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

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In this unflinching and inspiring autobiography, the boxing legend faces his single greatest competitor: himself.

Sugar Ray Leonard's brutally honest and uplifting memoir reveals in intimate detail for the first time the complex man behind the boxer. The Olympic hero, multichampionship winner, and beloved athlete waged his own personal battle with depression, rage, addiction, and greed.

Coming from a tumultuous, impoverished household and a dangerous neighborhood on the outskirts of Washington, D.C., in the 1970s, Sugar Ray Leonard rose swiftly and skillfully through the ranks of amateur boxing-and eventually went on to win a gold medal in the 1976 Olympics. With an extremely ill father and no endorsement deals, Leonard decided to go pro.

The Big Fight takes readers behind the scenes of a notoriously corrupt sport and chronicles the evolution of a champion, as Leonard prepares for the greatest fights of his life-against Marvin Hagler, Roberto Duran, Tommy Hearns, and Wilfred Benitez. At the same time Leonard fearlessly reveals his own contradictions and compulsions, his infidelity, and alcohol and cocaine abuse.

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.

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THE BIG FIGHT: My Life In and Out of the Ring

User Review  - Kirkus

Not a knockout, but a revealing confession from a champ who was often accused of being a packaged TV commodity.Leonard was the right fighter at the right time—an Olympic gold medalist, articulate ... Read full review

My Life In and Out of the Ring

User Review  - Book Verdict

The 1976 Olympic gold medal winner here chronicles a life that hasn't been all glow. Having risen from poverty, Leonard turned pro after his Olympic win and discovered just how corrupt boxing could be ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Sugar Ray Leonard worked as a boxing analyst for ABC and HBO after retiring from the ring. He lives with his wife and two children in California.

Michael Arkush is an award-winning sportswriter and has written thirteen books, including The Last Season with Phil Jackson, The Big Fight with Sugar Ray Leonard, "Rush!" the bestselling unauthorized biography of Rush Limbaugh, and Fairways and Dreams. Arkush lives in Oak View, California, with his wife, Pauletta.

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