If you asked every boxing fan to make a list of the greatest fighters of all time, you’d see a lot of the same names on the list. Of course, you’d see names like Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, and Floyd Mayweather. But no one’s list would go too long before including Sugar Ray Leonard. Leonard was one of the craftiest, quickest boxers in an era – the ’80s – full of them.
Leonard has long-since retired from boxing, but he’s still an active businessman. But how successful has he been? Let’s take a look back at his career, what he’s been up to since retiring from the ring, and what his net worth is.
Sugar Ray Leonard’s career overview
Born in 1956, Leonard first burst on the worldwide boxing scene at the 1976 Olympics, when he won gold at the light-welterweight class. Leonard went pro soon after that in 1977 after briefly retiring from the sport following his Olympic win.
He defeated WBC welterweight champion, Wilfred Benitez, in 1979. In June of 1980, he lost the title to Roberto Duran in one of the most well-known matches of his career. Leonard bested Duran in the rematch five months after the initial bout and in a third showdown as well. He’d win the WBA welterweight title from Thomas Hearns in 1981.
Leonard retired from boxing in both 1982 and 1984 only to return to the ring to defeat “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler in 1987. The match stood out as one of the greatest of all time and probably the best of Leonard’s career.
After retiring again in 1991, Leonard staged one more comeback at the age of 40 in 1997 only to lose via TKO. He retired with a career record of 36 wins, three losses, and one draw. He knocked out 25 of his opponents. Leonard has since been enshrined in the Boxing Hall of Fame.
Post-boxing career activities
Leonard’s post-fighting career has been interesting, to say the least. Following his final retirement, Leonard became a boxing commentator for several major fights. He also wrote an acclaimed memoir titled The Big Fight: My Life in and Out of the Ring. In the book, he talked about his career and how he handled his issues with alcohol.
In 2011, Leonard tried his hand at a new kind of competition: dancing. He was a cast member on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars for the show’s 12th season. On it, he competed against celebrities like Hines Ward, Ralph Macchio, and Wendy Williams. Leonard also runs a charitable organization alongside his wife called the Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation. Its goal is to raise funding for research and awareness of juvenile diabetes.
Sugar Ray Leonard’s net worth
Leonard’s net worth is reported to be around $120 million. You can apply one word to Leonard whether he was boxing or pursuing another field outside of boxing: professional. Leonard was always business-like in every one of his projects, which he learned from his years as a boxer:
“It’s different when you become a professional, because you also have to become a businessman, and that takes something away from it.”
While Leonard made plenty of money as a boxer both in the ring and calling fights outside of it, he’s also been a successful businessman as well. He’s had a number of lucrative endorsements throughout his career and after it with companies like Coca-Cola and EA Sports.
Other business ventures for Leonard include motivational speaking. He has a speech entitled POWER (that stands for Prepare, Overcome, and Win Every Round) that has been a hit on the professional speaker’s circuit across the nation. Leonard also hosted Contender, a boxing-themed reality show featured on NBC and ESPN. He also appeared in the film The Fighter.