Sugar Ray Leonard Reveals Sexual Abuse by His Boxing Coach

Leo ReyesAnalyst IMay 18, 2011

Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Thomas Hearns
Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Thomas HearnsMike Powell/Getty Images

Legendary boxer Sugar Ray Leonard revealed in his new autobiography he was once a victim of sexual abuse when he was a teenager by a top Olympic boxing coach.

The alleged sexual abuse happened in 1971 in Utica, New York when as a teenager he was abused by a prominent Olympic coach along with another teenager. reports, "The coach got them to take a bath while he sat on the other side of the bathroom - and they thought it was ‘inappropriate’ but not want to question him, he wrote."

"Then several years later Leonard said he was sitting in a car in an empty car park and listened as the same coach explained the importance of an Olympic gold medal," the report added.

"Before I knew it, he had unzipped my pants and put his hand, then mouth, on an area that has haunted me for life," Leonard wrote.

"I didn’t scream. I didn’t look at him. I just opened the door and ran," he added.

But Leonard's first trainer, Dave Jacobs, once told the New York Times he is not aware of the allegations despite having know Leonard since his childhood.

"He never talked about that to me and no one in the group ever mentioned it, so I assume he never talked about it to them either," Jacobs said.

"But if that incident did happen, I feel sorry for him in that part of his life and for having to carry that around with him."

Leonard likewise revealed his drug and alcohol use in his autobiography.

Leonard, who is the first boxer to earn $100 million in purses, has won titles in five weight divisions. Among his most celebrated matches were against Thomas Hearns, Roberto Duran and Marvin Hagler.

Sugar ended his career after losing his last two fights against Terry Morris and Hector Camacho. He retired with a record of 33-3-1 with 25 knockouts.