97 Motivating Sugar Ray Leonard Quotes

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Ray Charles Leonard is the full name of an American former professional boxer. He is a motivational speaker and an occasional actor as well. His numerous victory has made him one of the greatest fighters of all time. He played for 20 years from 1977 to 1997 and won various world titles like the lineal championship and the undisputed welterweight title.

Moreover, he was liked by The Fabulous Four, a group of boxers, and fought with each other throughout the 1980s. In 1979 and 1981, The Ring named him the Fighter of the Year, and The Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) named him by the same title in 1976, 1979, and 1981. Similarly, he was ranked as the 14th most celebrated boxer of all time by BoxRec.

Sugar Ray Leonard quote on boxing
Sugar Ray Leonard quote on boxing

Here. I am listing a few of Leonard’s famous quotes by this great fighter to help you in each step of your life.

“When the trainer talks to the fighter, there’s a connection. You don’t always have to say much.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“Boxing is the ultimate challenge. There’s nothing that can compare to testing yourself the way you do every time you step in the ring.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“Looking back, yes, I made too many comebacks. But each comeback I was 100 percent sure that I would win. I never came back for the money, because I didn’t need it. The adulation I was getting anyway in other spheres. But I’m a guy who likes to see how close he can get to the edge of the mountain – that’s what makes me tick.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“People can do more than they ever believe they can do. Physically, mentally, academically. You have to be pushed. It hurts. But it’s worth it, and it’s a great thing.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“Within our dreams and aspirations we find our opportunities.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“I’m one of the most optimistic persons in the world. I always believed that – there’s another shot, another chance. In boxing, I never gave up. I kept trying, kept trying. Even when things seemed so dim, I continued to push forward to make something happen in my favor.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“Boxing is the ultimate challenge. There’s nothing that can compare to testing yourself the way you do every time you step in the ring. On the downside, you meet a lot of really bad people in boxing, at all stages of your career.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

8th of 97 Sugar Ray Leonard Quotes

“You don’t appreciate things until they’re gone. For me, I miss my friends; I don’t miss boxing, I miss the camaraderie.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“I am excited to share my archive pictures and footage. I’ll also share announcements about current events and success stories from the Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation to help fight diabetes and child obesity.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“Success is attaining your dream while helping others to benefit from that dream materializing.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“I always expect unexpected challenges. Boxing is not an easy sport.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“I wouldn’t change anything because the mistakes and the hurt are as important as all the great fights. They made me who I am today.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Donny Lalonde
Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Donny Lalonde

“I’m a competitor and a very proud man. If a guy beats me once, he’ll have to do it again to make me believe him.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“I was not from a middle-class family at all. I did not have middle-class possessions and what have you. But I had middle-class parents who gave me what was needed to survive in society.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“It’s hard to talk about yourself.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“Holyfield is nothing but class, and I think he’s a breath of fresh air for the sport.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“To be the best, you need to spend hours and hours and hours running, hitting the speed bag, lifting weights and focusing on training.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“No one but myself thought I could beat guys like Tommy Hearns or Roberto Duran.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

19th of 97 Sugar Ray Leonard Quotes

“For the most part, I think video games do a good job of capturing the essence of boxing. However, I’d like to continue to see them push the realism, emphasizing the skill involved.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“Muhammad Ali was a god, an idol and an icon. He was boxing. Any kid that had the opportunity to talk to Ali, to get advice from Muhammad Ali, was privileged. He’s always given me time to ask questions, although I was so in awe that I didn’t ask questions.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“Boxing is individual, although there’s a team concept because you need a great corner, you need a great trainer, you need a great prep man, you need all of these things, but it’s more of a Mano a Mano; it’s more you versus me. I miss that time in training camp and Dad and Mom cooking meals. It was one big family.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“Ray Leonard is more the family man, kind of quiet. He’s not as outgoing as Sugar Ray Leonard. Sugar Ray Leonard was very determined, very focused, very outgoing and very selfish, if you will. There are two different individuals there.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“I made the decision to turn pro, and I remember what Ali said to me: ‘Get Angelo Dundee. He’s the right complexion with the right connection.’ He knew boxing. Our relationship was so genuine, so sincere.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“Boxing will always be in my life.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

Sugar Ray Leonard quote on belief
Sugar Ray Leonard quote on belief

“Bruce Lee was an artist and, like him, I try to go beyond the fundamentals of my sport. I want the public to see a knockout in the making.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“To be the best, you need to spend hours and hours and hours running, hitting the speed bag, lifting weights and just focusing on training.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“We’re all given some sort of skill in life. Mine just happens to be beating up on people.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“Duran always disturbs me. The guy is just weird. Before our first fight, both Duran and his wife gave my wife the finger.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“When I turned pro, Muhammad Ali was laying back, and I was able to fill up an area that was empty.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

30th of 97 Sugar Ray Leonard Quotes

“Ali’s belief in himself was something I picked up on, and it’s become my own philosophy.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“I’m a free agent. I haven’t allowed any promoters to have exclusive options on my fight. I don’t need a promoter.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“I’ve never believed in tying myself up in a long-range contract, and I’ve been very outspoken on that subject.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“I think an athlete should be honest. I know it’s difficult, but if a guy knocked me on my can, I couldn’t very well say, I slipped.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“You just don’t heal that easy unless you’re young.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“Aaron Pryor wants to get into the ring with me. He wants to be able to retire, and he will. For health reasons.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“When I’m not in training. I’ll walk around the streets at 153, but it’s not solid; it’s my socializing weight.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“Generally, the more weight you put on, the less effective you are.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“I was painfully initiated into boxing, because the guys I fought were a lot bigger than me.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“Boxing was not something I truly enjoyed. Like a lot of things in life, when you put the gloves on, it’s better to give than to receive.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“Before the start of the ’76 Olympics, I’d had 160 amateur fights. I won 155 and lost five.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“It’s different when you become a professional, because you also have to become a businessman, and that takes something away from it.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“In Italy, I had an Afro, and a lot of the kids came up and felt my hair. It really was funny. I wish I had understood Italian.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“When we got back to the U.S., I wanted to kiss the ground after seeing what people in other countries are denied or don’t have.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

Sugar Ray Leonard quote on fight
Sugar Ray Leonard quote on fight

“Although it was a great accomplishment to win a gold medal, as soon as they put it on you, that’s it; your career is over.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“Except for Ali, fighters had never been marketable.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“Boxing was the only career where I wouldn’t have to start out at the bottom. I had a good resume.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“They say that I’m stubborn, and my wife says that, too, but it’s paid off so far.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“If I hadn’t had the talent, the networks wouldn’t have televised my fights. No one has made me; I made myself. I paid my dues.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“I fought tall fighters, short fighters, strong fighters, slow fighters, sluggers and boxers. It was either learn or get knocked off.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

50th of 97 Sugar Ray Leonard Quotes

“I want my fights to be seen as plays that have a beginning, a middle and an end.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“I think I’ve become one of the best finishers in boxing; if I hurt a guy, I normally take him out.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“Boxing brings out my aggressive instinct, not necessarily a killer instinct.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“Before I fight, I always pray that no one gets hurt.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“I’m not religious, but I believe that what I have is a gift, and I respect it and live up to it.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“I’ll think, If this is his first punch, how are the others gonna feel? That’s the only fear I have for myself.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“For some reason, I was drawn towards boxing. Or maybe boxing drew me towards it – because once I put those gloves on, after about six months, boxing was my life.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

Sugar Ray Leonard with his family
Sugar Ray Leonard with his family

“I didn’t excel too highly in school, but I felt that I was moving ahead – and not just in boxing – but in life.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“I watched Muhammad Ali, how when he would speak, how it was such a thing of beauty. It sounded so wonderful. And I wanted to be like him.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“I wanted to win the gold medal and then go home and further my education in college. I had no intentions whatsoever to become a professional fighter because I had heard horror stories about former boxers who made money but, in the end, ended up with nothing. I didn’t want to be one of those guys.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“I went through real darkness, but the ring was my light. That was the one place I felt safe. I could control what happened in the ring. My heart turned icy.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“I wanted to be like Bruce Jenner.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“I came from nothing and achieved humungous fame and fortune. But I worked hard. I had discipline and determination. I had that ice in me.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“Boxing should focus on pitting champion versus champion – those are the fights that everyone wants to see. The sports also needs to work on developing new heroes and personalities. I’d like to see more vignettes on fighters, focusing on their lives, goals and stories. Boxers need to be larger than life.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“I was just such a quiet kid. I found boxing when I was 14 years old. I went down to the gym because my brother, who used to beat me up all the time, introduced me to boxing. I found boxing to be a sport that I felt safe in because I controlled what was in those four squares.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“To say what I would have been if I wasn’t boxing, I don’t know why, but I always wanted to be an x-ray technician or a substitute teacher. Those two occupations always stuck with me, maybe because my substitute teacher didn’t give us homework, or because I’ve always had x-rays of my hands.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“At 14, I was the most disciplined guy around. I would get up at 5 o’clock in the morning and run five miles, and then go to school. Sometimes I would run behind the school bus, and the kids thought I was just crazy. I knew what I wanted.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

67th of 97 Sugar Ray Leonard Quotes

“When I was fighting, I would look to excite the crowds with a bolo punch or something taunting. Looking back, they were legal – but not sportsmanlike. I don’t recommend another boxer try them. But we looked more to make the robot fights dramatic first and realistic second.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“There will always be something about two men in the ring – a mystique because it’s pure man-to-man competition. Because of the history boxing has and the tradition it holds, boxing will always have a that mystique.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“I remember all the important fights. Vividly. In detail.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“The Olympics meant everything to me. Going through them is like nothing else you will ever experience. For those few weeks, you are in another world. At that point, I couldn’t see how there could ever be anything better.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

117 inspiring Quotes by George Foreman

“The time to stop is when the other guy hits you more than you hit him.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“I was not athletically inclined. I was very quiet, introverted, non-confrontational. My three older brothers were athletes – basketball, football – but I was kind of a momma’s boy. Then one day, my brother Roger encouraged me to go to the boxing gym with him. I tried the gloves on, and it just felt so natural.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“Sugar Ray Robinson was probably the greatest pound-for-pound fighter of all time.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“I never met a person as determined as my mother. From working hard for six kids to just trying to keep the household down or maintain my father’s discipline, my dad, I’m so much like my father too. My father was so introverted, quiet, shy, nice. I got attributes from my father and mother.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“Without boxing, because of my neighborhoods, who knows what would have happened to me. It was always about following the leader. And I definitely was not a leader. Boxing gave me discipline; a sense of self. It made me more outspoken. It gave me more confidence.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“I watched Ali, studied Ali, and I studied Sugar Ray Robinson. I watched them display showmanship. I watched them use pizzazz, personality, and charisma. I took things from them and borrowed things from them because boxing is entertainment.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“Boxing is a sport, but it’s also entertainment. I wanted to transcend the sport and be considered just not as a fighter, or a champion, but someone very special.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“I’ve done a lot of things in my life that I’m not proud of.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“When you’re a boxer, there is a lot of downtime and long periods of inactivity.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

80th of 97 Sugar Ray Leonard Quotes

“I asked my kids, ‘Do you know what Papa used to do.’ They said, ‘You were a boxer, you won the Olympics!’ And that’s what they know.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“I made mistakes, but I’m luckier than most. I’ve got a successful business, lots of fans who think a lot of me and a family who loves me.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“I enjoy the school run and being a dad. Boxing will always be with me. I like that.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“Joe Frazier was the epitome of a champion. I mean, here is a guy who was total old school, blue collar, who would fight anybody. You know, he didn’t tell you he was the best fighter pound for pound.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

100 famous Quotes by Shannon Sharpe

“My very best memory of Montreal was the moment inside the Olympic arena when I was waiting under the stadium and those majestic gates opened up. It was a whole other world.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“Boxing’s a poor man’s sport. We can’t afford to play golf or tennis. It is what it is. It’s kept so many kids off the street. It kept me off the street.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“I don’t hold any regrets whatsoever about my life besides hurting people I loved.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“You get these moments in the ring that live forever. That’s what Muhammad Ali accomplished, and I hope that I have, too.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“People try to live vicariously through fighters, but it’s one-on-one; it’s primal. There’s no other feeling like it. The problem for me was accepting it – that nothing compares to being champ.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“I used to walk to the Washington Monument from North L Street Northwest. And I was so hungry at times, I would stop and look into the trash cans, and if there was a half a sandwich, I would take that sandwich and eat it. It was just a matter of survival. I didn’t think much of it, but it was just the way things were.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“I made an instant connection with boxing right away. Boxing became such a part of me. I ate boxing, I slept boxing, I lived boxing. Boxing was a way of expressing myself because I was not that outspoken.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“I always designed my robes and how I would present myself at every fight.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“Fighters display two things. They display confidence, or they display a look that says, ‘I’m not sure.’”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“The thing about boxers is that there’s respect there. You beat me, and I may not like it, but you know what, deep down inside, I respect you. And that’s the code of honor.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“I run three to four times a week. I go down to Orange County in California and I run all the time… all the time. You see the oceans, the trees. I like running in hot weather. I like to sweat and get all those toxins out of my system. I thoroughly enjoy it.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

51 Motivating Billie Jean King Quotes

“I run with music all the time. I cannot run without my iPod. I have everything. Teddy Pendergrass. Luther Van Dross. Michael Jackson. Outkast. If an Usher song comes on and it’s fast, I go fast.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“I learned to run backwards from Muhammad Ali. He told me about running backwards because you try to imitate everything you do in the ring, so sometimes you back up. So you have to train your legs to go backwards.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

“Normally, I would run with a group of guys in my camps. A couple of days before the fight, I would run by myself. That was my time to choreograph the fight in my head, so I needed to be myself.”― Sugar Ray Leonard

Sanjib Sah
Sanjib Sah
Sanjib Sah is an engineer and content writer passionate about sports and athletics. With a background in engineering and a love for all things active, Sanjib brings a unique perspective to the world of sports writing. Whether he is covering the latest trends in sports technology or sharing tips on improving your game, Sanjib's words are always rooted in a deep appreciation for players' hard work and dedication everywhere. In his free time, you can find him hitting the courts or hitting the trails, always looking for new ways to challenge himself and improve his skills.

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