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ON TOP OF THE WORLD
Pat Putnam
September 28, 1981
On a hot, summer desert night, Sugar Ray Leonard punched Thomas Hearns's lights out and became the undisputed welterweight champion
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September 28, 1981

On Top Of The World

On a hot, summer desert night, Sugar Ray Leonard punched Thomas Hearns's lights out and became the undisputed welterweight champion

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Next for Leonard? Probably Pipino Cuevas in a welterweight defense, early next year. Cuevas, a former champion, was KO'd by Hearns in the second round 13 months ago. Leonard will probably give up his junior middleweight crown (won from Kalule in June) and continue to fight at 147 pounds, his natural weight. Junior middleweights (155 pounds) can move down; junior welterweights (140 pounds) can move up. Leonard can choose from among Wilfred Benitez, Alexis Arguello, Aaron Pryor, and Sean O'Grady, as well as Cuevas. There could even be a Hearns rematch. Hearns's next step could be against junior middleweight champ Benitez or even middleweight champion Marvin Hagler.

Leonard's closing act most certainly will be Hagler, but it won't be for some time. He still loves the sport too much to walk away. Little Ray will have to be patient. His dad isn't quite ready to take up basketball.

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