Customer Review

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Searingly honest autobiography, 29 Feb 2012
This review is from: The Big Fight: My Story (Paperback)
For anyone growing up in the late seventies and early eighties they will remember four names from boxing: Duran, Hagler, Hearns and Leonard. The late George Kimball's excellent book `Four Kings' covered this era and looked at the four fighters, yet here is a book written by one of those members of that elite club: Sugar Ray Leonard.

He first captured the public's imagination by winning a Gold medal at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. A few years after turning professional he won the World welterweight title from Wilfred Benitez and then between defences and comebacks fought the premium pound for pound best of his day: Duran, Hearns and Hagler in some of the most exciting and eagerly anticipated contests of the last half century.

Sugar Ray Leonard was big box office and on the outside seemed to have it all: money, fame, respect, a loving family and a lasting legacy in the Parthenon of All Time Greats. Yet this heartfelt autobiography reveals a much darker and far more complicated story than that.

I grew up believing the hype which the media presented: Sugar Ray Leonard the `Golden Boy' of boxing, the natural successor to Muhammad Ali (with Ali's legendary trainer Angelo Dundee in his corner), with his charm, winning smile and intelligence he appeared to have it all.

For the first time Leonard puts the record straight and a whole new story emerges as well as a more flawed and human Sugar Ray.

As I read this my jaw kept dropping as the revelations mounted. I will not reveal them here as you should read the book yourself but let's just say he did not have it easy!

Very early in life his trust was betrayed by those who should have had his interests at the forefront. He was dogged with hand trouble (a fighter's most important tools) as far back as his amateur career and this was one of the main reasons he announced his retirement after winning the Gold medal.

Some of the episodes here are familiar and Leonard is not alone as a sports star who has delved into alcohol, drugs and groupies, yet it is his searing honesty that impresses. This is no vanity project, rather it reads like a public exorcism as he rids himself of all his demons of the past and attempts to come to terms with what has made him the person he is. The answers may shock some fans of his.

I count myself as a fan of Leonard and believe he has been incredibly brave here. He could have easily written a straightforward account of his ring career and cherry picked episodes from his life to put him in the best light. Instead he shows us everything, even the most ugly episodes and heartbreaking moments and believe me he has had more than his fair share.

I went into this recalling the superstar of my youth, the media creation, the Hollywood version if you like. By the book's end I felt I had been granted access to a much murkier world where the main character had been through heaven and hell. This is a raw, engrossing and powerful account of the truth behind the myth and I recommend this to everyone who enjoys autobiographies whether they are a boxing fan or not.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

4.4 out of 5 stars (44 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (27)
4 star:
 (12)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:
 (2)
 
 
 
11.99 10.36
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Top Reviewer Ranking: 4,503