Sugar Ray Leonard & Other Noble Warriors

Sam Toperoff, Author McGraw-Hill Companies $15.95 (212p) ISBN 978-0-07-065003-9
Leonard, Olympic gold-medalist in 1976, became a media favorite and the biggest money winner of any nonheavyweight boxer in the late '70s and early '80s. Toperoff, a former English professor and contributor of boxing articles to Sports Illustrated, Sport and other magazines, sees Leonard as the best fighter of his time and uses the boxer's career as his point of departure for a paean to the ""sweet science.'' He is well aware of the seamy side of the sport and gives a fair hearing to those who agitate for its abolition, then dismisses them. What comes across strongly is Toperoff's love for the ring, where life is ``primitive, savage, but direct, honest, pure.'' However, his devotion to Leonard is so great that he downplays the fighter's many ``retirements,'' which some saw as manipulation of the media, and he does not mention the widespread rumor that the second fight with Roberto Duran was fixed. Those who share the author's fascination with the sport will enjoy the book. 15,000 first printing; $15,000 ad/promo.(November 24)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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