Sugar Ray Leonard officially launched Sugar Ray Leonard Boxing, Inc. (SRL Boxing), which will promote exciting, entertaining competitive and extremely well matched boxing events. SRL Boxing announced a strategic partnership with ESPN, the worldwide leader in sports television, which will bring the fights to ESPN II's 73 million viewers the first Friday of every month for one year. The debut event will take place on August 3, 2001 at Legends Casino in Toppenish, Washington.
"I love boxing too much to give it up. Rather than ending my boxing career when I stepped out of the ring, I wanted to give something back to the sport that was so good to me," stated Sugar Ray Leon-ard, Chairman and Founder of SRL Boxing, Inc. "My objective over the last two years has been to create a company to promote exciting and competitive fights that satisfy the boxers' desire to be the best that they can be and to bring genuinely great entertainment to loyal boxing fans."
"ESPN is proud to get back into the ring with Sugar Ray Leonard, and even more excited that he is in our corner," said Bob Yalen, director of boxing at ESPN. "ESPN and Sugar Ray Leonard Boxing, Inc. will generate the type of excitement and competition needed in the sport of professional boxing today."
To ensure that fans in the arena and at home are experiencing the most competitive fights possible, SRL Boxing has implemented a first-of-its kind, complete "open door" policy, which means that the company will work with all fighters and promoters.
SRL Boxing will also be introducing general market sports fans and boxing fans alike to the fighters through profiles and unique features, often hosted by Sugar Ray Leonard who will also serve as a special guest host ringside. The combination of great fights and introducing fans to the fighters will create a unique forum through which to develop the next group of boxing superstars - and fans.