LEONARD, “Sugar Ray” (1956- )
LEONARD, Ray Charles – American former professional boxer, motivational speaker, and occasional actor.
SP – Signed 8”x10” black and white litho print action image. Leonard has penned his name and Best Wishes in black marker pen. Excellent condition. The photograph was signed by Leonard for a fund-raiser as attested by his executive assistant Caren L. Kinder (no date on letter).
Often regarded as one of the greatest boxers of all time, Leonard competed from 1977 to 1997, winning world titles in five weight divisions; the lineal championship in three weight divisions; as well as the undisputed welterweight title. Leonard was part of “The Fabulous Four”, a group of boxers who all fought each other throughout the 1980s, consisting of himself, Roberto Durán, Thomas Hearns and Marvin Hagler.
“The Fabulous Four” created a wave of popularity in the lower weight classes that kept boxing relevant in the post-Muhammad Ali era, during which Leonard defeated future fellow International Boxing Hall of Fame inductees Hearns, Durán, Hagler, and Wilfred Benítez.
Leonard was also the first boxer to earn more than $100 million in purses, and was named “Boxer of the Decade” in the 1980s. The Ring magazine named him Fighter of the Year in 1979 and 1981, while the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) named him Fighter of the Year in 1976, 1979, and 1981. He currently holds 44th place in BoxRec ranking of the greatest pound for pound boxers of all time.