Sugar Ray Leonard has a new a book coming out called ‘The Big Fight: My Life In and Out of the Ring,’. In his book, which is due to hit shelves next month, the boxer discusses his past of growing up in a home with domestic violence and alcohol use, his cocaine abuse, almost drowning as a child, surviving a car accident in which his mother was driving and becoming a father as a teenager.
The worst part is the sexual abuse that he encountered as a young boxer. Via The NY Times:
Two pages later, Leonard delivers the book’s bombshell, while indirectly addressing a growing concern in the sports industry at large. He reveals publicly for the first time that he was sexually abused as a young fighter by an unnamed “prominent Olympic boxing coach.”
Leonard writes that when the coach accompanied him as a 15-year-old and another young fighter to a boxing event in Utica, N.Y., in 1971, he had the teenagers take a bath in a tub of hot water and Epsom salts while he sat on the other side of the bathroom. They suspected “something a bit inappropriate” was occurring but did not want to question a strong male authority figure.
Several years later, Leonard describes sitting in a car in a deserted parking lot across from a recreation center, listening intently as the same coach, said to be in his late 40s, explained how much a gold medal at the 1976 Olympics would mean to his future.
He was flattered, filled with hope, as any young athlete would be. But he writes: “Before I knew it, he had unzipped my pants and put his hand, then mouth, on an area that has haunted me for life. I didn’t scream. I didn’t look at him. I just opened the door and ran.”
Honestly, I know boxers cant use their fist (well aren’t supposed to if they are registered) outside of the ring but in this situation if some trainer started to get weird with me and I was Ray I wouldn’t have left running, I would have knocked that dudes wig off.