With his Hall of Fame career long behind him, Sugar Ray Leonard still works out consistently. The all-time great sits down with the crew to discuss how Skechers have been able to assist him in doing just that.
While it may appear as though Leonard is still in fighting shape, he has no intentions of stepping foot inside the ring. But as a vivid watcher of the sport he once dominated, Leonard broke down who amongst them could compete in his day. He also took the time to address how fighters continue to say their the best without actually proving it. To tune in and hear the full conversation, subscribe to Boxing Insider Radio on iTunes, Spotify or simply head over to Boxinginsider.com.
Once the lights dim and the gloves come off for good, most professional boxers let loose. The shredded abs have turned into beer bellies and the hulking biceps have gotten considerably flabbier. After spending countless years as both an adolescent and a full-grown adult preparing their bodies for war in the ring, once they’ve had enough, they often sit back and enjoy the fruits of their labor.
Yet, even at the age of 65, Sugar Ray Leonard continues to train on a daily basis. In his prime, his workout regimen was far more strenuous than it is today. In fact, simply wearing boxing shoes can become too painful to bear. But, to prevent him from having those issues, Leonard has teamed up with Skechers.
“I have an exciting campaign launching this fall with Skechers,” said Leonard during an interview on Boxing Insider Radio. “Not one, but two new commercials for Skechers Arch Fit because they’re that comfortable. I wear them all the time for the arch support, especially on days I know I’ll be on my feet for a while. Skechers can make all the difference, especially to your walking routine.
“I’m still hitting the bag, jumping rump. I’m too old to use boxing shoes so these feel much, much better for me. I’m just in that fight mode. Being in shape for boxing is the best feeling in the world. Your mind is sharp, movement is sharp, everything is sharp.”
Although Leonard spends plenty of his time in the confines of a boxing ring, he’s fully aware that things aren’t the same. Hitting the heavy bag doesn’t produce the same thud that it once did in his prime. The punches also come out noticeably slower. Having gone over two decades without fighting on the professional level, it isn’t surprising to see that Leonard has slowed down. With that said, when he was smack dab in the middle of his prime, Leonard carved out one of the greatest careers ever.
His placement amongst the best to ever lace up a pair of gloves came as a result of picking up legacy defining wins against the best of his era such as Tommy Hearns, Marvin Hagler, Roberto Duran and a long list of others.
While he doesn’t necessarily like to compare eras, he does notice a difference between this generation and the one he’s accustomed to. Unlike fighters of today who boast, brag and unapologetically claim to be the best in their respective division, Leonard can’t recall a time when fighters of his era did the same.
In the mind of the 1997 Hall of Famer, there was never a need for himself, or any of his contemporaries for that matter, to speak excessively about their own skills. Instead, there was only one way to prove your worth.
“You don’t claim you’re the best, you fight the best. I would like to see more of that, champions fighting champions. Don’t tell them how great you are, show them how great you are.”
Although Leonard competed as high as 168 pounds, he spent the bulk of his career in the welterweight division. In today’s day and age, the 147 pounders have all forged their own legacy. And while he doesn’t make frequent trips to the fights, Leonard has watched from afar as fighters such as Errol Spence Jr., Terence Crawford, Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia and Keith Thurman have all become world champions and at some point, been pound for pound regulars.
No matter how great they’ve all proven to be, however, when asked who amongst them could compete in his golden era, Leonard made sure his answer was as clear as possible.
“None of them,” said Leonard. “I was blessed to come along with the Tommy Hearn’s, Duran’s, Hagler’s and Wilfred Benitez. They don’t give him his just due. I never faced someone who made me miss so much. Put it this way, there qualified. They’d be qualified to fight in my era.”