"I will miss all this," Leonard said on "Good Morning America" today. "I'm going to miss ... the camaraderie, the love, the support, the show ... my high heels, my sequins."
The champion boxer, who holds world titles in five different weight classes, embraced the dancing spirit, even taking ballet lessons in form-fitting blue tights as part of his practice regimen.
This week was the first-ever classical theme on "DWTS" in which technique was paramount and stars were told their performances had to be "pitch perfect." Leonard and Trebunsakaya earned their highest score from the judges Monday night, 21 out of 30 for their Viennese waltz, but did not escape elimination.
"That's life. I put up a good fight," the boxer said after learning his fate and gracefully making his exit. Judge Len Goodman called Leonard "the heart of the show."
"I had the best time of my life. It was an experience I never thought would take place because I'm not a ballroom dancer, but the crash course I had was wonderful," he said today on "GMA."
Leonard lauded veteran partner Anna Trebunskaya, who has been on seven seasons of the show but has never taken home the coveted mirrorball trophy. She tweeted that Leonard is "such an elegant sweet man on top of being a phenomenal athlete."
"He's the whole package," she said on "GMA." "The fact that he enjoyed being part of the show so much made it easy and just positive. I fed off him during the live shows because he would just go in sparkles when the camera and lights would hit. We had so much fun dancing together. I laughed and I cried and it was the best experience."
Sugar Ray Leonard Eliminated From 'Dancing With the Stars' Season 12; Places Bets on Romeo, Hines Ward
Leonard, who said he planned to keep up with ballroom dancing, said he'd be rooting for fellow competitors Romeo and Hines Ward to go all the way.
Trebunskaya said, "People want to see good dancing, but people also want to see improvement. ... I'm very happy for [Petra Nemcova and Dmitry Chaplin] for doing so good. I'm also excited to see what [Hines Ward] is going to do."
Kendra Wilkinson and Louis van Amstel, who also danced the Viennese waltz and had the lowest score of the night, earning 18 out of 30 from the judges, narrowly escaped elimination.
Eight couples remain on "Dancing With the Stars," which next airs Monday night on ABC.