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What Boxer Sugar Ray Leonard Can’t Live Without

Photo: Jerod Harris / Stringer; Courtesy Retailers

If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what famous people add to their carts. Not the JAR brooch and Louis XV chair, but the hand sanitizer and the electric toothbrush. We asked legendary professional boxer Sugar Ray Leonard — who won five world titles in five different weight classes and an Olympic gold medal during his career in the ring — about the breath freshenercandles, and (of course) punching bag he can’t live without.

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My mom and dad always told me to make sure my breath smelled good, and I took that advice to heart. You can be the most beautiful person in the world, but bad breath will take that all away. Back in the day, I used gum, but now I like this spray. I carry it with me all the time. And although just one spritz will do the job, I never do just one. Two gives you overwhelming confidence; you know you’re okay.

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I love playing tennis — I play with all my wife’s friends, doubles and everything. But I’ve got pain in my knees; on a scale of one to five, it’s probably around a 1.5–2. So I always wear this brace when I play. It instantaneously relieves the pressure I feel on my knees. I hate those huge braces that cover your hips — some look like they can almost cover your head. This thing is small, light; I don’t even think about it when I’m wearing it. The ladies look at me and shake their heads, but it lets me play for a couple hours each day.

If I’m using my cell phone, and it dies, I go ballistic. I have two of these charging cases on me at all times (any good fighter knows you’ve got to be ready with a Plan B). I can’t remember how I found it; some young person probably told me about it. When you need a charge, you just hit a button, and it starts. Otherwise it’s just a case. I have them in red, because if I misplace my phone, I can spot the color pretty quickly.

It’s hard to describe the relationship between me and my tennis racket. It’s kind of like a partnership; I know we belong together. It’s also kind of like how I feel about boxing gloves — an extension of my body that feels like part of me. I was shopping by myself, picked this up, and knew it was the one. I have small hands, and it was a perfect fit. This was a couple years ago; the same racket has lasted for that long.

Boxing has been my life for, oh my God, 50 years. Hitting that bag — it’s phenomenal. It not only keeps you in shape, but it’s good for your head to release that tension. I do that three or four times a week at home with this, for no longer than a half hour at a time. This is a water bag, which are lighter on your hands (I’ve had fragile hands throughout my career). When you hit it, it’s more responsive, like hitting an individual. The bag comes empty, so you have to fill it with water yourself.

I use this so much my wife thought I had a relationship with it. I just talk to it: “Okay, Google, play ’80s R&B.” “How long does it take to get from home to the airport?” “How old is Sugar Ray Leonard?” (When it replies 63, I say shut up). And, just like my wife, sometimes it will say “I don’t quite understand you.” It’s amazing.

My feet are my foundation: when they hurt, everything hurts. These shoes make my feet feel good [Editor’s note: Leonard is a Skechers brand ambassador]. People don’t really notice the brand — they just tell me they look nice, which is all I want to hear (I’m a little vain). I’m a casual guy, so I’ll even wear these with suits.

My 22-year-old daughter Camille started this candle line, Born Indigo. When she told me she wanted to start the business while she was still enrolled in college, we almost had a confrontation. But after she told me all the reasons she wanted to do this — to do something on her own — I nearly cried, man. I looked at her and saw a woman who knew what she wanted, and wasn’t going to take no for an answer. That’s my kind of lady. The candles each have a nice natural scent; I have more than a dozen around my house.

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What Boxer Sugar Ray Leonard Can’t Live Without