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The No. 1 Hard Hitter: Sugar Ray Leonard

Sugar Ray Leonard, No. 1 Issue
Jeff Newton
Sugar Ray Leonard, 55, is the author of "The Big Fight: My Life in and out of the Ring."

I grew up near D.C. We didn't have much money. When I moved to L.A. after I retired—one of my many retirements—a friend invited me to play. I said, "Golf? In my hood, you don't play golf." When I finished, I was drained mentally, but I loved it. I remember getting so excited about a triple-bogey.

A triple! Boxing and golf are similar in so many ways, and not just, "Keep your head down." Finesse. Psychological warfare. Warrior mentality. And guys make excuses. They complain about their bad back. Well, Tiger won the U.S. Open with a broken leg. THAT'S a warrior.

Golf makes you face your fears. Marvin Hagler wasn't scary. Roberto Duran? Nah. A downhill 3-footer? That's scary! When I was young, boxing saved me. In a way, golf has saved me, too. I wish I'd found this sport years ago. Golf has made me more solid. More balanced. Other places, my mind races. On the course, my mind is calm, focused, ordered, like it was in the ring. Golf gives me peace.

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