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The Sentinel from Carlisle, Pennsylvania • Page 10
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The Sentinel from Carlisle, Pennsylvania • Page 10

The Sentineli
Carlisle, Pennsylvania
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2 The Sentinel, Carlisle, Saturday, April 4, 1987 'Super fight' becomes reality Monday Leonard battles the odds ft. LAS VEGAS, Nev. AP) Sugar Ray Leonard is rich, handsome and, at 30, still unfulfilled. He thinks that feeling will change when he challenges middleweight champion Marvelous Marvin Hagler on Monday night at Caesars Palace. "If I had never fought Marvin, it'd still be on my mind when I'm 60 years old," said Leonard, who will be 31 May 17. "I think he has to feel the same for money, ego and pride, and it's Sugar Ray Leonard." Of course, the former undisputed welterweight champion wants more than just the fight. He wants to fulfill a dream he's been having. "I see myself taking him out," he said. "That would be with a right hand. "Beat Hagler, beat the odds. It's a package deal." Leonard will be trying to beat the odds almost 11 years after he won the light welterweight championship at the Olympics in Montreal. On the night of July 11, 1976, Leonard got his gold medal with a three-round decision over Andres Aldamaof Cuba, then said: "My quest is conquered, my dream fulfilled and my journey finished." Twice the journey appeared to be finished with announced retirements. The first retirement was announced Nov. 9, 1982, seven months after Leonard underwent retinal surgery on his left eye. Hagler was present when Leonard announced his decision before the press and public at the Baltimore Civic Center. "Sorry, Marvin; it's not going to happen," Leonard said. Now that it is, Leonard's sight has been the eye of a storm of controversy. The Hagler fight will be only his second bout in almost 62 months. Reporters attending Leonard's workouts at Hilton Head, S.C., were given copies of the four questions Sugar Ray Leonard, above, and Marvelous Marvin Hagler, right, go through workouts earlier this week in Las Vegas in preparation for Monday's fight. (AP) for eight months. If I had watched it the next day, I would not have retired. It wasn't me, but it wasn't that bad." "Not that bad," is not a description usually associated with a Leonard peformance. Superlatives more often were in order for the Golden Boy with the dancing feet and flashing fists. He brought showmanship to the ring, but beneath that dazzling smile and some showboat moves beat a street-fighter's heart. In posting a 31-1 record, with 23 knockouts, before his first retirement in 1982, he won the World Boxing Council welterweight title by stopping Wilfred Benitez with six seconds left in the fight Nov. 30,1979, then became undisputed welterweight champion by stopping the previously unbeaten Thomas Hearns in the 14th round Sept. 16, 1981. He also won the WBA junior middleweight title with a ninth-round knockout of Abdul Kalule on June 25, 1981, but relinquished it without defending it. Leonard's only loss was on a close, but unanimous 15-round decision to Roberto Duran in Olympic Stadium at Montreal Sept. 15, 1980. The two met again five months later in the New Orleans Superdome, with Leonard taunting Duran and regaining the WBC title -when Hands of Stone said "no mas" and quit in the eighth round. On Feb. 15, 1982, Leonard kept the undisputted title by knocking out Bruce Finch in the third round. Then came the eye problem, and it looked as if Leonard's journey was finished. LAS VEGAS, Marvin Hagler no longer trains among the sea gulls and wind-whipped surf of Provincetown during the Cape Cod winter, but he still approaches his profession with icy resolve. Though he has been middleweight champion for almost the entire life of this decade, Hagler doesn't forget that it took him most of the 1970s to get a title shot. And he worries that a loss at this late stage of his career could damage his place in boxing especially a loss to Sugar Ray Leonard, who has outshined Hagler as a personality ever since he arrived on the pro boxing scene as an Olympic champion in 1976. To some, Leonard is risking his sight he had retinal surgery in 1982. Others see his challenge as a bid to climb a mountain without a rope. The fight, Monday night at Caesars Palace, will be only his second in almost 62 months. "This is a sentimental fight," Hagler said. "They're making me the bad guy, the mean old bad guy, who's going to knock out his eyeball, who's going to mark up his pretty face. Girls say, 'Don't hurt his pretty Thinking about his image one day amid the sunshine and affluence of Palm Springs, where he trained from January until this past Tuesday, Hagler grinned, the wrinkles blending with the scar tissue around his eyes. The trade-mark shaven pate was covered by a white cap, which carried the message "No Mercy." On that particular morning, Hagler ran 15 miles. That night, he worked out in a tent where heaters guarded against the desert chill. He the 36th time and knocked out Roy Jones in the third round for a purse of $1,500. Leonard fought his third pro bout on the same card and knocked out Vinnie DeBarros in the third round for $40,000. Hagler first challenged for the middleweight title in his 50th fight on Nov. 30, 1979, at Caesars Palace and failed 10 get it when his 15-round bout with champion Vito Antuofermo ended in a draw. In his 26th fight, immediately thereafter, Leonard won the World Boxing Council welterweight championship by stopping Wilfred Benitez in the 15th round. Hagler has defended 12 times, two short of Carlos Monzon record of 14 consecutive middleweight title defenses. One of Hagler's defenses was a spectacular third-round knockout of Thomas Hearns, which has been the feather in his cap. He would like to make the Leonard fight a plume. "If this is my last fight, it will be my best," he said. "All I learned in boxing will come out that night." Twice Hagler appeared headed toward a showdown with Leonard; twice Leonard retired. Then last May, Leonard announced he would come back again if Hagler would fight him. Hagler didn't jump at the challenge. There was even speculation he would retire. Hagler reached his decision about an hour past midnight on a July morning while he and his wife, Bertha, were swinging in a park near their summer home at Bartlett, N.H. "1 know what you're thinking," Hagler recalled Bertha as saying. "You want to fight, don't you? "Whydont you just go ahead and get tha skinny little runt out of the way?" So, admittedly, is Falcigno. If everything goes smoothly, he could make $1 million from his share of the closed-circuit telecast. "I'm in good shape," he says. "But believe me, it's not easy. I've been working like crazy the last few months. There's a million things you have to worry about with a production like this." In fact, Falcigno probably will be so busy monitoring his closed-circuit network Monday night that he won't have time to watch the fight. "We're going to have 16 (telephone) lines in my office, and I guarantee you they'll all be lit up," he says. Leonard had Hagler in mind when he announced he would come out of retirement to fight Kevin Howard on Feb. 25, 1984, at Worcester, Mass. But the fight was postponed until May 11 so Leonard could undergo surgery to strengthen the retina of his right eye. Looking tentative, Leonard got up from a fourth-round knockdown to stop Howard in the ninth. Then he stunned Hagler, who was at ringside, by announcing his retirement. "He's the only I know who could walk away from $20 million," said an exasperated Pat Petronelli, Hagler's co-manager. Leonard feels he overreacted in retiring that night. "I was so self-critical," he said. "I didn't watch the tape of the fight Tale of the tape for Marvelous Marvin Hagler's World Boxing Association heavyweight title defense against Sugar Ray Leonard, to be held Monday, April 6 at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nev. Stat Hagler Leonard Age 32 30 Weight 160 160 Height 5-91- 5-101- Reach 75 74 Chest (normal) 40 39 Chest (expanded) 42 41 Biceps 15 15 Forearm 12 11 Waist 30 30 Thigh 22 21 Calf 15 13 Neck 16 Wrist 7 7 Fist 12 11 Ankle 9 9::4 Official weigh-in will be Monday. circuit TV SpORTS closed-circuit outlets across the country. That would easily surpass the $40 million in closed-circuit revenue generated by the Larry Holmes-Gerry Cooney heavyweight fight in 1982, which was shown at about 300 sites. Those who want to see the Leonard-Hagler fight live and don't have ringside seats at Caesars Palace will have to watch it on closed-circuit or pay-per-view television. Home Box Office, which purchased the cable rights, won't carried his own equipment bag, wrapped his hands, greased his face. A champion? "He puts himself into a challenger's position," said Goody Petronelli, trainer and Look for an entourage, and you'll find Goody and brother Pat, the other manager; Hagler's half brother, Robbie Sims, who is a midddleweight contender, and the sparring partners. Hagler's payroll is as lean as his body. Asked earlier who was his bodyguard, Hagler pointed and said, "There are my two body guards." Lounging in the shade were the Petronellis. Hagler enjoys celebrity he had Marvelous legally added to his full name but he doesn't like to actively seek it. As a fighter, Hagler wants to be considered a throwback to middleweight champions of the past Rocky Graziano, Tony Zale, Sugar Ray Robinson. "I still fight like a challenger because it took me a long time to get the title," Hagler said. "Yes, the anger and the bitterness is still inside me after all those years of being sidetracked and ignored." Hagler, who will be 33 on May 23, grew up in Newark, N.J., and in 1969 moved to Brockton, where he met the Petronellis. He turned pro May 18, 1973. When he became champion on Sept. 27, 1980, by stopping Alan Minter in three rounds in London, he had a 49-2-2 record with 40 knockouts. Throughout Hagler's slow and sometimes discouraging climb to the top, ran a thread tying him to Leonard. On June 10, 1977, at Hartford, Hagler fought as a pro for two weeks ago." Falcigno says the fight has broad appeal. "There are three types of people who attend closed-circuit fights," he says. "There's boxing fans, who will watch any fight. There's sports fans, who go to the big fights. And there's event fans, who only go to the biggest fights. This fight will draw all three types." The fact that Hagler will make at least $12 million and Leonard $11 million adds to the lure of the fight, Falcigno says. "That's what really fascinates the Wall Street types and the businessmen," he says. "They're attracted by the money." a race expense of other parts of a race. "Distance runners are taught to pace themselves steadily," he says. "If someone has too much of a kick if it's drastically noticeable that's a sign that the runner hasn't run the race properly. The kick should be there, but it should be a subtle thing." His advice to young runners would be to concentrate on other parts of a race, such as the start and building a steady pace, and let the kick develop naturally. He feels most runners' kicks are built and improved through experience. It's just a matter of knowing when to turn on the afterburners. will be biggest ever most-asked of Leonard and his answers. Question 3 asked if he wasn't concerned about losing his sight. rlease give me credit for not underestimating the seriousness of this situation," Leonard's statement said. "I'm upset that anyone would think I would take an unreasonable risk of injury. The reason I have such confidence about returning to the ring, after the eye operation was so successful, is the medical 'seal of approval' furnished by a team of doctors some of the top experts in the world in the field of retinas and eye surgery. I have no concern about my eye in any way. and no one else should either." Leonard said his motive for fighting is simply Hagler, and if he wasn't fighting Hagler, he wouldn't be fighting anybody. I don want a career" he said. "I want one fight." Closed By Rick Warner AP sports writer Forget about Ali-Frazier, Leonard-Duran and Holmes-Cooney. When it comes to closed-circuit boxing telecasts, Monday night's Sugar Ray Leonard-Marvelous Marvin Hagler fight should be the all-time champ. "Without question," says Lou Falcigno, whose company is handling the closed-circuit telecast of the fight in the New York area. "In terms of sites and gross, it's twice as big as anything before." Falcigno expects the middleweight championship bout to gross about $60 million from 1,000 Strong ByGregGrasa Sports editor Oftentimes, late in a race, distance runners reach down inside themselves and shift into a higher gear. In track parlance, it's known as the kick. When runners talk about the kick, many times the implication is that it is a calculated strategic technique. John Cantalupi says that's true to a degree, but he sees the kick in much simpler terms. "I guess you could call it a technique, but I see it as a natural inherent in someone," says Cantalupi, one of the track coaches telecast show the bout until the following weekend. "But a lot of people don't want to wait," says Falcigno, who has been doing closed-circuit boxing telecasts for 15 years. "It's not the same watching a big fight on tape. You miss the electricity and excitement." improved technology has made it possible to set up a record number of closed-circuit sites for the Leonard-Hagler showdown. In the 1960s and 1970s, Falcigno says, closed-circuit operators had to rely exclusively on telephone lines to transmit pictures. Today, satellite dishes can be used in some catch Cantalupi chuckles. "He knew he had to turn on the kick." Cantalupi stepped into the Coach 's Corner this week to share his thoughts on the kick. The Carlisle native, who teaches in the business department at Carlisle High School, has handled the Red Devils' men and women middle distance runners for the past five years. He himself was a distance runner for Stan Morgan at Carlisle High and later graduated from Shippensburg University. "The kick is putting forth that last bit of energy that you might have down the stretch," he says. "It really comes into play in the longer cases. In addition, the equipment needed to produce a major closed-circuit telecast has gotten lighter and cheaper over the years. "A projector that cost $50,000 and weighed 2,500 pounds in 1971 now costs $2,000 and weighs 70 pounds, Falcigno says. While closed-circuit sales for the fight are reportedly slow in smaller markets, Falcigno says tickets at an average of $30 apiece are selling briskly in big cities. "I'll give you an example here in New York," he says. "With Hagler-Hearns, we didn't sell out the Tavern On The Green (restaurant) until the day of the fight. We sold out Leonard-Hagler distances like the 800, 1,500 and 5.000." The coach believes that 85 percent of the kick is mental. knowing exactly when to implement it and psyching yourself up for those crucial moments. Physically, the kick is characterized by a lengthening of the stride and increased arm movement. "Runners have developed this by the time they've reached the college level," Cantalupi notes. "My runners are basically on their own when it comes to this." Cantalupi is careful to point out that the kick's purpose is to augment the overall performance and shouldn't be focused on at the kick finishing touch in 9. r. 1 CoAch's CORNER at Dickinson College. "I equate it with guts. It's in the makeup of a person." As an example, he recalls a time last year when his six-year-old son was in a youth track meet and had to come from behind to win an event. "He said to me, 'Dad, I saw that boy ahead of me and I knew I had to John Cantalupi 4

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