In an autobiography due to be released in June by Viking Press, Hall of Famer "Sugar" Ray Leonard says he was sexually abused at a 1971 boxing tournament by a "prominent Olympic boxing coach."
In "The Big Fight: My Life In and Out of the Ring," the retired legend writes that he and another fighter were in a hot tub filled with Epsom salts when they suspected he unnamed coach was doing "something a bit inappropriate" on the other side of the bathroom. Leonard writes that he and the other teen-aged boxer did not want to question their coach about the incident.
A few years later, the same coach made a sexual advance toward Leonard, the fighter says, while the two sat in a parked car outside a recreation facility.
"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 writes in a passage excerpted from the book by the. "I didn't scream. I didn't look at him. I just opened the door and ran."
Leonard, 55, also details other problems, including his battle with drugs, alcohol, marital infidelity and domestic issues, and admits he had a drinking problem later in life.
The legendary boxer won an Olympic gold medal as a light welterweight in 1976 at Montreal, then went on to capture world titles in five weight classes as a pro.
Dennis Taylor is editor/publisher of www.ringsideboxingshow.com and co-host of The Boxing Show.