Indiana State University Newsroom

Sugar Ray Leonard to wrap up 2014-15 University Speakers Series

March 23, 2015


Boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard will close out the 2014-15 University Speakers Series at Indiana State University.

The Olympic gold medalist, three-time Golden Gloves titlist and six-time world champion boxer will speak at 7 p.m. April 7 in Tilson Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Leonard is among the most sought after motivational/inspirational speakers in the world today. His speech, titled "POWER" (Prepare, Overcome, and Win Every Round), is consistently booked with major Fortune 500 companies in the United States and abroad.

Born in 1956, Leonard learned to box at age 14. After winning the 1975 Pan-American Games crown and an Olympic Gold Medal in 1976, he turned professional to help his family defer mounting medical bills stemming from his father's illness. Blinding speed, tremendous power and great charm turned Leonard into an immediate media favorite. Howard Cosell called him the "new Muhammed Ali."

Leonard won his first professional fight at age 20 and went on to defeat some of the finest boxers of the modern era, including Wilfred Benitez, Roberto Duran, Thomas Hearns and Marvin Hagler, from whom Leonard won the world middleweight title. During his 20-year professional career, Leonard also won world titles in the welterweight, junior middleweight, super middleweight and light heavyweight divisions. He was the first boxer to win world titles in five different weight classes.

While his name is synonymous with boxing - his professional record is 36-3-1 - Leonard is also an entrepreneur, an author and a broadcaster. His 2011 autobiography "The Big Fight: My Life In and Out of the Ring" (Viking) describes how he faced his single greatest competitor: himself. His brutally honest and uplifting memoir revealed in intimate detail the complex man behind the beloved athlete and his battle with depression, rage, addiction and greed.

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.

1n 2013, Leonard's new contemporary athletic men's clothing collection debuted. Through his online community,, Leonard connects with fans through the sport of boxing, general fitness and philanthropy. It includes updates from the Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation, which helps fight diabetes and child obesity. Leonard also shares photos and video footage from his personal archives.

Leonard was host and mentor for the first, second and third seasons of the critically-acclaimed series, "Contender," on NBC and ESPN. Leonard recently appeared in the Paramount Pictures feature film "The Fighter" and served as a consultant on "Real Steal," DreamWorks and Walt Disney Pictures' hit film starring Hugh Jackman. His media credits also include competing on the hit ABC series, "Dancing with the Stars."

Successful business ventures aside, Leonard has always been devoted to the community and to helping those in need. For many years, Leonard has been the international chairman of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk for a Cure. He also participates in a variety of national and international causes benefiting children's charities.

Leonard has four children and lives in Southern California with his wife Bernadette.

Photo: - Sugar Ray Leonard

Media contact: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or