Daniel Neiditch and Sugar Ray Leonard Fight to Knock Out Diabetes

Photo Credit: Daniel Neiditch

Sugar Ray Leonard is back in the fight, but this time, he’s not swinging his lightning-fast fists to knock out a lightweight competitor. The champion boxer recently teamed up with New York City entrepreneur and philanthropist Daniel Neiditch – a heavy hitter in his own field – to face off in a friendly boxing match in support of the Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation, which supports childhood diabetes.

The fundraiser took place at Sugar Ray Leonard’s Pacific Palisades residence, where donors and supporters of the Foundation gathered to watch the match. Leonard and Neiditch clocked in for the super middleweight standoff, both weighing in at 165 pounds. After throwing a few well-calculated punches and swift hooks, the match ended in good humor, with both contestants sharing the victory.

Once the gloves came off, the six-time world champion, 1976 gold medal winner, and three-time golden glove champion showed off his gold medal and championship belts. The event successfully raised donations from generous benefactors and boxing enthusiasts to fund research and care for pediatric diabetic patients.

Leonard, whose father struggled with diabetes, established the Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation with his wife, Bernadette, in 2009 to benefit and create awareness for childhood type one and two diabetes. The former boxer was inspired to jumpstart his charity after witnessing his father’s uphill battle with the disease and the complications that affected every aspect of his life. His foundation strives to help children with diabetes live healthier, longer lives through diet and exercise while supporting research efforts to fight back against the childhood condition that affects more than 20,000 children in America alone.

This boxing match wasn’t Daniel Neiditch’s first fight. In October of 2019, he entered the ring with heavyweight champ Evander Holyfield, that time in support of Global Autism awareness. He may have been punching above his weight class in that match, but still came out on top as a champion for his cause.

Leonard and Holyfield are just two of the famous faces Daniel Neiditch has worked with to support various charitable causes. Neiditch is known for his philanthropic work, aimed primarily at empowering disadvantaged children, and for harnessing the potential of celebrity influence for a good cause. In the past, he’s teamed up with other famous faces to benefit charity. He bowled a few frames with Paul Rudd on behalf of the Stuttering Association for the Young and joined Steven Colbert and Julia Louis-Dreyfus for Montclair Film’s annual fundraiser in Newark, benefitting children in underprivileged communities.

In 2019, Neiditch took to the mound at Target Field to throw out the first pitch at a Twins game on behalf of the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation. He also tossed one across the plate at Fenway Park in front of Red Sox fans. A live auction led by Neiditch offered donors the chance for an enlightening lunch and ride in a Lamborghini to benefit the Max Alexander Foundation.

Through his philanthropic work, Neiditch demonstrates an ability to combine creative fundraising efforts with the power of the celebrity. While celebrities themselves are more than capable of giving to charitable foundations on their own, the influence they evoke when they publicly support a specific cause creates a much larger ripple.

Bringing a well-known name or face to a movement enhances the awareness around the cause and even lends a heaping dose of credibility to it. While marketing and advertising agencies use this “celebrity effect” to their advantage to boost profit, Daniel Neiditch sees it as an opportunity to make a positive difference where it counts. Celebrities, socialites and business moguls all over the world have a tremendous power that, yielded in the right way, can make a monumental impact on philanthropy and charitable efforts. Their superstar status amplifies their voice and gives them a stage from which they can encourage a giving spirit and draw attention to important issues that desperately need resolution.

Daniel Neiditch’s efforts illustrate the positive effect of combining creative philanthropy with the biggest names in the world. So, while the match with Leonard may have ended in a draw, it marks a victory in the endeavor to use celebrity influence for good, and a win for the kids of the Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation.