Boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard broke down in tears during a TV interview on Wednesday (03Aug11) when he recalled the sexual abuse he suffered as a child.
The fighting champ went public with his shocking revelation in June (11) as he launched his new memoir, The Big Fight: My Life In and Out of the Ring, and claimed he was assaulted by two unnamed sports coaches during the 1970s - when he was a teenager.
He struggled with his emotions during an appearance on U.S. chat show The Talk as he recounted the personal trauma on air.
Leonard insisted the men who committed the crimes were not training him when he landed Olympic gold at the 1976 games and they have since died. But their demise doesn't mean Leonard has forgotten what they did.
He said, "That (writing about abuse) was one of the most difficult things I had to deal with and overcome... But these were two people I trusted and I kept it (molestation) to myself."
Leonard came clean about his sad past to his first wife, Juanita, and his current partner, Bernadette, but both spouses struggled to process the shocking news, and it forced Leonard to keep the abuse secret until he came to write his autobiography.
He continued, "I didn't tell anyone. I'm a dude, I'm a fighter; I could've kicked their a**. But I suppressed things... I carried this thing with me until (now)."
As Leonard fought back tears, he added, "These are not just tears of sadness... I'm happy."