What does boxing need? Sugar Ray Leonard has some answers

Boxing

Sugar Ray Leonard knows about blockbuster boxing bouts.

The six-time world champion became a star during his classic fights against Roberto Duran, Tommy Hearns, and Marvin Hagler.

But the boxing world has yet to see the modern day equivalent: Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather.

“That’s a highly anticipated match that should’ve taken place years ago,” Leonard told Yahoo Sports’ Melanie Collins. “Why it hasn’t come to fruition, I don’t know.”

Also in the interview, Leonard explained why – in his mind - the bout needs to happen.

Even without Pacquiao vs. Mayweather, Sugar Ray believes the sport is still thriving – but the country’s amateur program needs to improve.

"It's become debilitating...There has to be ways where as that the public – boxing fans, the general public – can follow these boxers as they work their way towards winning the (Olympic) gold medal.”

Leonard believes one man who is helping the cause is promoter Michael King.

King, founder and CEO of King Sports, is promoting a fight this Wednesday night in Santa Monica between Hassan N'Dam and Curtis Stevens for a shot at the IBF Middleweight Championship.

“Michael King is well known as a entertainment icon,” Leonard said. “He has that vision and he has a passion that can really give a shot of adrenaline to the sport of boxing.”

N’Dam is a former middleweight champion and Stevens is currently the 6th-ranked middleweight in the world. The undercard begins at 6 p.m. Pacific and will be aired nationally on ESPN2.

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