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42 years ago

Ray Leonard vs Ayub Kalule

Ray Leonard vs Ayub Kalule

Date: 25th June 1981

Venue: Astrodome, Houston, Texas

Title: WBA World Super-welterweight Title

Promoter: Top Rank

Tv: NBC Sports World

Ray Leonard
( 29 - 1 - 0 )
Weight: 153 lbs

Ayub Kalule
( 36 - 0 - 0 )
Weight: 153 lbs

On June 25th, 1981, Ray Leonard fought Ayub Kalule for the WBA Junior Middleweight Title at the Astrodome in Houston, Texas. Leonard had a record of 29-1-0, while Kalule was undefeated at 36-0-0. Leonard was guaranteed $2.5 million, while Kalule's guarantee was $150,000.

Bob Arum's Top Rank promoted the fight, and he predicted that Kalule would beat Leonard, despite criticism that the fight was "idiotic."

Leonard appeared to have control for the first six rounds, but Kalule came on strong in the seventh and eighth rounds. However, in the ninth round, Leonard shook Kalule with a left hook and right to the head, and then followed up with another right and left hook that dropped Kalule to the seat of his pants in a neutral corner. The referee stopped the fight, giving Leonard the win by TKO at 3:06 in round 9.

The fight was shown live on closed-circuit television and rebroadcast by NBC on Sports World on July 5.

The crowd at the Astrodome was estimated to be between 25,000 and 30,000.

Leonard's trunks for the fight were black with a yellow cobra head on the left leg, which he chose to deter Ugandan witch doctors who were rumoured to fear the colour black and snakes. After the fight, Leonard attempted a full 360-degree, no-hands flip, but ended up on the seat of his trunks due to his restrictive protective cup.

Ray Leonard vs Ayub Kalule on YouTube

Ray Leonard vs Ayub Kalule

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