Report: Leonard says coach abused him

BY foxsports • May 17, 2011

Legendary boxer Sugar Ray Leonard says in an upcoming autobiography that a "prominent Olympic boxing coach" sexually abused him as a teen, according to a report.

In his book "The Big Fight: My Life In and Out of the Ring," Leonard says one of the incidents happened when he was 15, according to a New York Times article Tuesday. The coach, who was with Leonard and another young boxer at a New York boxing event in 1971, had the two fighters take a bath where "something a bit inappropriate" happened, Leonard wrote, according to the Times. The coach was on the other side of the bathroom, the newspaper reported.

Leonard, a boxing Hall of Famer and 1976 Olympic gold medalist, wrote that the coach sexually approached him a few years later when the two were in a car talking about the '76 Games.

"Before I knew it, he had unzipped my pants and put his hand, then mouth on an area that has haunted me for life," he wrote, according to the Times.

"I didn't scream. I didn't look at him. I just opened the door and ran."

Explaining his decision to come forward, Leonard, who turned 55 on Tuesday, wrote in the book: "Last year, after watching the actor Todd Bridges bare his soul on Oprah's show about how he was sexually abused as a kid, I realized I would never be free unless I revealed the whole truth, no matter how much it hurt."

The Times reported that Leonard did not want to comment when the newspaper contacted him. The newspaper said Leonard plans to promote the book in June.

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