Sugar Ray Seales

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Ray Seales
Nickname(s) Sugar
Rated at Middleweight
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Nationality United States American
Born (1952-09-04) 4 September 1952 (age 64)
Saint Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Stance Southpaw
Boxing record
Total fights 68
Wins 57
Wins by KO 34
Losses 8
Draws 3
No contests 0

"Sugar" Ray Seales, (born September 4, 1952 in Saint Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands) was the only American boxer to win a gold medal in the 1972 Summer Olympics. As a professional, he fought middleweight champion Marvin Hagler three times. He is also the former NABF and USBA middleweight champion.

Family and early life[edit]

Seales was born in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where his father, who boxed in the U.S. Army was stationed. The Seales family moved to Tacoma, Washington in 1965. He is the half-brother of boxer Dale Grant and the brother of boxer Wilbur Seales.

Amateur career[edit]

He was a product of the Tacoma Boys Club amateur boxing program, and was coached by Joe Clough.

Amateur record: 338-12

  • 1972 Olympic gold medalist (139 lbs.)
  • 1971 National AAU light welterweight champion
  • 1972 National Golden Gloves 139 pounds champion, defeating Donnie Nelson of Lowell, MA in the final

Olympic results[edit]

  • defeated Ulrich Beyer (East Germany) on points
  • defeated Jim Montague (Ireland) on points
  • defeated Andres Molina (Cuba) 3-2
  • defeated Zvonimir Vujin (Yugoslavia) 5-0
  • defeated Angel Angelov (Bulgaria) 3-2

Pro career[edit]

Seales was a contender for the middleweight title during the late '70s and early '80s, winning the regional level USBA and NABF titles in the process. In his two most memorable fights, he lost a narrow decision to future middleweight champion Marvin Hagler in July 1974, then drew with Hagler in a rematch three months later. After losing to European champion Alan Minter in 1976, Seales remained on the outskirts of contention, until a first-round technical knockout at the hands of Hagler effectively ended his title hopes.


In 1980, Seales injured his left eye in a fight with Jaime Thomas, and retired due to a serious retinal tear. He was subsequently declared legally blind, and was used as a cause célèbre along with Sugar Ray Leonard during the 1980s, for those pushing for a ban on boxing.

Life after boxing[edit]

Years later, doctors operated and restored Seales' vision in his right eye, though he wears glasses. Seales later worked as a schoolteacher of autistic students at Lincoln High School in Tacoma for 17 years, retiring in 2004. In 2006, he moved to Indianapolis with his wife, and currently teaches at Indy Boxing and Grappling.


Seales was a 2005 inductee into the Tacoma-Pierce County Sports Hall of Fame.

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Tony Licata
NABF Middleweight Champion
May 25, 1976 – June 21, 1977
Title next held by
Ralph Palladin
Title last held by
Tony Licata
USBA Middleweight Champion
December 2, 1977 – May 4, 1980
Title next held by
Curtis Parker
Preceded by
Sammy NeSmith
NABF Middleweight Champion
March 31, 1981 – October 23, 1982
Succeeded by
James Shuler


External links[edit]