The Big Fight by Sugar Ray Leonard

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Synopsis

In this unflinching and inspiring autobiography, the boxing legend faces his single greatest competitor: himself.

Sugar Ray Leonard's brutally honest and uplifting memoir reveals in intimate detail for the first time the complex man behind the boxer. The Olympic hero, multichampionship winner, and beloved athlete waged his own personal battle with depression, rage, addiction, and greed.

Coming from a tumultuous, impoverished household and a dangerous neighborhood on the outskirts of Washington, D.C., in the 1970s, Sugar Ray Leonard rose swiftly and skillfully through the ranks of amateur boxing-and eventually went on to win a gold medal in the 1976 Olympics. With an extremely ill father and no endorsement deals, Leonard decided to go pro.

The Big Fight takes readers behind the scenes of a notoriously corrupt sport and chronicles the evolution of a champion, as Leonard prepares for the greatest fights of his life-against Marvin Hagler, Roberto Duran, Tommy Hearns, and Wilfred Benitez. At the same time Leonard fearlessly reveals his own contradictions and compulsions, his infidelity, and alcohol and cocaine abuse.

With honesty, humor, and hard-won perspective, Leonard comes to terms with both triumph and struggle-and presents a gripping portrait of remarkable strength, courage, and resilience, both in and out of the ring.
 

About Sugar Ray Leonard

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SUGAR RAY LEONARD was a National Golden Gloves champion in 1973 and 1974 and won a gold medal for the United States in the 1976 Olympics. Leonard won several world titles as a professional boxer before retiring for the last time in 1997. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame that same year. Leonard lives with his wife and two children in California. MICHAEL ARKUSH is the author The Fight of the Century: Ali vs. Frazier and coauthor of The Last Season by Phil Jackson. He lives in California.
 
Published June 6, 2011 by Plume. 322 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Big Fight

Kirkus Reviews

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Not a knockout, but a revealing confession from a champ who was often accused of being a packaged TV commodity.

May 24 2011 | Read Full Review of The Big Fight

Publishers Weekly

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In this moving memoir, boxing legend Leonard tells his story of growing up as a ghetto kid whose athletic skills lifted him into a world of fame for which he was ill-prepared. Born in 1956, Ray Charle

Apr 11 2011 | Read Full Review of The Big Fight

New York Journal of Books

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Mr. Leonard says it best in his book, observing that he commanded such big paydays because “he made money putting people in the seats.” His phenomenal marketing prowess concurrently greatly benefitted his opponents, so much so that Roberto Duran—who overtly disrespected Sugar Ray in their first f...

Jun 06 2011 | Read Full Review of The Big Fight

New York Journal of Books

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“a fascinating, illuminating, engaging story of what it takes to be successful at the highest levels. Simultaneously, The Big Fight is a most instructive study of competitive strategy.”

Jun 06 2011 | Read Full Review of The Big Fight

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