It’s not often boxers admit to having felt in awe of their opponent before they entered the ring, but then ex British and European light welterweight champion Clinton McKenzie retired long enough ago not to worry any more what people think.
The opponent was Sugar Ray Leonard, the gold medal favourite at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. McKenzie had won his first two bouts, and had been drawn against Sugar Ray in the quarterfinals. “I remember walking out, and seeing him shuffling, giving it all that,” he says. “I looked over and thought, ‘Flipping hell!’ He was so fast, throwing these combinations; I’ve never seen speed like that before.”