A Lover, Not a Fighter?
March 2, 2005

He gained fame as a rock 'n roll front man, and then took on TV to become a titan. Now our very own Mark McGrath is about to embark on a new journey: a role as the ultimate contender.

"My life has always been about goals and about challenges," Mark told us, before admitting, "And about women, let's be honest."

Well in just five days, Mark's going to be taking on the challenge of a lifetime. That's right: Sugar Ray is about meet Sugar Ray in a fight for the ages. "Sugar Ray Leonard has been my idol since I saw him win a gold medal in the Olympics," McGrath revealed. "To step into the ring with him just blows me away."

And according to the champ, Mark's going to get really blown away. "Hey, I'm honored that he named his group after me," Ray told us. "But I'm still going to mess him up."

The world has never seen a battle like this, and Hollywood's heavyweights are weighing in. "Million Dollar Baby" Hilary Swank gave Mark her recommendation: "Work on one punch and use it. Or my advice to you is to step down."

Hmm -- not exactly the strongest vote of confidence. So did Morgan Freeman have any better advice for Mark? "Yeah, don't do it."

But luck will have nothing to do with this fight. We've enlisted the help of a trainer for Mark, who told us, "The strategy for Mark is to go out there and go after this guy and try to overwhelm him. We have to be aggressive with Sugar Ray. He's experienced, and I think if we rush him and take him out of his game plan that would be the best thing for us."

Well, at least Mark will have the encouragement of his trainerÍ right? "Our chances aren't too good," the trainer admitted. "But we're going to attack, attack, attack."

"I'm serious about this," Mark insisted. "I mean pretty serious. If he wants to dance, I'll dance. If he wants to brawl, I'll brawl. I'm pretty confident. What's the worst that can happen?"

"This is more than a fight, this is personal," said Leonard. "It's going to take more than a pretty face and a soft jab to knock me down. I'm going to lay him out."

Expect the unexpected, Monday on "Extra," when Sugar meets Sugar Ray.

So contenders, any last words before the big match up?

"He knows I'm not really a fighter right?" Mark asked.

"Play boxing? I don't play boxing," Sugar responded.


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