Sugar Ray Leonard 1976 Montreal Olympic Gold Medal Winning official on-site programme.
In the Montreal Olympics Leonard fought with photos of his high school sweetheart Juanita Wilkinson, and their three-year-old son taped to his shoe. It was good copy, but he was not favored to win the gold. Leonard faced a rematch against Kazimier Szczerba in the Olympic semifinals and defeated the Pole with a resounding knockout.
A lot of amateur boxing observers thought that the great left hook artist Andres Aldama would defeat the 20 year old Leonard in the Olympic final. Aldama was virtually a pro and had scored 5 straight knockouts to reach the finals. Ray Leonard proved that he was a great boxer winning with an impressive 5-0 decision. Leonard brought the fighter Andres Aldama to his knees with a left hook to the chin. Twice during the final bout, the referee had required Aldama to take a standing eight-count to prove that he was able to continue the fight. Although Aldama persisted in the match, Leonard emerged the victor and won the gold medal for the United States. It was Leonard's one hundred and forty-fifth victory as an amateur boxer.
After winning the Olympics Leonard announced to the press, “The journey is over, the dream fulfilled” and he retired from boxing. Leonard had hoped to cash in on endorsements but they never came. With the bills piling up and sickness in his family he decided to turn professional.
Sugar Ray Leonard, Leon Spinks, Michael Spinks, Leo Randolph and Howard Davis Jr. won gold medals at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. This has often been called the greatest Olympic boxing team the United States ever had, also known as “Dream Team” and out of the five gold medallists, all but Davis went on to become professional World champions.
Sugar Ray Leonard Career Highlights Featuring His Olympic Success
Sugar Ray Leonard was born in Wilmington, North Carolina 17th May 1956.
A gold medallist in the 1976 Montreal Olympics, Leonard won the WBC welterweight championship with a 15 round TKO of Wilfred Benitez on November 30th 1979. He lost it the following June by decision to Roberto Duran, but regained it in the famous “No Mass” fight in November. He KO’d Ayub Kalule to win the WBA Jnr. Middleweight crown in 1981, and won the undisputed welterweight title in a showdown with Tommy Hearns on September 16th, 1981 with a 14 - round TKO.
He retired the next year due to a detached retina, and after being inactive (except for one fight) for 5 years, returned to the ring and on April 6th 1987 captured the World middleweight championship on a split decision from Marvin Hagler in Las Vegas. In 1988 he added 2 more titles, the WBC light-heavyweight and super-middleweight crown, knocking out Donny LaLonde.
He defended with a controversial draw against Hearns, decisioned Duran, and retired after a 1991 loss to Terry Norris.