By James Wells
SAN FRANCISCO: The 2007 Narta conference finished with a high profile celebrity speaker – Sugar Ray Leonard – the boxer that many claim is the best fighter pound for pound of all time.
Five foot nine inches and 175 cm, the retired 51-year old former boxer and grandfather described what it took to become a winner.
Sugar Ray argued that we are all fighters who get knocked down and face obstacles, not only in sport, but also business and relationships.
“Victory is when you get the reward or the prize by doing the best and giving the best you can,” he said.
“Something all fighters need is determination. No one is born a world champion, they have to build a competitive edge."
Sugar Ray claimed that by identifying the strengths and weaknesses you could improve your confidence through hard work and research which would prepare you for high pressure situations.
He warned that there should be no fear of failure, just a fear of doing nothing.
“Risk is a part of success, don’t fear to take risks.”
Born Ray Charles Leonard, Sugar Ray won the Olympic medal in the light welterweight category in the 1976 Montreal Olympics. Sugar Ray was introduced to boxing by his violent older brother, Roger Leonard, who was also a professional boxer and amateur champion.
Sugar Ray was one of the leading boxers in the 1970s and 1980s. After retiring at 26 due to a detached retina, Leonard returned to the ring in his 30s, winning world titles in multiple weight divisions including Wilfred Benitez, Thomas Hearns, Roberto Duran and ‘Marvellous’ Marvin Hagler.
“In life, the fights never go away,” Sugar Ray said.
“My philosophy is to prepare to overcome and win every round. Goals are the vehicles to get you there.”