as fast and that bit stronger. Kalule did catch Ray with a few shots, unusual for Ray and not good for the overall aesthetics, but I think that occurred later in the fight when Ray was showing disdain for Kalule’s power as he arrogantly walked in to finish Kalule off.

    Ray also loses points for the attempted 360 deg. front flip he failed to pull off after the fight was stopped. He put himself at far greater risk of injury than when he signed to face Kalule.
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  12. Pugguy

    Pugguy Active Member Full Member

    Aug 22, 2021
    MO, in his later career, Ray was very much an impact player.

    While the skills were abundant and performances worthy of ATG status, he utilised opportunity, timing and advantageous pre fight specifications to the max. in some later career efforts .

    I think Ray’s skills were so pure that when they declined he didn’t have as much physicality to fall back on, like say, Duran.

    Ray’s later career might approximate more closely to that of the mod. boxer, less fights, less wear tear, more considerate prep etc.

    Ray more or less indirectly acknowledged this leading into the Hagler fight when he highlighted that while people were focusing on his years of inactivity, they were not accounting for the wear/tear accrued by Hags continued fighting in the interim (upholding his dominance in the MW division over more fights over a longer period: my description, not Ray’s).

    And it’s true, Ray used Duran’s own 1983 performance (Roberto continuing to add to his own record fighting as and when) against Hags to model a strategy and induce confidence in himself.

    And, the Duran fight itself was simply another wear/tear fight for two guys who already had lengthy records as Ray, a very interested observer in the mean time, waited in the wings
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2021
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  13. Pugguy

    Pugguy Active Member Full Member

    Aug 22, 2021
    I agree. I don’t know that Ray was so much outboxed as finding himself in a literal good small man v good big man dilemma. He was at a clear dimensional disadvantage. So Ray had to work out how to become a better small man and it took guts and unwavering resolve to maximise the relatively infrequent opportunities that came his way. A true ATG victory and particularly for coming back while behind.
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  14. White Bomber

    White Bomber Well-Known Member Full Member

    Mar 31, 2021
    For me, someone's best performance is when they comfortably demolish their opposition.
    Mark Dunham likes this.
  15. Saintpat

    Saintpat Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jun 26, 2009
    1) Deserved in what way? His first fight as a welter was in 1987 after a couple years off when he lost to Bobby Joe Young. Previous to that he was always a junior welter or lightweight.

    So what did he do to “deserve” a fight with Ray? Duran moved up from lightweight and established himself at welter, particularly by beating Carlos Palomino. If he wanted to fight at welter, he could have taken on an established 147-pound contender or two to stake his claim.

    2) The timeline for such a fight just doesn’t work. After Ray beat Wilfred Benitez to become champion at 147, everything was building up to the big showdown with Duran that EVERYBODY wanted to see.

    Then he lost, won the title back in late 1981 and the detached retina showed up after he beat Bruce Finch in early ‘82 in a less demanding defense that he certainly had earned by this point. He fought once in1984 when he came back against Kevin Howard and retired after that, resurfacing to fight Hagler three years later.

    Prior, meanwhile, was still trying to build himself into an attraction. A couple of defenses on CBS/ABC to get him some exposure and in late 1982 he beat Arguello in the first fight to really establish him as an attraction at the PPV level. By the time this fight happens, Ray’s already out of the picture with the retina issue.

    3) Aaron Pryor himself, with video evidence, said he turned down Leonard. He was offered $500K and said no.

    You can’t say someone is ducking you if they send you an offer and you decline to take it.
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