The Big Fight: My Life In and Out of the Ring

By Sugar Ray Leonard

In his big apple occasions bestselling memoir, one in every of America’s maximum boxing legends faces his unmarried maximum competitor: himselfIn Washington, D.C., through the Nineteen Seventies, a black guy may get into the newspapers in a single of 2 methods: crime—or boxing. “Sugar” Ray Leonard selected to struggle. After successful a gold medal on the 1976 Olympics, Ray desired to name it quits and visit collage, yet his family’s monetary wishes made him cross seasoned. Boxing background was once made. the entire whereas, one other, darker Ray—one crushed via melancholy, rage, drug habit, sexual abuse, and greed—battled for dominance. within the mammoth struggle, Ray involves phrases with either those males and stocks a brutally sincere and remarkably inspiring portrait of the increase, fall, and supreme redemption of a real fighter—inside and outdoors the hoop.

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Ray, examine the damage that you'd do for your childrens should you have been arrested for drug possession,” he mentioned. “The harm could final eternally. ” I didn’t reply, yet after he took off, I went to my room and cried for an hour. I haven’t performed coke considering the fact that. nonetheless, the arguments with Juanita grew to become nastier and my behavior extra inexcusable. I didn’t desire cocaine to be an asshole. “That’s it,” she acknowledged one evening in overdue 1987 after I informed her i wouldn't cease ingesting. “I’m leaving, and the children are going with me. ” I couldn’t permit that ensue. inspite of the alcohol in my process, I got here up with a plan, simply as I did within the ring every time I felt my virtue slipping away. I retrieved the . 38 computerized I saved in a bit field and fired a chain of pictures on the television set within the bed room, items of glass scattering in every single place. If Juanita feared that i would kill myself, i used to be certain she’d run up the steps and never depart my sight. She by no means got here. the following sound I heard was once the slamming of the auto door. i thought for years that she didn’t pay attention the pictures, yet she heard them loud and transparent. She didn’t come upstairs simply because she was once afraid i used to be simply loopy sufficient to shoot her. but, after a number of days, Juanita used to be again domestic, granting me one other likelihood. I blew it, after all, as I did the others, and while she back threatened to depart after the subsequent altercation, I took a can of kerosene from the storage and poured its contents at the flooring within the lobby. i used to be not anything if no longer artistic. “If you permit me, I promise i'll burn this condo down,” I stated. She left. She knew i used to be bluffing. i used to be constantly bluffing. the home smelled of kerosene for days. but she back once again. Juanita was once both silly or a saint. The evening that at last ended our marriage healthy the trend completely: me wasted, her ranting. I demanded she surrender her marriage ceremony ring, which I then put on my finger. because the argument grew extra heated, I gave her a bit shove, unintentionally scraping Juanita at the brow with the ring’s huge diamond. Blood trickled down the bridge of her nostril. i used to be horrified. How may perhaps i've got performed this to the lady I enjoyed? while, she had driven my buttons, yet that’s no excuse. I wish to think that used to be the alcoholic in me, now not the true me. Juanita didn't panic. She evenly packed her luggage, rounded up the lads, and loaded them into the automobile. I went outdoors to aim to prevent them. I didn’t have a prayer. “Leave my momma by myself! ” Jarrel, 3, yelled. “I hate you. I hate you. ” His phrases harm worse than any punishment I ever absorbed within the ring. Ray Jr. , fourteen, additionally defended his mom, his eyes jam-packed with anger. As I stood at nighttime observing them force to front gate, i noticed the perimeters were drawn. It used to be now not basically a struggle among husband and spouse. It was once 3 opposed to one. I by no means felt so by myself in my lifestyles. Juanita didn’t get back after a number of days this time. She by no means got here again. Ray Jr. did. initially, I figured he got here again for me, to end up he used to be on my facet in any case, and to determine if lets determine the closeness that had regularly been lacking from our courting.

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