Sugar Ray Leonard said yesterday that he would like a maximum of two more fights -- the second one against Roberto Duran -- and then would retire from boxing.
"I'd like to fight Duran as soon as possible get him while he's still recuperatiang," Leonard said. "But he's saying that he doesn't want to fight me until '81. If that's the case, I think I'd like to fight the winner of (August's) (Pipino) Cuevas-(Thomas) Hearns (WBA title) fight in October or November, then fight Duran.
"When I beat Duran, that will be it, the end.I want to get the title back and I want to get him. Once I've done that, I'll quit.
Leonard appeared relaxed and content one month after losing his WBC welterweight title to Duran. He said he plans to return to the gym next month and talked of the Duran fight without bitterness but with regret in his voice.
"I still feel as if my title was confiscated," he said. "I won the fight. I've looked at it on film now and there's no question in my mind about it. The problem was the judges had never seen Sugar Ray Leonard fight that way before. They didn't know what to look for. I hit him two punches for every one he hit me. But he kept bullying me toward he ropes so it looked like he was the aggressor. I hit him more often and I hit him cleaner."
Leonard fought Duran toe-to-toe in Montreal because, he said, "I wanted to beat him at his own game. It wasn't pride or anything. I just wanted to show him. I was willing to risk my title to beat him that way.
"I know if I had fought a Sugar Ray Leonard fight I would have beaten him. Next time, that's the way I'll fight. I'll be faster and quicker. I'll beat him clean. There won't be any question about it.
"I want to beat Duran. He talks about moving up a weight class to try and win three different titles. If he moves up. I'll follow him. I definitely want him."
Leonard said he is determined to retire after he fights Duran again even if he is offered major financial enticements to continue in the ring.
"After I won the Olympics I said that I was going to quit fighting and go to school," he said. "That didn't happen, though, because funds were low and I had to become a fighter.
"That's not a factor anymore. I'm well set financially now. I feel like my whole career has been like a fairy tale: winning the Olympics, becoming a world champion as quickly as I did, being involved in a fight that created the interest and intensity the Duran fight did.
"Now, they've taken the title away, confiscated it, removed it wrongly, however you want to put it. Well, I'm hoping the director has the script right. In the script, I become champion again and that's it, the end, fade out. That's the way I want it, anyway."
Leonard said he wasn't worried about Duran ducking a fight with him. "It won't happen," he said. "Duran isn't that kind of a man. He'll want to fight me. But he knows I can beat him. I think he probably knows deep down I beat him the first time. But that wasn't the way the judges decided it.
"Next time we fight, though, it won't be up to the judges. It will be up to me."