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Sugar Ray Leonard: Prime vs. Prime, I’d Knock Out Floyd Jr.


A boxing fan in England recently approached Sugar Ray Leonard with a tough question: It pertains to Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s statement that he would have beaten Ray Leonard if they had fought in their primes. The boxing fan wanted to know what the Hall of Famer Leonard thought of that widely circulated comment by Floyd Jr.

The fan said, “Ray responded as smoothly as one of his eight-punch combinations – ‘In 1979 I knocked out Floyd’s father and you know what I say, Like father, like son.'”

Floyd Mayweather Sr. was born in Bronx, NY and turned pro at age 22 in November of 1974. The first loss of Floyd Sr. was by TKO 2 to Tyrone Phelps in 1975 in Baltimore. Three years later, Floyd Sr. (16-1) faced Ray Leonard (13-0) in Providence in 1978. Leonard floored Mayweather Sr. twice in the eighth round and won by TKO in the tenth when referee Martin Taber stopped the contest.

Mayweather Sr. also was defeated by Clayton Hires, Marlon Starling (twice) and in his final fight in 1990 by 17-0 Roger Turner. His biggest win was probably in 1983 – a TKO 8 win over then 16-1 welterweight prospect Jose “The Threat” Baret at the Felt Forum in New York City.

Mayweather Sr.’s final ring record was 28-6-1 (19 KO’s). He went on to a successful career as a trainer, coaching his son Floyd Jr., Chad Dawson, Joan Guzman, Laila Ali, Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton. Mayweather Sr. was named “Manager of the Year” in 1998 by the Boxing Writer’s Association of America.

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