[fullwidth backgroundcolor=”” backgroundimage=”” backgroundrepeat=”no-repeat” backgroundposition=”left top” backgroundattachment=”scroll” video_webm=”” video_mp4=”” video_ogv=”” video_preview_image=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_opacity=”0.5″ video_mute=”yes” video_loop=”yes” fade=”no” bordersize=”0px” bordercolor=”” borderstyle=”” paddingtop=”20px” paddingbottom=”20px” paddingleft=”0px” paddingright=”0px” menu_anchor=”” equal_height_columns=”no” hundred_percent=”no” class=”” id=””][imageframe lightbox=”no” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”none” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””] [/imageframe][/fullwidth][fusion_text]Sugar Ray Leonard is one of the legendary sports icons of the 20th century whose very name epitomizes boxing and conjures the image of a champion.
Leonard was host and mentor for the first, second and third seasons of the critically acclaimed series, Contender, on NBC & ESPN. Contender is produced by Dreamworks Television and Mark Burnett Productions. Ray recently appeared in the critically acclaimed Paramount Pictures feature film “The Fighter.”
Having learned to box at the age of fourteen, Leonard’s illustrious career includes three National Golden Gloves titles, two Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) championships and the 1975 Pan-American Games crown. After winning a gold medal in boxing at the 1976 Olympic games, he turned professional to help his family defer mounting medical bills incurred because of his father’s illness. Blinding speed, tremendous power and great charm turned Leonard into an immediate media favorite. The late Howard Cosell called Leonard the “new Mohammed Ali.”
In 1977, at the age of twenty, Leonard won his first professional fight, setting the stage for a collection of the most memorable fights in history. He went on to defeat some of the finest boxers of the modern era, including Wilfred Benetiz, Roberto Duran, Thomas Hearns and Marvin Hagler, from whom Leonard won the world middleweight title. During his twenty-year professional career, Leonard also won world titles in the welterweight, junior middleweight, super middleweight, and light heavyweight divisions. He was the first boxer to win world titles in five different weight classes, a record that stands to this day.
Leonard’s sincere, charismatic personality coupled with his ring experience led to a successful career as a television broadcaster for NBC, ABC, HBO and ESPN. In addition, his celebrity status and tremendous crossover appeal fostered commercial endorsement relationships with numerous companies including EA Sports, Vartec Telecom, Track Inc., Ford, Carnation, 7-Up, Nabisco, Coca-Cola, and Revlon. Leonard is also among the most sought after motivational/inspirational speakers in the world today. His speech, titled “POWER” (Prepare, Overcome, and Win Every Round), is consistently booked with major Fortune 500 companies in the United States and abroad.
Successful business ventures aside, Leonard has always been devoted to the community and to helping those in need. For many years, Leonard has been the international chairman of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk for a Cure. He also participates in a variety of national and international causes benefiting children’s charities.
Leonard has four children and lives in Southern California with his wife Bernadette.[/fusion_text]