Sugar Ray Leonard has been sober since 2006. One of the greatest boxers of all-time and a champion in five weight classes, Leonard has not been shy to talk about the negative role that he believes drugs and alcohol have played in his life. In July of 2006, he admitted he was an alcoholic and started attending AA meetings.
Those meetings have been a staple in Leonard’s life, but as you can imagine, they have hit a bit of a roadblock recently due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has put gatherings of all sizes on pause for the indefinite future. As such, these meetings have had to move to Zoom.
In an appearance on Vice’s Seat at the Table with Anand Giridharadas, Leonard spoke about the struggles he has had during quarantine, going as far as to say that he fears without being able to have these virtual meetings, he would “go back to drinking.”
“Normally I don’t talk about things — again, I don’t talk about things that bother me,” Leonard said. “I keep them inside my chest. My heart, I should say. Even when I was sexually abused by a coach, I didn’t tell my mother, didn’t tell my wife, no one. But when I did tell them, I felt better. So it’s being able to let go, release, surrender those things that are painful to you. That’s the best way to go.”
Leonard’s entire conversation with Giridharadas will air on Wednesday evening at 10 p.m. EST.