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.
Penguin Publishing Group; June 2011
- ISBN: 9781101515761
- Read online, or download in secure ePub format
- Title: The Big Fight
- Author: Sugar Ray Leonard; Michael Arkush
In The Press
“The intelligence and self-reflection that helped Sugar Ray become one of the greatest fighters of his generation, have also stood him in good stead outside the arena.” — The Boston Globe
“Champions come and go, but to be legendary you got to have heart, more heart than the next man, more than anyone in the world. Ray's heart was bigger than all the rest. He would never stop fighting.” — Muhammad Ali
About The Author
Sugar Ray Leonard worked as a boxing analyst for ABC and HBO after retiring from the ring. He lives with his wife and two children in California.
Michael Arkush is an award-winning sportswriter and has written thirteen books, including The Last Season with Phil Jackson, The Big Fight with Sugar Ray Leonard, "Rush!" the bestselling unauthorized biography of Rush Limbaugh, and Fairways and Dreams. Arkush lives in Oak View, California, with his wife, Pauletta.