Sugar Ray: 'I slipped in Ecklund fight'

Christian Bale plays Dicky Ecklund in  The Fighter . Photo / Supplied
Christian Bale plays Dicky Ecklund in The Fighter . Photo / Supplied

Boxing great Sugar Ray Leonard has attempted to put 33 years of in-fighting between himself and real-life The Fighter character Dicky Ecklund to rest - by revealing the truth about the end of their 1978 bout.

The boxing champ has rarely spoken about the fight, which he was expected to win early - but, after appearing as himself in Mark Wahlberg's boxing movie, he has decided it's time to address one of the boxing world's most-talked about moments.

Pundits still argue over whether Ecklund knocked the undefeated champ down in his first big fight, or whether Sugar Ray slipped in the ring and fell.

Now, Leonard tells Access Hollywood Live, "I slipped and I remember that like it was yesterday. It was a tough fight. No one thought much of Dick Ecklund but he was tough, he was unorthodox, and in the mix of things I threw a right hand and I slipped back and, boom, he walks over me."

Sugar Ray won the fight by decision after Ecklund took him all the way and established himself as a force to be reckoned with in the boxing world - but he still refuses to accept his punch didn't send the champ to the canvas.

Whenever he's asked about the incident in the ring, Leonard says, "He just smiles."

-AAP

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