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Sugar Ray Leonard wants to win 'Dancing With the Stars'

March 10, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Sugar Ray Leonard is ready to dance, and his "Dancing With the Stars" partner, Anna Trebunskaya, is ready to whip him into shape.

"I want to win. I'm not here to just compete," said the boxing champ.

"He's not here to just joke around. He's here for some serious business," added his professional dance partner.

Leonard is entering a very different ring this month and facing a very different set of judges. Instead of going toe-to-toe with another fighter, he'll be battling 10 other competitors on the dance floor.

"I'm so pumped up, I'm so excited. Words cannot describe how I feel," said Leonard.

And while his enthusiasm in joining this "team" cannot be denied, he did have to do some convincing when it came to his family.

"My wife, Bernadette, she said, 'You know Ray, you can't. You can't because you can't dance.' And then my kids said, 'Papa don't embarrass me.' So I've got to prove them wrong," said Leonard. "The stakes are very high. I will prove them wrong."

As he gets ready to jump into this new adventure, his partner sees a real crowd-pleaser about to take the stage.

"This is how I see Ray: He's that guy that when there's a party or a wedding, he dances, everybody wants to stand up and dance and join him. He's that kind of a firecracker guy," said Trebunskaya.

Leonard says he's been feeling pain in various parts of his body as he continues his training. And Trebunskaya is impressed with the former boxer's footwork.

"Dancing With the Stars" kicks off season 12 on Monday, March 21 at 8 p.m. on ABC7.