Sugar Ray Leonard’s Son Spoke Out About What His Dad Sadly Did To His Mother
Sugar Ray Leonard is a boxing legend but what his son, Ray Leonard Jr., has recently disclosed about him, just affirms what we always say here at ILOSM- that the old school legends we admire are great entertainers, or in Sugar Ray’s case, great athletes, but that doesn’t mean that they are perfect people, nor should we expect them to be…they are simply flawed human beings, just like the rest of us.
In a past interview, Leonard Jr. talked to WSOCTV News about being a kid and seeing his Dad, Sugar Ray Leonard, beat his mother, Juanita Wilkinson, until her ‘head was bloody.’ He says he often has feelings of guilt, still to this day, for not doing more to try to stop his Dad’s alleged abuse at that time. Here is what was reported:
“It’s still overwhelming that you know…I can’t believe it still bothers me to this day. I try to put on this outward appearance of this strong guy,” [said Ray Leonard Jr.] He said appearing strong was a way of life, growing up as the son of a boxing legend. He [explained] how quickly fame hit his family and how tough it was on them all. Leonard said the violence he witnessed is still crystal clear in his memory. He recalled an incident at 12 years old, when his dad came home and his mom asked her son (Ray Leonard Jr.) not to go.
“She was saying ‘Ray [Jr.] don’t…don’t leave…don’t leave, and then I got back upstairs and her head’s bloody and…I screamed at him and he left.”
Leonard says he still deals with those memories and wants to help others going through the same thing…Leonard hopes to help men in our community to heal and inspire them to help others.
“It’s about taking the power back, about having courage, about not letting someone take your happiness away from you.”
Sugar Ray Owns Up To His Actions
In 1990 Sugar Ray and Juanita divorced and during their divorce proceedings, Juanita said that he abused her when he was under the influence of alcohol and cocaine (Sugar Ray has be clean since 2006). Sugar Ray then held a press conference to say Juanita’s claims were true:
“I can never erase the pain or the scars I have made through my stupidity, my selfishness. All I can do is say I’m sorry, but that is not enough,” Sugar Ray said. -via Jet Magazine, 1991
At the time of his prior interview, Leonard Jr. also said that he hopes to have his Pops join him on his domestic violence speaking tour one day, and we hope so too, because it will probably be therapeutic for the both of them.