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Ex US champ Leonard fears about boxing's future in country

Washington, Thu, 05 Apr 2012 ANI

Washington, Apr 5(ANI): Former American boxer Sugar Ray Leonard has expressed fears about the future of the sport in the country, where the sweet science is being overshadowed by the rise of mixed martial arts and the lack of genuine stars.

Leonard said the promoters' inability to resolve the altercation between Floyd Mayweather Jnr and Manny Pacquiao in the ring over who is the world No1 is "just about the best example of where boxing is going wrong".

"There is only one way boxing can get back to where it was and that is to see the finest fighters of their generation box against each other. In the late Seventies and Eighties the best fighters just happened to be around my weight class and therefore we fought each other," The Daily Express quoted Leonard, as saying.

"Roberto Duran, myself, Tommy Hearns and Marvin Hagler, we all went in the ring to decide who was the best. It is a terrible shame because Mayweather and Pacquiao would stop the traffic. It's a great fight, a 50-50 fight and it needs to be made," he added.

Leonard. However, expressed hope that boxing would revive its popularity.

"It is steeped in history and it will bounce back, but boxing has to learn from other sports, in particular MMA and the way they market their sport," he said.

"While in America boxing does not have the dominance it once enjoyed, in other parts of the world it is doing incredibly well. The Klitschko brothers fight in front of huge crowds in Germany," he added. (ANI)

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