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Sugar Ray Leonard Says He Was Sexually Abused By A Coach While Boxing In Utica

Brendon Thorne, Getty Images

Utica, NY (WIBX) – Hall of Fame boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard’s new book is due to be released next month. According to a New York Times article, “The Big Fight: My Life In and Out of the Ring” reveals tales of drug use, a troubled home life, becoming a teenage dad, and being sexually abused by a coach while attending a boxing event in Utica, NY. 

No sexual contact occurred between the coach and Leonard at the time, but several years later it did.

Here is a excerpt from the New York Times article.

Leonard writes that when the coach accompanied him as a 15-year-old and another young fighter to a boxing event in Utica, N.Y., in 1971, he had the teenagers take a bath in a tub of hot water and Epsom salts while he sat on the other side of the bathroom. They suspected “something a bit inappropriate” was occurring but did not want to question a strong male authority figure.

Several years later, Leonard describes sitting in a car in a deserted parking lot across from a recreation center, listening intently as the same coach, said to be in his late 40s, explained how much a gold medal at the 1976 Olympics would mean to his future.

Leonard was flattered, filled with hope, as any young athlete would be. But he writes: “Before I knew it, he had unzipped my pants and put his hand, then mouth, on an area that has haunted me for life. I didn’t scream. I didn’t look at him. I just opened the door and ran.”

Leonard, who fought his last bout in 1997, held titles in five different weight divisions and was the first boxer to earn $100 million in prize money.

Full New York Times Article

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