credits running with helping to win his 1976 Olympic Gold medal in boxing "Without question. I ran 4 to 5 miles a day, 7 days a week. I had five fights leading up to the final. And it was because of the running...I always said I had this hidden reservoir of strength and power and it came from running.
The other kids thought I was crazy because I would run in the rain, snow.. it didn't matter. I did it because I didn't just want to be better than the next guy. I wanted to be better than all the guys.
He didn't always run in a straight line, either. In 1979, in his WBC welterweight title bout against Wilfredo Benitez, it was reported: "[Leonard] rises at daybreak and runs four miles—one shadowboxing all the way backward and the last in under five minutes.
So, who taught him the importance of roadwork as a staple of boxing conditioning? None other than the Butterfly, Muhammad Ali
Sugar said, "I learned to run backwards from Muhammad Ali. He told me about running backwards because you try to imitate everything you do in the ring, so sometimes you back up. So you have to train your legs to go backwards.
So...you run backwards, asked @runnersworldmag
? "Oh, yeah, I run backwards, I run sideway. I still do. Not far—maybe 50 yards. I don't run any differently than when I ran when I was 20 years old. I don't run in combat boots as I did back in the day. I'm concerned with my pedicure (laughs). Muhammad Ali wore [combat boots, to run]. He was my idol.
Ali returned the accolades, saying "Pound-for-pound, Sugar Ray Leonard is as good as me - he's a miracle
Miracle? Or hard worker who understood the value of putting in that roadwork
Come and get some of the Roadwork that made this champ prevail over some of the world's greatest fighters
Try ROAD x STRENGTH, Monday @ 6:45AM in @everybodyfights
NYC! Hit me up if you have questions!
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