Boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard is in Las Vegas for the debut of Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions on NBC this Saturday. Sugar Ray will be the boxing analyst on the program along with host Al Michaels and blow-by-blow announcer Marv Albert. If anyone questioned Al Haymon’s commitment to bringing boxing back to network television in a big way, that line-up alone should prove that he means business.
Sean Zittel of ThaBoxingVoice had a moment with Sugar Ray Leonard to ask him a few questions about the upcoming super fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. As a legend that has been involved in some of the biggest fights of all time, Sugar Ray has a great perspective on the magnitude of the fight and believes it has already lived up to the lofty expectations many have for it.
Sugar Ray had this to say regarding Mayweather-Pacquiao entering the pantheon of his own legendary fights,
“Oh, it already has as far as the build-up and the anticipation of it. This is a global fight. This is one of those highly anticipated fights… This is a fight that the world has been waiting for, boxing fans have been waiting for, and it’s gonna happen.”
The general consensus around the sport is that the fight has lost some of its luster over the years and should have been made 5-6 years ago. Sugar Ray Leonard is confident that the fight would have been at its peak no matter when it was made.
“It’s at its peak; it’s at its peak. If it was happening 15 years from [now], it would be at its peak because of what both of these guys bring to the table. Mayweather undefeated and Pacquiao with an incredible record himself… it was meant to be. It was meant to happen.”
Ray then brought it all back around and connected the timing to the reason he is in Vegas this weekend; PBC on NBC.
“… also the fact that with PBC on NBC now bringing boxing back to network television… that combined with the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight… is such a plus.”
Ray is right. Having something as massive as Mayweather-Pacquiao happen two months after boxing returns to primetime network television is truly serendipitous. While the public interest in boxing is being sparked by Mayweather-Pacquiao, they are being given every opportunity to get reacquainted with the sport during the lead up to the May 2nd super fight. If you care about the sport at all, the timing couldn’t be any better.
You can hear Sugar Ray Leonard on the debut of Premier Boxing Champions live on NBC this Saturday, March 7th, 2015.