Sugar Ray Leonard had the quickness, ability and charisma, and he filled the boxing void left when Muhammad Ali retired in 1981. He happened to come along at just the right time. Sugar Ray was the fighter of the decade for the 1980s, winning five world titles in five weight classes. He fought well against opponents who were sluggers, brawlers or stylists. Sugar Ray was one of the best finishers in boxing. Leonard won a gold medal in the 1976 Olympics. He won the WBC Welterweight title in 1979 when he defeated Wilfred Benitez. Soon after, he met lightweight champion Roberto Duran in a much publicized match. Duran dethroned Sugar Ray in a 15-round decision. Leonard won the title back when Duran quit in the eighth-round of their rematch. In 1981, Leonard knocked out Ayube Kalule for the middleweight crown, then returned to the weltertweight division and knocked out Tommy “the hit man” Hearns in the 14th round for the title. One fight later, Leonard retired due to a detached retina, but returned to the ring in 1984 and knocked out Kevin Howard, then retired again. After a three year layoff, he returned again to face Marvelous Marvin Hagler and won the middleweight title again. He added titles four and five in 1988. Marvin Hagler is one fighter who really paid his dues. He fought the toughest middleweights in the world before finally being given the opportunity to fight for the world title. His pre-title competition included Willie Monroe, Bobby Watts, Cyclone Hart, and Bennie Briscoe. Hagler’s title shot came against Vito Antuofermo in 1979, and they fought to a draw. He won the title one year later, when he knocked out champion Alan Minter. Marvelous Marvin made 12 successful title defenses. Among his victims were Antuofermo, Mustafa Hamsho, Roberto Duran, Juan Roldan, John “the beast” Mugabi, and Thomas Hearns. His three-round battle against Hearns is regarded as one of the greatest fights of all-time.
Mikey is going with Sugar Ray. Who is your choice?