FATHER’S DAY MEMORIES WITH SUGAR RAY LEONARD

Sugar Ray Leonard with his kids Daniel and Camille in Frankfurt, Germany.

As we prepare to celebrate dads, we took a few moments to chat about fatherhood with one of our favorite dads—legendary athlete and Skechers footwear star Sugar Ray Leonard. Plus, his kids Daniel, Camille, Jarrel, and Ray Jr. share some fun memories about their famous dad.

SKX: You’ve mastered the ring and the boxing world.  What are your tips for mastering fatherhood? 

SRL:  Well, you never can really master it.  But what I have learned, is that I must be extremely patient with my kids and simply just hear them out and listen to them.

SKX: What are your favorite activities to do with your kids?

SRL: My favorite thing to do with my kids is just being in their presence. Now that they are all grown up, it is a lot harder to get all four of them together. I really cherish the moments when that happens. My youngest, Daniel is now a teenager and my daughter, Camille, is already in college! Plus, having two older kids, Ray Jr. and Jarrel, who now have their own families, every moment we spend together is priceless.

SKX:  What is your most memorable Father’s Day? 

SRL: I have so many great memories throughout the years from Father’s Day. But, one moment that sticks out was actually my birthday last year when all of my kids came to surprise me. I had no clue that they would all be here, together, to celebrate my birthday and that moment really sticks out as a favorite memory.

SKX: How did you juggle being a father with being a professional boxer?

SRL: Juggling is the right word because being a father and a professional fighter, there were precious times I missed out on. Like my kids first step, saying for the first time ‘papa’ or ‘mama’, moments that I had to sacrifice. I try to make up for those now, but I don’t think I every fully can.

Jarrel, Camille and Ray Jr. at their dad’s 60th birthday celebration.

“A memory that comes to mind is my dad trying to boogie board. He is not an ocean person but he knew I was, so he tried to go out and boogie board with me. He was struggling tough trying to get past the waves. It was very funny to watch, but after a couple min in the cold water he said it wasn’t for him and sat on the beach, it was a funny experience.”
-Daniel

“I remember going to Australia with my dad and my two older brothers. It was my first time away from my mom for a week. The four of us went to the Sydney Harbour Bridge to walk across and it was SO high above the water! We were all nervous but the funny part was my dad was the most scared. I remember I was able to encourage him and give him the confidence to overcome his fear of heights and we all conquered the bridge together. It was such a cool experience that I’ll never forget!”
-Camille

“I remember my dad’s 50th birthday party. It was an Austin Powers theme and of course he dressed as Austin Powers. All I can remember is him dancing, or at least I think that’s what it was. lol. It was far from his great footwork in the ring to say the least. I’m glad dancing with the stars helped him with his moves.”
– Jarrel

Jarrel and Ray Jr. give their dad a hug.

“One of the fondest memories I have with my father was when he invited my wife and kids to go on vacation with him and the rest of the family to Hawaii. As the oldest kid, and “most responsible,” I was tagged with making sure everyone got to the airport in time to catch our flight. My wife and I had a 3-year-old and a new born baby and we NEEDED the vacation badly, so I was going to make sure that there was no way we missed that flight. It was close to 15 people traveling and to get that number of people and bags to LAX was going to be a mission, so I suggested we all get our bags together and put them at the front door so we would not have any last-minute issues. That morning I get everyone up and plan to get us to the airport with 3 hours to spare! Everyone is packing their items into the vans and for some reason my father is nowhere to be found. I am furious! I call him and look everywhere to find him. When I finally locate my father, he starts dragging his feet and saying he still must pack his bags. We are now down to an hour and a half before our flight takes off. No way we are going to be able to get 26 bags and 15 people through security and on the plane in that time. I still hold out hope and give the drivers some back-road directions to speed up our commute. My father is sitting next to me with a devilish smirk as I am in full panic mode. The driver speeds past the exit and I yell at him, “What are you doing”? He says he knows a short cut and the flight now takes off in 30 minutes. I’m frustrated and disappointed because I only had a few days off work and begin to explain to my wife and kids that they should just go. My father is laughing at me and says maybe next time you can go. I had given up all hope now and was ready to go back home.  Just as I begin to call my boss, I look up and we are pulling onto a runway.  I say, “What is this”?  After brief shock, I notice my father laughing hysterically and saying, you didn’t think they would leave without us, right?  He had chartered a flight for the whole family and we enjoyed one of the best vacations ever.

On this Father’s Day, I honor my dad’s sense of humor and his flair for the dramatic! Lol. I wouldn’t have had it happen any other way!”
-Ray Leonard Jr.

Get updates from Sugar Ray Leonard and learn more about his foundation that works to raise funds and awareness to fight diabetes and help children lead healthier lives at www.sugarrayleonard.com.

Make sure you follow Skechersusa on Snapchat or check out our Instagram on Friday for exclusive live behind-the-scenes coverage of Sugar Ray Leonard on set for his new Skechers campaign! And since we love celebrating dads so much, we’re giving away four $100 Skechers gift cards for Father’s Day!  Check our Facebook and Twitter pages for details on how you could win #SKECHERSforDAD! Don’t miss out—this flash giveaway starts this evening and ends tomorrow!

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