Five-weight world champion Sugar Ray Leonard in top form

Kevin Maree with Sugar Ray
Kevin Maree with Sugar Ray

Five-weight world boxing champion Sugar Ray Leonard was the latest high-profile name to hold a ‘meet and greet’ with guests at Stirk House.

On the back of the visit of Thomas “Hitman” Hearns, who was beaten by Sugar in Ring Magazine’s 1981 Fight of the Year, the 58-year-old American signed autographs, posed for photographs and met Maree Boxing stablemates Qasim Niaz, Mark Heffron, Yassine El Maachi and Alex McCloy.

The North Carolina fighter, who won gold in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, culminated his career with 36 wins, with 25 by way of knockout, from 40 contests.

“The event was a total sell out,” said organiser Kevin Maree. “Sugar Ray was in great form. When I asked him who would win in a fight between him and Mayweather Jnr he said ‘I beat his father easily so I’d say like father, like son’.”

In a moving tribute, Sugar Ray was then pictured with a bandana in recognition of the Brain Tumour Charity on the anniversary of Kevin’s mother, Joan’s, death. His sister, Laura, is an ambassador for the charity.