Will Sugar Ray whisper sweet nothings into our boxers’ ears?

2011-08-20 22:19

Sugar Ray Leonard, arguably Sweet Science’s best practitioner of all time, will be an inspiration to the local fight fraternity, according to boxing connoisseurs.

What’s more, the American legend, who will be the Department of Sport and Recreation’s guest at tonight’s SA Sports Awards at Sun City, will also be therapy for South African boxing, which is in the intensive care unit, they say.

The one-time breathtakingly fast Leonard, who thrilled fans with his reflexes and uncanny eyesight, has elicited excitement with his visit.

Welcome “Hawk” Ncita, the former International Boxing Federation junior featherweight champion, pointed out that the multiple world champion should be quizzed.

“South Africans should interrogate Leonard, and find out how we can save our boxing from the doldrums it’s in,” said Ncita.

“The man should give the country and individual fighters tips on how to reach stardom.”

Phetogo Mofulatsi, one of the few female managers in the country, emphasised that any South African who meets Leonard will never be the same.

“We’d like to see into his brain and find out what made him such a remarkable boxer and influential man,” she said.

Old timer and once left-hook exponent Ben “TNT” Lekalake stressed that meeting heroes of Leonard’s calibre should inspire greatness.
 
“Fighters privileged to meet Leonard will be boosted psychologically,” he said.

Promoter Thulani Magudulela intimated that Leonard’s presence will light up Sun City.

“We will be motivated to reach for the stars after rubbing shoulders with Leonard,” he said. “Yoyo! Imagine shaking the hand of Sugar Ray.”

The awards will be adjudicated across 16 different categories, and the Minister’s Award as well as the Steve Tshwete Lifetime Achievement will be conferred.

Leonard, who will be visiting our shores for the second time, made his mark internationally when winning the light welterweight gold medal in the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal.

He went on to become a giant, beating a number of greats including Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hearns and Roberto Duran.

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