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Thread: Sugar Ray Leonard vs. John Mugabi@160lbs.

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    Sugar Ray Leonard vs. John Mugabi@160lbs.

    What would have happened had Sugar Ray Leonard had fought a fearsome fighter in John Mugabi at middleweight? Sugar Ray Leonard is no doubt a great fighter. He has won title in mutiple divisions, but I do not think that it is an accident that both Sugar Ray Leonard and Tommy Hearns never fought John the Beast Mugabi. Mugabi was a super strong and devastating knockout punching middleweight that struck terror in the hearts at 160. Pre-Hagler Mugabi was a very fearsome fighting man. His fight with Hagler was very brutal with Hagler winning by knockout, but neither Mugabi nor Hagler was the same fighter again. My question is how does SRL beat Mugabi? The Leonard that fought Hagler in 1987 did not fight the same Hagler that fought Hearns and Mugabi. Would Leonard's boxing skills be enough to off set Mugabi's strength and power over 12-15 rounds? Mugabi definitely was not the same fighter post Hagler. His losses to Duane Thomas, Terry Norris, and Gerald McClennan were early tko/ko losses. Hagler took some very hard body shots from Mugabi as well as to the chin. Leonard at 160 was also a mixed bag. He wins a narrow/controversial decision against Hagler, beat LaLonde, gift draw with Hearns, boring win in rubber match with Duran, and gets beat by Norris and Camacho. But back to SRL vs. Mugabi... who wins and why at 160?

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    Re: Sugar Ray Leonard vs. John Mugabi@160lbs.

    Ray IMO will need to go 12 in this one. Hagler worked Mugabi all night and took 11 rds to end it. Hagler was a stronger man than Ray all over. I reckon Leonard's footspeed and slickness can see him earn a close win. Mugabi pressing and pressing but eating a lot of counters, flurries, and maybe even being hurt along the way.

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    Re: Sugar Ray Leonard vs. John Mugabi@160lbs.

    Leonard by close decision, after he climbs off the deck once or twice. If he's wearing his track shoes ala the Hagler fight. He'll frustrate Mugabi, who will still be coming on strong at the end. Leonard has nothing that would appreciably hurt the prime Mugabi, just score and frustrate. Ray trades with The Beast more than briefly, he gets flattened...

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    Re: Sugar Ray Leonard vs. John Mugabi@160lbs.

    Leonard would have boxed circles around Mugabi. The beast is a simple puncher.

    Leonard would be having fun by the 9th round. Not smiling, but not in any trouble. Leonard that competed with Hagler beat the Hagler that KO'ed Mugabi.

    Leonard did not take much punishment. He was more tired than anything.

    Leonard ain't great for nothing.

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    Re: Sugar Ray Leonard vs. John Mugabi@160lbs.

    Quote Originally Posted by JLP 6
    Leonard would have boxed circles around Mugabi. The beast is a simple puncher.

    Leonard would be having fun by the 9th round. Not smiling, but not in any trouble. Leonard that competed with Hagler beat the Hagler that KO'ed Mugabi.

    Leonard did not take much punishment. He was more tired than anything.

    Leonard ain't great for nothing.
    Don't forget it was the Mugabi fight that inspired Leonard the Ever-Opportunist to come back against Hagler.

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    Re: Sugar Ray Leonard vs. John Mugabi@160lbs.

    Leonard was no cupcake puncher, he had the armament to stop John and he would.

    Speed kills and Terry Norris did the job on the Beast, he was faded and jaded a bit but still a Leonard in his prime would rain on this guy and Mugabi could not hit Ray in the ass with a handful of rice.

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    Re: Sugar Ray Leonard vs. John Mugabi@160lbs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Lipton
    Leonard was no cupcake puncher, he had the armament to stop John and he would.

    Speed kills and Terry Norris did the job on the Beast, he was faded and jaded a bit but still a Leonard in his prime would rain on this guy and Mugabi could not hit Ray in the ass with a handful of rice.
    Ron, Hagler went at the Beast all night and hit him with so many shots, heavy shots, and took 11 rds. Also, Marvin's chin allowed him to openly trade with the Beast. I think Ray will need to be a lot more careful. Good chin, but not like Marvin's. Ray could be hurt and stunned, and against the Beast that could be fatal.

    I see Ray using that footspeed to dazzle and bewilder the Beast, all the while building up scores and rds. Yes, he may tag him and hurt him, but that is where he could get Kod himself (should he go all out for the kill) from a heavy counter punch. No, Ray needs to play it safe for a points win.

    Norris not only beat a faded Beast, but also a weight drained beast. No way Terry defeats a 1986 Beast. He gets Kod
    Last edited by walshb; 01-26-2011 at 07:48 PM.

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    Re: Sugar Ray Leonard vs. John Mugabi@160lbs.

    Which Leonard are we talking about? Junior MW Leonard (most of Mugabi's career was fought a Jr. MW) stopped Ayub Kalule in 9, a quintessential African prizefighter. Tough, strong, stolid but not particularly busy. A sweet win for Sugar. Or are we talking about the Ray that hadn't fought in 3 years and then fought Hagler? A Big Difference.

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    Re: Sugar Ray Leonard vs. John Mugabi@160lbs.

    Quote Originally Posted by sr71ko
    What would have happened had Sugar Ray Leonard had fought a fearsome fighter in John Mugabi at middleweight? Sugar Ray Leonard is no doubt a great fighter. He has won title in mutiple divisions, but I do not think that it is an accident that both Sugar Ray Leonard and Tommy Hearns never fought John the Beast Mugabi.
    I'm a Leonard fan but realise at the same moment that in his career he chose a very save road. With John the Beast Mugabi he had too much too lose and too little to gain.
    Last edited by Theo Netherland; 01-27-2011 at 03:06 PM.

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    Agreed

    Leonard was a pretty big pussy who avoided all the tough challenges during his career.

    Future HOFer WIlfred Benitez

    Then Pound for Pound king and Future HOFer Roberto Duran. Twice.

    In a Warmup bout for his next big bout, he rose a weight class and took on the best Jr. Middle in the world, Ayub Kalule.

    Then Future HOFer Thomas Hearns.

    Then after an absence of 3 years and only 1 bout in the last 5, he took on Marvin Hagler at middleweight, the pound for pound best fighter on the planet.

    What fag.

    Hawk

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    Re: Sugar Ray Leonard vs. John Mugabi@160lbs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Lipton
    Leonard was no cupcake puncher, he had the armament to stop John and he would.

    Speed kills and Terry Norris did the job on the Beast, he was faded and jaded a bit but still a Leonard in his prime would rain on this guy and Mugabi could not hit Ray in the ass with a handful of rice.
    Thank you. In order for Mugabi to even have a chance he would have to put punches together. That's not going to happen. As Ron said Leonard would rain shots all night long. 12 UD with John taking a bad beating.

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    Re: Agreed

    Quote Originally Posted by hawk5ins
    Leonard was a pretty big pussy who avoided all the tough challenges during his career.

    Future HOFer WIlfred Benitez

    Then Pound for Pound king and Future HOFer Roberto Duran. Twice.

    In a Warmup bout for his next big bout, he rose a weight class and took on the best Jr. Middle in the world, Ayub Kalule.

    Then Future HOFer Thomas Hearns.

    Then after an absence of 3 years and only 1 bout in the last 5, he took on Marvin Hagler at middleweight, the pound for pound best fighter on the planet.

    What fag.

    Hawk
    Of course I agree completely with this post and the sentiments behind the sarcasm.

    Seems to me actually that Leonard fought everybody important who existed in a stacked 147-pound division except for Cuevas, and there were rational reasons for that-- Leonard challenging Benitez instead of Cuevas for the belt, then ultimately Leonard's defending against Duran, then Hearns KOing Cuevas brutally 2 months later and keeping Pipino from getting next crack at Ray. Then the additional fights Leonard had against Duran #2, Kalule and Hearns #1. Cuevas was actually the weakest of these opponents in everyone's mind at the time, and certainly also as history would bear out (I'm thinking even Kalule is a tougher fight due to his 154-lb weight). And Pipino was beaten by Roger Stafford in November 1981.

    I keep hearing that Leonard "picked and chose" his opponents . . . but it sounds to me like he actually chose the best ones possible. I'd also like to know the rationale of any opponent who thought he deserved a fight with Ray but didn't get it. I'd bet the rationale for why the fight didn't happen is much more reasonable and credible.

    I also love how the notion of how Ray's allegedly "waiting for Hagler to get old" is constantly bandied about by Leonard critics. Like Leonard was simply "waiting"-- he was actually in forced retirement due to a retina surgery. And could someone please tell me when Leonard EVER fought as a middleweight prior to the 1987 Hagler fight . . . ever . . . in his entire pre-1987 career?

    And wasn't John "The Beast"'s heyday AFTER Leonard's 1979-82 heyday? WHO exactly was clamoring for a Leonard-Mugabi fight as John was working his way into the top 10 while Leonard was already retired with a damaged eye . . . ?
    Last edited by Michael Frank; 01-27-2011 at 05:36 PM.

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    Re: Sugar Ray Leonard vs. John Mugabi@160lbs.

    In SRL's 40 fights, he fought a lot of tough fights. No doubt about it and I have never questioned Leonard's greatness nor Tommy Hearn's greatness either. Leonard vs. Hagler in the early 1980s would have been huge... a mere grudge fight because Hagler never really liked him. Despite their fight in 1987, their fight was 4-5 years too damn late, well at least for Hagler. I remember back in the days despite Leonard being retired, there were fights that were floated around as big money matches and if I remember right it was Hearns vs. Mugabi(never happened despite Hearns being active) and Leonard vs. Mugabi either at 155 or 160, and even Leonard vs. Chavez(Leonard when he was on HBO as a commentator that it was "absurd"). May be you can make a bigger case for Hearns not fighting Mugabi, but no one wanted to fight Mugabi pre-Hagler. Both Tommy Hearns and Sugar Ray Leonard are 2 of my all time favorite fighters along with Hagler. Yet, a prime Mugabi is the type of fighter that could or would be their worst nightmare. He gave Hagler a hard time in a brutal fight before finally being destroyed. May be SRL's speed would kill and may be Hearn's power and boxing skills would take Mugabi out as well, but Roldan gave both Hearns and Hagler a very tough fight.... just think that a prime Mugabi is Roldan by a factor of 2 or 3. As for Leonard, a big strong prime Mugabi would provide some danger. Either way, it would have been interesting to see if SRL could have solved the Mugabi puzzle.
    Last edited by sr71ko; 01-28-2011 at 01:58 PM.

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    Re: Sugar Ray Leonard vs. John Mugabi@160lbs.

    Quote Originally Posted by sr71ko
    In SRL's 40 fights, he fought a lot of tough fights. No doubt about it and I have never questioned Leonard's greatness nor Tommy Hearn's greatness either. Leonard vs. Hagler in the early 1980s would have been huge... a mere grudge fight because Hagler never really liked him. Despite their fight in 1987, their fight was 4-5 years too damn late, well at least for Hagler. I remember back in the days despite Leonard being retired, there were fights that were floated around as big money matches and if I remember right it was Hearns vs. Mugabi(never happened despite Hearns being active) and Leonard vs. Mugabi either at 155 or 160, and even Leonard vs. Chavez(Leonard when he was on HBO as a commentator that it was "absurd"). May be you can make a bigger case for Hearns not fighting Mugabi, but no one wanted to fight Mugabi pre-Hagler. Both Tommy Hearns and Sugar Ray Leonard are 2 of my all time favorite fighters along with Hagler. Yet, a prime Mugabi is the type of fighter that could or would be their worst nightmare. He gave Hagler a hard time in a brutal fight before finally being destroyed. May be SRL's speed would kill and may be Hearn's power and boxing skills would take Mugabi out as well, but Roldan gave both Hearns and Hagler a very tough fight.... just think that a prime Mugabi is Roldan by a factor of 2 or 3. As for Leonard, a big strong prime Mugabi would provide some danger. Either way, it would have been interesting to see if SRL could have solved the Mugabi puzzle.
    Can't argue with your rationale a bit except for this:

    Why is a retired, retina-damaged Leonard having his name floated, in 1983 or so, in proposed contests with Mugabi-- or anybody? Why is he considered (maybe not by you, sr71ko) a pussy for not fighting when retired due to a devastating eye injury?? Is he to be given no quarter?

    I guess I'll also have to disagree that jr middle Mugabi was more dangerous than Roldan, who was a legit middleweight and a rough, tough guy.

    And I guess also, I'd disagree with the notion that The Beast would trouble Leonard and Hearns so greatly, that a big-money name like Mugabi was avoided by same? I'd think he could be a good tough fight for either guy, but he was never considered quite on their level, as I recall (quite well), much less considered better than they. Maybe Mugabi would beat either or both, but he couldn't be favored to do so.

    Chavez? As good as he was, Leonard was right, it would have been a joke. Ray KO'd most welters and a junior middle, even eventually Lalonde at 168. Chavez was simply too small, and if Taylor could almost beat him at 140, Leonard, I'd think, would have crushed him at 160 or more. It's not like Leonard would come down in 1989 to 140, a weight at which he hadn't fought since 1978. At 147, Leonard obliterates Chavez, IMO. Leonard was far more devastating at 147 than was Sweet Pea.

    Just what I remember, anyway.

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    Re: Sugar Ray Leonard vs. John Mugabi@160lbs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Frank
    Can't argue with your rationale a bit except for this:

    Why is a retired, retina-damaged Leonard having his name floated, in 1983 or so, in proposed contests with Mugabi-- or anybody? Why is he considered (maybe not by you, sr71ko) a pussy for not fighting when retired due to a devastating eye injury?? Is he to be given no quarter?

    I guess I'll also have to disagree that jr middle Mugabi was more dangerous than Roldan, who was a legit middleweight and a rough, tough guy.

    And I guess also, I'd disagree with the notion that The Beast would trouble Leonard and Hearns so greatly, that a big-money name like Mugabi was avoided by same? I'd think he could be a good tough fight for either guy, but he was never considered quite on their level, as I recall (quite well), much less considered better than they. Maybe Mugabi would beat either or both, but he couldn't be favored to do so.

    Chavez? As good as he was, Leonard was right, it would have been a joke. Ray KO'd most welters and a junior middle, even eventually Lalonde at 168. Chavez was simply too small, and if Taylor could almost beat him at 140, Leonard, I'd think, would have crushed him at 160 or more. It's not like Leonard would come down in 1989 to 140, a weight at which he hadn't fought since 1978. At 147, Leonard obliterates Chavez, IMO. Leonard was far more devastating at 147 than was Sweet Pea.

    Just what I remember, anyway.
    We forget that the reason Ray's name was floated around to everyone from 135 to 160, was because from 1979 to 1987 outside of Tyson Ray represented the big payday. He was the one that even in a huge era of great boxers, did we forget the big challenge that was coming his way Tony Ayala a Jr middle was headed that way. if Ray had not been retired he had 3 big fights that probably would have happend prior to a fight with Mugabi had he emerged victorious. Hearns II, Hagler, Pryor. Since there is no way he moves up to face Hagler than back down to face Pryor, and the timing of the 1st pryor was 3 days after his first retirment, I suggest the order would have been Pryor first and he would have IMO easily throttled Pryor. Then Hearns II. Depending on what weight class this fight is at, is the where I think he would stand his best chance. I think Ray and Dundee would have made the fight at 147, and followed the same game plan that was layed out in their first fight that contrary to what most believe, it went almost exaclty as Dundee stated it would in the Sports illustrated magazine that came out the week before the fight, titled "the show down". I remembe reading it as a kid, thinking Wow, Dundee says that Hearns woudl out box leoanard an that Leonard would be the one that would back up and eventually stop Tommy around the 8-9th round. What they did not bank on was the fact that once Tommy was backed up and hurt that Ray would not get him out of there, but Tommy would turn the tide by reverting back to what he did as a amateur and this would win him all the rounds between 9-11 and then round 12 big. Most do not know that Ray and Dundee planned on giving away the first 3-4 rounds and moving away from the Big Right hand and using the heat and ray's movement as tools to sap Tommy's strenght before moving inside and taking the fight to tommy. It took several more rounds than they expected but it unfolded like they planned.

    Then a 1982 version of Ray would have fought Hagler probaby in 83. IMO this would be Ray clealry outboxing a Hagler that had trouble in 83 with Duran who forced Hagler to lead. My only thought is that what would Dundee and Ray have to base thier game plan on, as Dundee openly stated that he looked at the 1st Duran Hagler fight and saw that Hagler was neutralized as a fighter when you used slight movement when he stepped to punch. Ray initially had a game plan to go toe to toe with hagler in 87, and damm near go KO's by Quincy taylor in training. Dundee came in camp and changed their game plan at the end to one in which he would use lateral movement and move away when Hagler stepped to punch, and then would clinch and turn when in harms way. If Ray had fought Hagler in 83 before Duran did, then I imagine he would have employed the same strategy he used vs Duran in the 2nd fight, and posed much more of a mobile target than the target Hagler faced in 83 vs duran which he clearly looked like a Peak SRL could have outboxed that version of him, and then again in 87 Ray was shot, winded after 6 rounds, no power in his punches (not that he would ever hurt Hagler).

    Then after beating Hagler at 160, Ray would move back down to 154 IMO and fought Mugabi, and it I am not so sure Ray's ego would allow him to win this fight. I say this because we forget, ray's ego forced him to war with fighters unless he had a compellling reason not too. Meaning Duran showed him that he need to box with him. Hagler no doubt would have forced Leoanr to employ the same plan. However ever other big fight, etc Ray was flat footed for a big part of his fights. Benetiz, Hearns,Kalule, Price, Chavarini, Geraldo. Ray was no mayweather jr. He liked to exchange and this would/could be a major issue with his mindset approaching Mugabi. Maybe the 25-0 25 ko record would have forced him to accept a mobile style then too. I hope so, as if he fought him like he did Kalule, I would favor Mugabi at 154. Ray came straight at Kalule who had 18 ko's in 36 fights and was considered featherfisted and ray took everyshot he delivered (some clean big shots) and never took a backwards step. So If ray boxes then Ray wins, if he fights mugabi toe to toe, then I go with Mugabi.

    Finally, there may have been a Tony ayala fight, as he was a big name for a short while and was making some noise, until his robbery and rape issue in 1983.

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    Re: Sugar Ray Leonard vs. John Mugabi@160lbs.

    Bleurgh. Leonards career is above reproach. He's not Floyd Mayweather. Leonard who defeated Hagler in 87 splatters the Beast. Leonard is GREAT.

    I don't see why people bother bringing up what happened 1989 or beyond, everything had faded but the massive ego.

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    Re: Sugar Ray Leonard vs. John Mugabi@160lbs.

    The beast IMO would have beaten the 87 version of Ray...

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    Re: Sugar Ray Leonard vs. John Mugabi@160lbs.

    Well of course in this fantasy realm Mugabi could beat the 87 version of Tyson. But in the real world if 87 Leonard can beat Hagler he can kayo Mugabi.

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    Re: Sugar Ray Leonard vs. John Mugabi@160lbs.

    I see the 87 version of Ray was extremely hittable, was winded in the 6th round, etc. There was moments in the fight and the 2nd hearns fight, when Ray was simply there for anyone with any punch output and energy to be taken. Haglers corner keep telling him, he simply is punching in flurries", and thsi was true, then he would exhale and rest for 30 seconds, etc. The 1987 version of ray was a shell of the 82 version. Yes he outpointed Hagler and very well could Mugagi, but I think he would have different challenges in a mugabi fight, and getting winded in the 6th round, and barely making it to the end would not be the style to beat Mugabi or others.

    Just because fighter a beats fights b, and b beats c. that does not mean a beats c. Styles makes fights. we can point out so many examples of this. duran beats leonard, leonard beats herans, duran gets ko'd n 2 by hearns. forment beats frazier, frazier beats ali, Ali beats foremen...mosley forrest etc.... So i think the match up of Mugabi vs Leonard is a bad one for 1987 leoanrd, he simply did not have the relfexes he had in 82 and that is understandable, cocaine, inactivity, increased weight, age....

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    Re: Sugar Ray Leonard vs. John Mugabi@160lbs.

    I think the Hagler fight gives Mugabi a little more credit than he should get. The guy was a great KO puncher at 154 and an entertaining fighter, and was fortunate to catch a sliding Hagler who fought toe-to-toe with him for 9 action-packed rounds. But his boxing skills were limited. Vs a slickster like Leonard, even the 87 version, he gets soundly outboxed in a boring contest.

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    Re: Sugar Ray Leonard vs. John Mugabi@160lbs.

    I am with pinky on this one. I woud pick Ray to win, but he has to be very slick and cute for 36 minutes. Mugabi had a hell of a punch. He hurt Hagler several times IMO. Hagler's body and chin were that bit more durable than Ray's at 160 lbs. I reckon it's a close but deserved win for Ray, with some scary moments for him too....
    Last edited by walshb; 02-06-2011 at 08:04 AM.

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    Re: Sugar Ray Leonard vs. John Mugabi@160lbs.

    How many styles does Leonard have to beat to prove that a one demisional right hand swinger like Mugabi would not lay a KO glove on Leonard?

    The version of Hagler that Leonard beat was the same version the KO'ed Mugabi. He was a better fighter than Mugabi, with more weapons, more styles, better ring smarts, and more experience..

    With that, how we do come to the conclusion that Leonard would have more trouble or lose to John when Ray beat the fighter that just previously KO Mugabi?
    Last edited by JLP 6; 02-08-2011 at 02:47 PM.

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    Re: Sugar Ray Leonard vs. John Mugabi@160lbs.

    Quote Originally Posted by JLP 6
    How many styles does Leonard have to beat to prove that a one demisional right hand swinger like Mugabi would not lay a KO glove on Leonard?

    The version of Hagler that Leonard beat was the same version the KO'ed Mugabi. He was a better fighter than Mugabi, with more weapons, more styles, better ring smarts, and more experience..

    With that, how we do come to the conclusion that Leonard would have more trouble or lose to John when Ray beat the fighter that just previously KO Mugabi?
    I think Leonard wins. But, I do believe he will need to be very very focused. It's not going to be an easy night. He could be Ko'd if caught clean.

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    Re: Sugar Ray Leonard vs. John Mugabi@160lbs.

    We agree with the outcome.

    I think it will be a challenging fight, but one that he is up for.
    Last edited by JLP 6; 02-08-2011 at 04:21 PM.

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