LinkedIn Twitter Facebook
April 25-27, 2017
Hilton San Diego Bayfront

Search form

< Back to Agenda

2017 Keynote Address - Sugar Ray Leonard


2017 Keynote Speaker

Sugar Ray Leonard is one of the legendary sports icons of the 20th century, a man whose very name epitomizes boxing and conjures the image of a champion.


Leonard published his first autobiography (Viking Books) entitled THE BIG FIGHT: My Life In and Out of the Ring on June 7, 2011. In this unflinching and inspiring autobiography, the boxing legend faces his single greatest competitor: himself.


Leonard's brutally honest and uplifting memoir reveals, in intimate detail for the first time, the complex man behind the boxer. The Olympic hero, six-time champion, and beloved athlete waged his own personal battle with depression, rage, addiction and greed.


With honesty, humor, and hard-won perspective, Leonard comes to terms with both triumph and struggle – and presents a gripping portrait of remarkable strength, courage, and resilience, both in and out of the ring.


In fall 2013, Leonard debuted his new contemporary athletic men's collection with Starting Lineup, available at Saks Fifth Avenue and Through his online community – – Leonard connects with fans through the sport of boxing, general fitness, and philanthropy. The site features everything you need to know about Leonard’s exciting boxing career and the sport in general, as well as updates from the Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation, which helps fight diabetes and child obesity. Leonard also shares photos and video footage from his personal archives.


Leonard was host and mentor for the first, second, and third seasons of the critically acclaimed series, Contender, on NBC and ESPN. Contender was produced by DreamWorks Television and Mark Burnett Productions. Leonard recently appeared in the critically acclaimed Paramount Pictures feature film The Fighter. Leonard also recently served as a consultant on DreamWorks and Walt Disney Pictures’ hit film starring Hugh Jackman Real Steel.


Having learned to box at the age of 14, Leonard's illustrious career includes three National Golden Gloves titles, two Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) championships, and the 1975 Pan-American Games crown. After winning a gold medal in boxing at the 1976 Olympic Games, he turned professional to help his family defer mounting medical bills incurred because of his father's illness. Blinding speed, tremendous power, and great charm turned Leonard into an immediate media favorite. The late Howard Cosell called Leonard the "new Muhammad Ali."


In 1977, at the age of 20, Leonard won his first professional fight, setting the stage for a collection of the most memorable fights in history. He went on to defeat some of the finest boxers of the modern era, including Wilfred Benitez, Roberto Duran, Thomas Hearns, and Marvin Hagler, from whom Leonard won the world middleweight title. During his 20-year professional career, Leonard also won world titles in the welterweight, junior middleweight, super middleweight, and light heavyweight divisions. He was the first boxer to win world titles in five different weight classes.


Leonard's sincere, charismatic personality – coupled with his ring experience – led to a successful career as a television broadcaster for NBC, ABC, HBO, and ESPN. His television credits also include competing on the hit ABC series, Dancing with the Stars. In addition, his celebrity status and tremendous crossover appeal fostered commercial endorsement relationships with numerous companies including EA Sports, Vartec Telecom, Track Inc., Ford, Carnation, 7-Up, Nabisco, Coca-Cola, and Revlon. Leonard is also among the most sought after motivational/inspirational speakers in the world today. His speech, titled "POWER" (Prepare, Overcome, and Win Every Round), is consistently booked with major Fortune 500 companies in the United States and abroad.


Successful business ventures aside, Leonard has always been devoted to the community and to helping those in need. For many years, Leonard has been the international chairman of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk for a Cure. Leonard has a passion to help fund research and awareness for type 1 and 2 diabetes and obesity prevention. In 2009, Leonard and his wife Bernadette started the Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation and have been supporting the life-changing programs at the Center for Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.


The Leonards have always been devoted to the community and to helping those in need. Leonard also participates in and speaks on a variety of national and international causes benefiting children's charities. He connects with audiences through the sport of boxing, fitness and philanthropy.


Leonard is featured in the 2016 film Hands of Stone, which spotlights his two bouts with Duran. In the film, music and film star Usher plays Leonard. The film also stars Robert De Niro, Edgar Ramirez, and Ellen Barkin.


Leonard has four children and lives in Southern California with his wife Bernadette.


All-Access Badge required for this event.

This activity is sponsored by:
Havas Edge



Class Date: 
Tuesday, 25 April 2017 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm
Class type: 


Hilton San Diego Bayfront