Sugar Ray Robinson: Boxing
Sugar Ray Robinson (born Walker Smith Jr., May 3, 1921 – April 12, 1989) was considered one of the greatest boxers of all time holding the world welterweight title from 1946 – 1951. He was born in Michigan and was dubbed “pound for pound, the best”. By 1958, he became the first-ever boxer to win a divisional world championship five times. As an amateur, he was 85—0, 69 of those were victories that came from knockouts – 40 of those in the first round. By 19 years old, he turned professional in 1940.
Greatest Sporting Achievements
Robinson won the world welterweight title from 1946 to 1951 and won the world middleweight title a couple of years later. He was named “fighter of the year” twice, first for his performances in 1942 and 90 fights later for his efforts in 1951.He had a record of 173—19—6 (2 no contests) with 108 knockouts in 200 professional fights after his retirement. He’s on the top spot of the All-Time Leaders in Knockouts.
Why Was He So Good?
Sugar Ray Robinson was known for his ability to be a champion in different weight classes, causing the boxing fans and writers to dub him “pound for pound, the best”. It was a sentiment that hasn’t faded several years later. Even Muhammad Ali referred to him as “the king, the master, and my idol”.
What You May Not Know
- His nickname “Sugar” came from George Gainford, a man who started a boxing club at the Salem Methodist Episcopal Church in New York after him and his mother moved there. “Ray Robinson” came from a boxer, whose card he borrowed for the Amateur Athletic Union so he could enter the ring. It was in 1936.
- He liked to parade around Harlem with his pink Cadillac. He made appearance to high-profile nightclubs and was always surrounded by an entourage – women, trainers, family members.
- He was supposed to retire in 1952 but came back to the ring in 1954. He was said to make $4 million each fight. By 1965, he retired saying “I hate to go too long campaigning for another chance”.
- He won 40 consecutive professional fights before losing to Jake LaMotta during one of their six battles.
Was he a legend?
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