Sugar Ray Leonard suffered only a deep contusion on his left hand in his fight against Ayub Kalule last Thursday and should not be slowed in his training for his Sept. 16 match with Thomas Hearns.
Leonard had his hand X-rayed yesterday by Dr. Carl MacCartee, a Washington-based orthopedic surgeon. The diagnosis was synovitis of the left third M-P joint. No fracture was found, thereby alleviating the greatest worry in the Leonard camp.
Leonard will be rechecked by MacCartee in two weeks.
"Ray knew this morning that there was no fracture. Most of the swelling had gone down and he could make a fist," said Mike Trainer, Leonard's attorney. "He was in pain after the fight, but he's much better now. It's clearing up.
"It's not unusual for a boxer's hands to swell up after a fight," Trainer added. "The doctor said that Ray's hands are not that much different now than they weere in 1976 when he started (fighting professionally)."
One member of MacCartee's staff added: "It's a rather superficial injury in terms that it won't affect his training at all for the Hearns fight. It's not a nagging, lingering type of injury."
Leonard (30-1) thought he injured the hand when he hit Kalule in the head during the third round in a fight that earned him the World Boxing Association junior middleweight championship. It is the same hand that Leonard injured in the Montreal Olympics in 1976.
"Ray will probably start training for the Hearns fight in the middle of August. I'd imagine he'll probably train for four to five weeks," said Trainer.