Sugar Ray Leonard
Retirement And Return
In 1982 Leonard was diagnosed with a detached retina and underwent surgery to repair the injury. He announced his retirement from boxing at that time, turning his attention to broadcast journalism. After some years as a commentator for the Home Box Office cable network, he returned to the ring with aspirations of fighting Marvin Hagler for the middleweight championship.
A much-publicized contest came about in 1987, when Leonard issued a challenge to Hagler, whose hold on the middleweight title was by then entering its seventh year—since September 27, 1980. Twelve times Hagler had fought in defense of his title, and twelve times he had won. With the challenge accepted, Leonard returned to the ring in April 1987 at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, to fight what would be the fight of the year, according to Ring magazine.
Leonard took the middleweight title from the aging Hagler by TKO in the ninth round and used the surge of momentum to issue another challenge. He returned to training and defeated double-title holder Donny Lalonde, for the WBC super middleweight and light heavyweight championships in November 1988. After the victory Leonard retired holding both world titles.
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