Sugar Ray Leonard has taken on his big screen debutwith open arms, and boxing gloves.
You can check out the legendary boxer in theaters right now, working alongside Hugh Jackman in the sci-fi action flick, Real Steel.
The film put it work at the box office during it’s opening weekend and there are no signs that it is going to slow down anytime soon. We caught up with Sugar Ray Leonard to discuss his movie debut as well as his work out routine. You know it’s gotta be good!
Check out our exclusive below!
Global Grind: So, boxing robots. Was it the strangest or the coolest call you ever received?
Sugar Ray Leonard: It was the strangest at first, and then it became cool once I had a chance to meet Hugh Jackman and go on the set. I had a chance to meet Sean Levy. And then working with Hugh and Sean to not really be the fighter, but look the fighter. That was awesome! Then to show him how to create that communication between the trainer and the fighter and the robot. That is such an intimate thing that he has, to kind of feel each other. You don’t have to talk all the time, because you can tell your kid “you can look” and they know “stop”.
So you’re saying that the dance that they do back and forth like the sparring partners?
Exactly, and when they did that, I knew we had a winner.
Hugh was in amazing shape for this film, did you actually train him?
No, he’s an athlete. It wasn’t that. I mean physically he has the job; it was this that I wanted people to see that resignated in the audience
So that’s what it was stepping in the ring with him?
Now there are obvious similarities and comparisons between this film and the Rocky films, what’s your take on that as a boxer?
I don’t know the comparisons right off hand. I think what makes this movie work is the relationship between the father and the son. The relationship between the robot. The robot, Adam, who comes to life because all of a sudden you feel for that piece of metal. You really do. And what I see in the audience is people sniffling and holding back tears. And then I see kids screaming, I knew the chemistry, and what it means and what it does. I knew that it was working.
Now as a former boxing champion, you’re obviously very in shape. My question is you don’t have to keep up your training the way you would when you were a champion, but what do you do to stay in shape now?
I do things in moderation. I’m like a used car, I just have a great tune-up every so often. And I just keep going. My days have been long because of my book signings, and working on my foundation, and doing the Real Steel movie. It’s been tough but I try to break a sweat every now and then. I do cardio. Cardio is so important, and I’m not trying to kill myself, because I’m 55. I listen to my body, I don’t try to do what I used to do, like run 10 miles when I was 25, I can’t do that. My body won’t tolerate it.
So specifically what do you do?
I do the elliptical, or the treadmill, for 20 minutes. I make sure I break a sweat. Do a couple sit-ups. Just do a little bit. Just enough to break a sweat. That’s the key. Listen, I don’t have the body of some athletes.
This is a great quote from you: “No one believed I’d be a boxer because I was such a quiet and shy kid. Football was too dangerous. basketball I couldn’t play. Baseball didn’t work out because I was afraid of the ball, but boxing was a sport that I could control”
That is so true, because I was so quiet and reserved, that no one thought, especially my parents, didn’t think that I would fight or be a boxer. Bu that’s where if felt safe at, because I controlled that arena. I controlled that environment.
But you said football was dangerous, boxing isn’t dangerous?
When I was in there, I assumed the risk factor. To me it wasn’t dangerous because I controlled what was in the ring. And it sounds kind of weird right?
After this experience would you consider doing something on the big screen, instead of stepping on camera?
If the opportunity presented itself, yeah. I would love to.