Terry Norris vs Sugar Ray Leonard – Highlights (Norris DOMINATES Leonard)


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February 9th, 1991. On this day, a prime 24 year old “Terrible” Terry Norris takes on the great “Sugar” Ray Leonard who was the 3-1 favorite despite being past his best. This is Norris’ 2nd defense of his WBC World Super Welterweight Championship.

Prefight records; Norris 26(14)-3, Leonard 36(25)-1-1.

In December 1989, Ray Leonard defeats the legendary “Mano de Piedra” Roberto Duran via UD in the rubber match of their great trilogy and retired from the sport for the 3rd time.

Leonard’s retirement is short lived as he comes back 14 months later to challenge “Terrible” Terry Norris in a bid to become World Champion at 154 for the 2nd time.

In July 1989, Terry Norris fought in his 1st world title fight against power punching Julian “The Hawk” Jackson for the WBC Super Welterweight Championship. Norris suffered a devastating KO loss in the 2nd round.

However, in the same year Norris rebounded with 3 consecutive wins to earn a 2nd crack at the WBC Super Welterweight Crown in June 1990. This time against another power puncher; John Mugabi aka “The Beast” where Norris scored a stunning 1st round knockout to become World Champion for the 1st time.

His victory was named by The Ring as Knockout of the Year 1990.

4 months later, Norris outpointed Frenchman Rene Jacquot in his 1st defense of the title. His 2nd defense would be against Ray Leonard who made a comeback after 14 months of inactivity.

At this point, the legendary Sugar Ray Leonard had won world titles in 5 different weight classes; Welterweight, Light Middleweight,Middleweight, Super Middleweight, Light Heavyweight and had beaten a great number of notable opponents such as Marcos Geraldo, Pete Ranzany, Dave Boy Green, Ayub Kalule, Armando Muniz, Randy Shields, Johnny Gant, Floyd Mayweather Sr, Donny Lalonde, Wilfred Benitez, Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hearns & Roberto Duran (2x).

On the other hand, Norris had noteworthy wins over the likes of Steve Little, Quincy Taylor, Jorge Vaca, Rene Jacquot, John Mugabi & Buster Drayton.

Despite being 11 years older and inactive for the past 14 months, Leonard was a surprising 3-1 favorite. The odds were proven flawed, as Norris predictably dominates Leonard from pillar to post for 36 minutes and floored him twice en route to a lopsided UD victory.

Although it was apparent that Leonard’s age and inactivity had caught up with him but still the great Sugar Ray not only displayed a great fighting heart (despite a losing effort) but in a few rare occasions he showed flashes of his younger self. But needless to say, it was not nearly enough.

Norris had stated that he held back and carried Leonard as he has tremendous respect for Leonard, and did not want to hurt him too badly.

After the loss, Leonard stated it would be his last fight. .

However, Leonard un-retire for the 5th time and made an ill advised comeback to fight Hector Camacho and suffered his 1st and only KO loss in his pro career that spanned 20 years. After this loss, he retired for good with a final record of 36(25)-3-1 as a 5 weight world champion.

While I am aware that Leonard is well past his prime at this juncture, but it was still a dazzling display of Norris’ superb boxing skills!

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