• Sugar Ray Leonard paid tribute to Muhammad Ali on social media
  • Leonard recalled one interesting moment with Ali
  • The 64-year-old still recalls his first encounter with the late boxing legend

Sugar Ray Leonard has a handful of memories with arguably the greatest boxer of all time.

Modern-day boxing fans may not know, but six-time world champion Leonard was a good friend of the late boxing legend Muhammad Ali. Being world champions during their active years in the sport, Leonard and Ali would meet each other on some occasions.

Last weekend, Leonard decided to pay homage to Ali by posting an old photo of him with his late friend on Instagram accompanied by a never-before-heard story. According to the 64-year-old, he and Ali once shared a table in a fancy dinner, and he just did exactly the same thing the former undisputed champion did with his food.

“This is such a special moment in time, before I went to the Olympics or became a professional fighter,” Leonard recalled. “There was an awards dinner and I got a call at the last minute that they needed someone to present an award to [Ali]. I was shaking like a leaf, I had no idea what to do at such a fancy dinner.”

“There were so many utensils on the table I had no clue which one to grab,” he continued. “Then, Muhammad [Ali] grabbed his bun with his hands and dunked it in the gravy and guess what…I did the same thing. Thanks Champ.”

This wasn’t the first time Leonard recounted an unforgettable moment with Ali. In 2019, the Olympic gold medalist revealed the very first question Ali asked him during their first encounter.

Based on Leonard’s recollection, he wasn’t sure where and how he and Ali actually met for the first time. However, he will never forget how his “idol” asked him about his personal life.

“I met him through a friend. We had a chance to meet him probably in jersey or probably in Las Vegas. He was my idol, I looked at him and he was like ‘I know who you are’,” Leonard recalled of Ali.

“'You like boxing?’ I said ‘yes sir’,” he continued. “Then he said ’How long do you wait before you having sex before a fight?’ He said ‘do you like sex?’ I said ‘sometimes’, ’How long do you wait (stop having sex) before a fight? I said ‘a couple of days.’ He said ‘You’re a bad dude, you’re a bad dude’.”

Ali has made a huge impact not only in boxing but in the entire world as well. To this day, Leonard, along with an array of boxing greats, still looks up to him.

Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali, pictured April 23, 2013 at the World Iconic Forum, the legendary boxer who passed away a year ago had a way with words. Reuters