Being a boxing aficionado for the better part of my life…..while having collected over 1000 boxing videos comprising of some 600 title fights in the process (as seen posted here at ImaSportsPhile)…..suffice to say, I have seen a lot of footage of fighters….and I know a good one when I see him fight. I first saw Sugar Ray Robinson in a video of his 1952 3rd round KO of former champion Rocky Graciano….and I knew this man, Sugar Ray Robinson, was a true master of the art of pugilism and a very special boxer. It turns out that at the end of his fabulous career….wherein Sugar Ray Robinson had accumulated a career record, after his last fight against Joey Archer at age 44 years and 191 days, of 174 Wins 19 Losses 6 Draws and 2 No Contest…..with 109 knockouts. He started his career in 1940…..and was 40 – 0 when he suffered his 1st loss to Jake LaMotta in 1943…..then he went on a winning streak that left him at 129 – 1 when he lost to Randolph Turpin in 1951…..and that my friends is one heck of a win streak…..which covered 11 years and 89 wins without a loss….. for that is simply fantastic….and that is why it gives me such an honor to tell the story of Sugar Ray Robinson in video.
Boxing – Documentary – 1940 To 1965 – The Big Fights, Inc. Presents a Bill Clayton – Jim Jacobs Production Special – “Sugar Ray Robinson: Pound For Pound”
Walker Smith Jr. (May 3, 1921 – April 12, 1989), better known as Sugar Ray Robinson, was an American professional boxer who competed from 1940 to 1965. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990. He is often regarded as the greatest boxer of all time, pound-for-pound.
Boxing – 1940 To 1965 – Boxing Special – “Sugar Ray Robinson’s Perfect Boxing Explained”
Robinson was a dominant amateur, but his exact amateur record is not known…..as it is usually listed as 85–0 with 69 knockouts…..wherein 40 were in in the 1st round. He turned professional in 1940 at the age of 19 and by 1951 had a professional record of 129–1–2 with 85 knockouts. From 1943 to 1951 Robinson went on a 91-fight unbeaten streak, the third-longest in professional boxing history. Robinson held the world welterweight title from 1946 to 1951…..and won the world middleweight title later in 1951. He retired in 1952, only to come back two-and-a-half years later…..and then he regained the middleweight title in 1955.
Boxing – 1952 – Rare Footage Special – “Sugar Ray Robinson: Having Fun Jumping Rope”
He then became the 1st boxer in history to win a divisional world championship five times…..which was a feat he accomplished by defeating Carmen Basilio in 1958 to regain the middleweight championship. Robinson was named “fighter of the year” twice…..1st for his performances in 1942….. then nine years and over 90 fights later for his efforts in 1951. Historian Bert Sugar ranked Robinson as the greatest fighter of all time…..and in 2002, Robinson was also ranked # 1 on The Ring magazine’s list of “80 Best Fighters of the Last 80 Years”. As of November 2021, BoxRec ranks Robinson as the greatest boxer, pound-for-pound, of all time. He was named the best boxer of all time, pound for pound, by the International Boxing Research Organization (IBRO) in both of its all-time ratings, in 2006 and 2019.
Boxing – Documentary – 1940 To 1965 – Bored Film Special – “Sugar Ray Robinson – 128-1 – Pound for Pound The Greatest Ever”
Renowned for his classy and flamboyant lifestyle outside the ring, Robinson is credited with being the originator of the modern sports “entourage”. After his boxing career ended, Robinson attempted a career as an entertainer….. but it was not successful. He struggled financially until his death in 1989. In 2006, he was featured on a commemorative stamp by the United States Postal Service.
Boxing – 1946 – Welterweight Bout Highlights – Sugar Ray Robinson Vs Cliff Beckett – Robinson Wins w/ 4th Round KO
Robinson was born Walker Smith Jr. in Ailey, Georgia, to Walker Smith Sr. and Leila Hurst…..as the youngest of three children….with his eldest sister Marie was born in 1917…..and his other sister Evelyn in 1919. His father was a cotton, peanut, and corn farmer in Georgia…..who moved the family to Detroit where he initially found work in construction. According to Robinson, Smith Sr. later worked two jobs to support his family—cement mixer and sewer worker. “He had to get up at six in the morning and he’d get home close to midnight. Six days a week. The only day I really saw him was Sunday … I always wanted to be with him more.” His parents separated, and he moved with his mother to the New York City neighborhood of Harlem at the age of 12. Robinson originally aspired to be a doctor, but after dropping out of DeWitt Clinton High School (in the Bronx) in ninth grade, he switched his goal to boxing.
Boxing – 1940 To 1965 – haNZAgod Special – “Sugar Ray Robinson: Masterful Jab” – Great Video !!!
When he was 14, he attempted to enter his 1st boxing tournament…..but was told he 1st needed a membership card—which he could not legally procure until he was 16. He circumvented the AAU’s age requirement by using an ID card from a youth named Ray Robinson, who had quit boxing. So, Walker began his amateur fighting career under that name…..and it stuck…..then later, when a lady in the audience at a fight in Watertown, New York, said he was “sweet as sugar”…..and the name “Sugar Ray Robinson” was born.
Bosing – 1946 – Welterweighjt Bouts – Sugar Ray Robinson Vs Tony Riccio (Feb 5th) & Freddie Flores (Mar 26th)
Robinson idolized Henry Armstrong and Joe Louis as a youth…..while having actually lived on the same block as Louis in Detroit when Robinson was 11 and Louis was 17. Outside the ring, Robinson got into trouble frequently as a youth…..while being involved with a street gang. He married at 16….and the couple had one son, Ronnie…..then divorced when Robinson was 19.
Boxing – 2016 – The Modern Martial Artist Special – “Sugar Ray Robinson’s Perfect Punches – TECHNIQUE BREAKDOWN”
He reportedly finished his amateur career with an 85–0 record with 69 knockouts…..with 40 coming in the 1st round. He won the New York Golden Gloves featherweight championship in 1939 by defeating Louis Valentine on points in 3 rounds…..and the New York Golden Gloves lightweight title in 1940 by defeating Andy Nonella by a KO in round 2.
Boxing – 1940 – New York Golden Gloves Lightweight Title Fight Highlights – Sugar Ray Robinson Vs Andy Nonella
Boxing – Amateur – 1935 To 1939 – Smooth Legend Special – “Sugar Ray Robinson in the Ameteurs”
Robinson made his professional debut on October 4, 1940, winning by a 2nd-round stoppage over Joe Echevarria…..then Robinson fought five more times in 1940….while winning all four by knockout. In 1941, he defeated world champion Sammy Angott…..future champion Marty Servo…..and former champion Fritzie Zivic. The Robinson-Angott fight was held above the lightweight limit…..since Angott did not want to risk losing his lightweight title…..whereas, the Zivic bout, held at the Madison Square Garden, drew a crowd of 20,551…..which was one of the largest in the arena to that date….. while Robinson won the first five rounds, according to Joseph C. Nichols of The New York Times, before Zivic came back to land several punches to Robinson’s head in the 6th and 7th rounds…..when Robinson controlled the next two, and had Zivic hurt in the 9th…..then after a close 10th round, Robinson was announced as the winner on all three scorecards.
Boxing – Documentary – 1940 To 1965 – Rhythm Boxing Special – “Sugar Ray Robinson: The Greatest Boxer of All Time”
Robinson knocked out Zivic in the 10th round in a January 1942 rematch….. which was only the 2nd time Zivic had been counted out in more than 150 fights…..as Sugar Ray knocked him down in the 9th and 10th rounds before the referee stopped the fight. Zivic and his corner protested the stoppage….. as James P. Dawson of The New York Times stated “[t]hey were criticizing a humane act. The battle had been a slaughter, for want of a more delicate word.” Robinson then won four consecutive bouts by knockout, before defeating Servo in a controversial split decision in their May rematch. After winning three more fights, Robinson faced Jake LaMotta…..who would become one of his more prominent rivals…..for the 1st time in October. He defeated LaMotta by a unanimous decision…..albeit he failed to get Jake down…..as Robinson weighed 145 lb (66 kg) compared to 157.5 for LaMotta …..but he was able to control the fight from the outside for the entire bout …..and actually landed the harder punches during the fight. Robinson then won four more fights, including two against Izzy Jannazzo, from October 19 to December 14. For his performances, Robinson was named “Fighter of the Year”…..as he finished 1942 with a total of 14 wins and no losses.
Boxing – 1950 – Highlights of Welterweight Title Fight – Ray Barnes Vs Sugar Ray Robinson – As Sugar Ray Was 109 – 1 – 2 At This Stage of His Career
Boxing – 1941 – Smooth Legends Special – Welterweight Bout – Sammy Angott Vs Sugar Ray Robinson
Boxing – 1941 To 1952 – Scrapbook Boxing Special – “Ray Robinson Vs Marty Servo Highlights”
Boxing – Entire Fight – 1942 – World Middleweight Title Fight – Jake LaMotta Vs. Sugar Ray Robinson – Fight 1
Boxing – 1943 – Highlights of World Middleweight Title Fight – Sugar Ray Robinson Vs. Jake LaMotta – Fight 2
Robinson built a record of 40–0 before losing for the 1st time to LaMotta in a 10-round re-match. LaMotta, who had a 16 lb (7.3 kg) weight advantage over Robinson, knocked Robinson out of the ring in the eighth round, and won the fight by decision. The fight took place in Robinson’s former home town of Detroit…..which had attracted a record crowd. After being controlled by Robinson in the early rounds LaMotta came back to take control in the later. After winning the 3rd LaMotta fight less than three weeks later, Robinson then defeated his childhood idol…..as he fought the former champion Henry Armstrong only because the older man was in need of money…..as Robinson later stated that he carried the aged former champion.
Boxing – 1943 – Highlights of World Middleweight Title Fight – Sugar Ray Robinson Vs Jake LaMotta – Fight 2
Boxing – 1943 – Highlights of World Middleweight Title Fight – Sugar Ray Robinson Vs Jake LaMotta – Fight 3 – Just Three Weeks After Fight 2
On February 27, 1943, Robinson was inducted into the United States Army, where he was again referred to as Walker Smith…..which started a 15-month military career…..as he served with Joe Louis…..and the pair went on tours with the Special Services division where they performed exhibition bouts in front of U.S. Army troops. Robinson got into trouble several times while in the military…..when he argued with superiors who he felt were discriminatory against him…..and refused to fight exhibitions when he was told African American soldiers were not allowed to watch them. In late March 1944 Robinson was stationed at Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn, waiting to ship out to Europe…..where he was scheduled to perform more exhibition matches…..but on March 29, Robinson disappeared from his barracks….then when he woke up on April 5 in Fort Jay Hospital on Governor’s Island…..and he had missed his sailing for Europe…..and was under suspicion of deserting. He himself reported falling down the stairs in his barracks on the 29th…..but said that he had complete amnesia…..and he could not remember any events from that moment until the 5th. According to his file, a stranger had found him in the street on April 1 and helped him to a hospital. In his examination report, a doctor at Fort Jay concluded that Robinson’s version of events was sincere. He was examined by military authorities, who claimed he suffered from a mental deficiency. Robinson was granted an honorable discharge on June 3, 1944. He later wrote that unfair press coverage of the incident had “branded him as a deserter”. Robinson maintained his close friendship with Louis from their time in military service…..and the two went into business together after the war. They planned to start a liquor distribution business in New York City, but were denied a license due to their race.
Boxing – 2022 – More Milo Special – “BOXING NOOB Reacts To The Greatest Boxer Ever Pound For Pound: Sugar Ray Robinson”
Besides the loss in the LaMotta rematch, the only other mark on Robinson’s record during this period was a 10-round draw against José Basora in 1945.
Boxing – 1951 – Non-Title Fight in Berlin, Germany – Featuring Middleweight Champ Sugar Ray Robinson Vs German Light Heavyweight Champ Gerhardt Hecht – In a Bizzarre Boxing Match
Boxing – 2018 – Interview Special – HOF Trainer Angelo Dundee With Ex-Featherweight Boxing Champion Willie Pep – Talks About Fighting Sugar Ray Robinson as amateurs.
By 1946, Robinson had fought 75 fights to a 73–1–1 record…..and beaten every top contender in the welterweight division…..however, he refused to cooperate with the Mafia…..which controlled much of boxing at the time….. and was denied a chance to fight for the welterweight championship. Robinson was finally given a chance to win a title against Tommy Bell on December 20, 1946. Robinson had already beaten Bell once by decision in 1945…..when the two fought for the title vacated by Servo…..who had himself lost twice to Robinson in non-title bouts. In the fight, Robinson, who only a month before had been involved in a 10-round brawl with Artie Levine, was knocked down by Bell…..when the fight was called a “war”…..but Robinson was able to pull out a close 15-round decision…..and thus winning the vacant World Welterweight title.
Boxing – 2021 – Scrapbook Boxings Museum of the Forgotten Fisticuffs Series Special – “Sugar Ray Robinson KO’s Artie Levine in a 10-Round Brawl (1946)” & “Ray Robinson KO’s Tommy Bell To Win the Vacant Welterweight Title (1946)”
In 1948 Robinson fought five times…..but only one bout was a title defense. Among the fighters he defeated in those non-title bouts was future world champion Kid Gavilán in a close, controversial 10-round fight…..as Gavilán hurt Robinson several times in the fight…..but Robinson controlled the final rounds with a series of jabs and left hooks. In 1949, he boxed 16 times, but again only defended his title once. In that title fight, a rematch with Gavilán, Robinson again won by decision. The 1st half of the bout was very close….. but Robinson took control in the 2nd half. Gavilán would have to wait two more years to begin his own historic reign as welterweight champion. The only boxer to match Robinson that year was Henry Brimm…..who fought him to a 10-round draw in Buffalo.
Boxing – 2016 – Scrapbook Boxings Museum of the Forgotten Fisticuffs Series Special – “Highlights and Facts Surrounding Tony Zale Vs Rocky Graciano 3rd Fight for Middleweight Championship & Sugar Ray Robinson Vs Kid Galivan 1st + 2nd Welterweight Title Fights et al”
Robinson fought 19 times in 1950…..as he successfully defended his welterweight title for the last time against Charley Fusari…..when he won a lopsided 15-round decision…..while knocking Fusari down once. Robinson donated all but $1 of his purse for the Fusari fight to cancer research. In 1950 Robinson fought George Costner….. who had also taken to calling himself “Sugar” and stated in the weeks leading up to the fight that he was the rightful possessor of the name. “We better touch gloves, because this is the only round”, Robinson said as the fighters were introduced at the center of the ring. “Your name ain’t Sugar, mine is.“…..and then Robinson knocked Costner out in 2 minutes and 49 seconds.
Boxing – 1950 – Welterweight Bout Highlights – Sugar Ray Robinson vs Robert Villemain
Boxing – 1950 – Welterweight Bout from Paris, France Highlights – Jean Stock Vs Sugar Ray Robinson
Boxing – 1950 – Pennsylvania State Middleweight Title Fight Highlights – Carl ‘Bobo’ Olson Vs Sugar Ray Robinson – Fight 1
Boxing – 1950 – Pennsylvania State Middleweight Title Fight Highlights – Charley Fusari Vs Sugar Ray Robinson
Boxing – 1950 – World Middleweight Title Fight Highlights – Bobo Olson Vs Sugar Ray Robinson Highlights – Fight 2
In June 1947, after four non-title bouts, Robinson was scheduled to defend his title for the 1st time in a bout against Jimmy Doyle…..when Sugar Ray initially backed out of the fight because he had a dream that he was going to kill Doyle…..then a priest and a minister convinced him to fight. His dream ended up becoming a reality. On June 25, 1947, Robinson dominated Doyle and scored a decisive knockout in the eighth round that knocked Doyle unconscious and resulted in Doyle’s death later that night. Robinson said that the impact of Doyle’s death was “very trying”. After Doyle’s death, criminal charges were threatened against Robinson in Cleveland, up to and including murder, though none actually materialized. After learning of Doyle’s intentions of using the bout’s money to buy his mother a house, Robinson gave Doyle’s mother the money from his next four bouts so she could purchase herself a home, fulfilling her son’s intention.
Boxing – 2020 – Tyler Medeirostv True Story Special – “The True Story Of Sugar Ray Robinson VS Jimmy Doyle”
Boxing – 1947 – Special – “Sugar Ray Robinson and the Death of Jimmy Doyle June 24, 1947”
It is stated in his autobiography that one of the main considerations for his move up to middleweight was the increasing difficulty he was having in making the 147 lb (67 kg) welterweight weight limit. However, the move up would also prove beneficial financially, as the division then contained some of the biggest names in boxing. Vying for the Pennsylvania state middleweight title in 1950, Robinson defeated Robert Villemain. Later that year, in defense of that crown, he defeated Jose Basora…..with whom he had previously drawn…..as Robinson’s 50-second, 1st-round knockout of Basora set a record that would stand for 38 years. In October 1950, Robinson knocked out Bobo Olson a future middleweight title holder.
Boxing – 1950 – Smooth Legends Presents – 10-Round Middleweight Bout Highlights -Sugar Ray Robinson vs Robert Villemain
Boxing – 1955 – 10-Round Middleweight Bout Highlights – Sugar Ray Robinson Vs Rocky Castellani
On February 14, 1951, Robinson and LaMotta met for the 6th time…..as the fight would become known as The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre…..when Robinson would win the undisputed World Middleweight title with a 13th round technical knockout…..as Sugar Ray outboxed LaMotta for the 1st 10 rounds, then unleashed a series of savage combinations on LaMotta for three rounds…..and finally stopping the champion for the 1st time in their legendary 6-bout series…..while dealing LaMotta his 1st legitimate knockout loss in 95 professional bouts. LaMotta had lost by knockout to Billy Fox earlier in his career. However, that fight was later ruled to have been fixed and LaMotta was sanctioned for letting Fox win. That bout, and some of the other bouts in the six-fight Robinson-LaMotta rivalry, was depicted in the Martin Scorsese film Raging Bull. “I fought Sugar Ray so often, I almost got diabetes”, LaMotta later said. Robinson won five of his six bouts with LaMotta.
Boxing – 2017 – Wylie’s Art and Science of Boxing Special – “Sugar Ray Robinson: Sweet Violence” – AWESOME FILM !!
After winning his 2nd world title, he embarked on a European tour which took him all over the Continent….when Robinson traveled with his flamingo-pink Cadillac…..which caused quite a stir in Paris…..along with his entourage of 13 people….with some included “just for laughs”. He was a hero in France due to his recent defeat of LaMotta…..whereas the French hated LaMotta for defeating Marcel Cerdan in 1949…..and taking his championship belt…..then Cerdan died in a plane crash en route to a rematch with LaMotta. Robinson met President of France Vincent Auriol at a ceremony attended by France’s social upper crust. During his fight in Berlin against Gerhard Hecht, Sugar Ray was disqualified when he knocked his opponent out with a punch to the kidney…..which was a punch legal in the US, but not Europe. The fight was later declared a no-contest. In London, Robinson lost the world middleweight title to British boxer Randolph Turpin in a sensational bout. Three months later in a rematch in front of 60,000 fans at the Polo Grounds, he knocked Turpin out in ten rounds to recover the title. In that bout Robinson was leading on the cards but was cut by Turpin…..so, with the fight in jeopardy, Robinson let loose on Turpin, knocking him down, then getting him to the ropes and unleashing a series of punches that caused the referee to stop the bout. Following Robinson’s victory, residents of Harlem danced in the streets. In 1951, Robinson was named Ring Magazine’s “Fighter of the Year” for the 2nd time.
Boxing – Entire Fight – 1951 – World Middleweight Title Fight – Champ Sugar Ray Robinson Vs British Randolph Turpin – Fight 1 – As Turpin Surprises Robinson and Takes His Title
Boxing – Entire Fight – 1951 – World Middleweight Title Fight – Sugar Ray Robinson Vs Champ Randolph Turpin – Fight 2 – As Robinson Takes His Title Back !!
In 1952 he fought a rematch with Olson, winning by a decision…..which he followed by defeating former champion Rocky Graziano by a 3rd-round knockout…..after that he challenged World Light heavyweight champion Joey Maxim……when in the Yankee Stadium bout, Robinson built a lead on all three judges’ scorecards…..but the 103 °F (39 °C) temperature in the ring took its toll. The referee, Ruby Goldstein, was the 1st victim of the heat…. and had to be replaced by referee Ray Miller. The fast-moving Robinson was the heat’s next victim…..and at the end of round 13, he collapsed and failed to answer the bell for the next round…..while suffering the only knockout of his career.
Boxing – Entire Fight – 1952 – World Light Heavyweight Title Fight – Middlewt Champ Sugar Ray Robinson Vs Champ Joey Maxim
Boxing – 1952 – The Boxing Vault Presents – World Light Heavyweight Title Fight Rnd by Rnd Highlights – Challenger Sugar Ray Robinson Vs Champion Joey Maxim
On June 25, 1952, after the Maxim bout, Robinson gave up his title and retired with a record of 131–3–1–1…..when he began a career in show business, singing and tap dancing. After about three years, the decline of his businesses and the lack of success in his performing career made him decide to return to boxing…..so, he resumed training in 1954.
Boxing & News – 1952 – AP News Story – “The Feet That Danced Their Way To World Titles In The Boxing Ring, Now Aim To Take Up Dancing Professionally”
Boxing & Dancing – 1976 – Gene Kelly’s Omnibus Variety Show Special – “You Gotta Have Rhythm with Gene Kelly and Sugar Ray Robinson”
In 1955 Robinson returned to the ring…..when albeit he had been inactive for two and a half years, his work as a dancer kept him in peak physical condition…..while in his autobiography, Robinson states that in the weeks leading up to his debut for a dancing engagement in France, he ran five miles every morning…..and then danced for five hours each night. Robinson even stated that the training he did in his attempts to establish a career as a dancer were harder than any he undertook during his boxing career. He won five fights in 1955, before losing a decision to Ralph ‘Tiger’ Jones…..but he bounced back…..and defeated Rocky Castellani by a split decision…..then challenged Bobo Olson for the world middleweight title…..when he won the middleweight championship for the 3rd time with a 2nd-round knockout in his 3rd victory over Olson. After his comeback performance in 1955, Robinson expected to be named fighter of the year…..however, the title went to welterweight Carmen Basilio……as Basilio’s handlers had lobbied heavily for it on the basis that he had never won the award…..which Robinson later described this as the biggest disappointment of his professional career. “I haven’t forgotten it to this day, and I never will”…..as Robinson wrote in his autobiography. Robinson and Olson fought for the last time in 1956…..and Robinson closed the four-fight series with a 4th-round knockout.
Boxing – Entire Fight – 10 Round Middleweight Bout – Sugar Ray Robinson Vs Ralph “Tiger” Jones
Boxing – 1955 – 10 Round Middleweight Bout Highlights – Rocky Castellani Vs Sugar Ray Robinson Fight 1
Boxing – Entire Fight – 1956 – World Middleweight Title Fight Highlights – Sugar Ray Robinson Vs Carl “Bobo” Olson – Fight 4
In 1957 Robinson lost his title to Gene Fullmer…..who used his aggressive, forward moving style to control Robinson…..and knocked him down in the fight…..however, Sugar Ray noticed that Fullmer was vulnerable to the left hook. Fullmer headed into their May rematch as a 3–1 favorite. In the 1st two rounds Robinson followed Fullmer around the ring, however in the 3rd round he changed tactics and made Fullmer come to him. At the start of the 4th round Robinson came out on the attack and stunned Fullmer…..and when Fullmer returned with his own punches, Robinson traded with him, as opposed to clinching as he had done in their earlier fight. The fight was fairly even after four rounds…..but in the 5th, Robinson was able to win the title back for a 4th time by knocking out Fullmer with a lightning fast, powerful left hook. Boxing critics have referred to the left-hook which knocked out Fullmer as “the perfect punch”. It marked the 1st time in 44 career fights that Fullmer had been knocked out…..and when someone asked Robinson after the fight how far the left hook had travelled, Robinson replied: “I can’t say. But he got the message.”
Boxing – Entire Fight – 1957 – NYSAC, NBA, and The Ring Middleweight Titles Fight – Gene Fulmer Vs Sugar Ray Robinson – Fight 1
Boxing – 1957 – NYSAC, NBA, and The Ring Middleweight Titles Fight Highlights – Gene Fulmer Vs Sugar Ray Robinson – Fight 2
Boxing – Entire Fight – 1960 – NBA Middleweight Title Fight – Gene Fulmer Vs Sugar Ray Robinson Fight 3
Later that year, he lost his title to Basilio in a rugged 15 round fight in front of 38,000 at Yankee Stadium…..but regained it for a record 5th time when he beat Basilio in the rematch…..when Robinson struggled to make weight….. and had to go without food for nearly 20 hours leading up to the bout. He badly damaged Basilio’s eye early in the fight…..and by the 7th round it was swollen shut. The two judges gave the fight to Robinson by wide margins of 72–64 and 71–64. The referee scored the fight for Basilio 69–64…..and was booed loudly by the crowd of 19,000 when his decision was announced. The 1st fight won the “Fight of the Year” award from The Ring magazine for 1957…..and the 2nd fight won the “Fight of the Year” award for 1958.
Boxing – Entire Fight – 1957 – World Middleweight Title Fight – Welterweight Champ Carmen Basillo Vs Middleweight Champ Sugar Ray Robinson – Fight 1 – 1957 Fight of the Year
Boxing – 1958 – World Middleweight Title Fight Highlights – Featuring Welterweight Champ Carmen Basillo Vs Middleweight Champ Sugar Ray Robinson – Fight 2 – 1958 Fight of the Year
Robinson knocked out Bob Young in the 2nd round in Boston in his only fight in 1959…..then a year later, he defended his title against Paul Pender. Robinson entered the fight as a 5–1 favorite, but lost a split decision in front of 10,608 at Boston Garden…..when the day before the fight Pender commented that he planned to start slowly, before coming on late…..and that is what he did…..which allowed him to outlast the aging Robinson….. who, despite opening a cut over Pender’s eye in the 8th round…..but was largely ineffective in the later rounds. An attempt to regain the crown for an unheard of 6th time proved beyond Robinson. Despite Robinson’s efforts, Pender won by decision in that rematch…..then on December 3 of that year, Robinson and Fullmer fought a 15-round draw for the WBA middleweight title…..which Fullmer retained. In 1961, Robinson and Fullmer fought for a 4th time…..with Fullmer retaining the WBA middleweight title by a unanimous decision. The fight would be Robinson’s last title bout.
Boxing – 1962 – Smooth Legends Special – Rare Highlights of Middleweight Bout – Sugar Ray Robinson Vs George Estatoff
Boxing – Entire Fight – 1960 – NYSAC and The Ring Middleweight Title Fight – Paul Pender Vs Sugar Ray Robinson – Champ’s 1st Loss In 94 Consecutive Bouts
Boxing – Entire Fight – 1961 – WBA Middleweight Title Fight – Sugar Ray Robinson Vs Gene Fulmer Fight 4
Robinson spent the rest of the 1960’s fighting 10-round contests. In October 1961 Robinson defeated future world champion Denny Moyer by a unanimous decision. A 12–5 favorite, the 41-year-old Robinson defeated the 22-year-old Moyer by staying on the outside, rather than engaging him. In their rematch four months later, Moyer defeated Robinson on points, as he pressed the action and made Robinson back up throughout the fight. Moyer won 7–3 on all three judges scorecards. Robinson lost twice more in 1962, before winning six consecutive fights against mostly lesser opposition. In February 1963 Robinson lost by a unanimous decision to former world champion and fellow Hall of Famer Joey Giardello…..who knocked Robinson down in the 4th round…..and the 43-year-old took until the count of nine to rise to his feet. Robinson was also nearly knocked down in the sixth round, but was saved by the bell. He rallied in the seventh and eight rounds, before struggling in the final two. He then embarked on an 18-month boxing tour of Europe.
Boxing – 1963 – 10-Round Middleweight Bout Highlights – Armand Varrucci Vs Sugar Ray Robinson
Boxing – Entire Fight – 1961 – 10-Round Middleweight Bout – Sugar Ray Robinson Vs Denny Moyer Fight 1
Boxing – 1963 – 10-Round Middleweight Bout Highlights – Joey Giardello Vs Sugar Ray Robinson
Boxing – 1962 – 10-Round Middleweight Bout Highlights – Denny Moyer Vs Sugar Ray Robinson – Fight 2
Robinson’s second no-contest bout came in September 1965 in Norfolk, Virginia in a match with an opponent who turned out to be an impostor. Boxer Neil Morrison, at the time a fugitive and accused robber, signed up for the fight as Bill Henderson, a capable club fighter. The fight was a fiasco, with Morrison being knocked down twice in the first round and once in the 2nd before the disgusted referee, who said “Henderson put up no fight”, walked out of the ring. Robinson was initially given a TKO in 1:20 of the 2nd round after the “obviously frightened” Morrison laid himself down on the canvas. Robinson fought for the final time in November 1965…..when he lost by a unanimous decision to Joey Archer. Famed sports author Pete Hamill mentioned that one of the saddest experiences of his life was watching Robinson lose to Archer. He was even knocked down and Hamill pointed out that Archer had no knockout punch at all…..as Archer admitted afterward that it was only the 2nd time he had knocked an opponent down in his career. The crowd of 9,023 at the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh gave Robinson several standing ovations, even while he was being thoroughly outperformed by Archer.
Boxing – 1939 & 1965 – New York Golden Gloves Featherweight Finals Highlights – Louis Valelntine Vs Ray Robinson (1939) & 10-Round Middleweight Bout Highlights – Sugar Ray Robinson Vs Joey Archer – Robinson’s Last Fight
On November 11, 1965, Robinson announced his retirement from boxing, saying: “I hate to go too long campaigning for another chance.” Robinson retired from boxing with a record of 173–19–6 (2 no contests) with 109 knockouts in 200 professional bouts…..which ranked him among the all-time leaders in knockouts.
Boxing 1952 – Special – Sugar Ray Robinson Interviewed by Jack Mangan Aboard The SS Nieuw Amsterdam
Boxing – Exhibition – 1965 – 8mm Special – 4-Round Exhibition – Former Champions Willie Pep Vs Sugar Ray Robinson – “The Greatest P4P Fighter of All Time Meets the Greatest Defensive Fighter of All Time” – Absolutely Legendary!!!
In his autobiography, Robinson states that by 1965 he was broke, having spent all of the $4 million in earnings he made inside and out of the ring during his career. A month after his last fight, Robinson was honored with a Sugar Ray Robinson Night on December 10, 1965, in New York’s Madison Square Garden. During the ceremony, he was honored with a massive trophy. However, there was not a piece of furniture in his small Manhattan apartment with legs strong enough to support it. Robinson was elected to the Ring Magazine boxing Hall of Fame in 1967, two years after he retired….. and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.
Boxing – 2017 – ESPN Classic Special – Ringside Documentary – “Sugar Ray Robinson: Pound For Pound” – With Boxing Historian Burt Sugar + Former Champ Carmen Basiio + NYT”s Pulitzer Prize Winner Dave Anderson + Author Pete Hamill
In the late 1960’s he acted in some television shows, like Mission: Impossible. An episode of Land of the Giants called “Giants and All That Jazz” had Sugar as a washed up boxer opening a nightclub. He also appeared in a few films including the Frank Sinatra cop movie The Detective (1968), the cult classic Candy (1968), and the thriller The Todd Killings (1971) as a police officer. In 1969, he founded the Sugar Ray Robinson Youth Foundation for the inner-city Los Angeles area. The foundation does not sponsor a boxing program.
Boxing & Talk Shows – 1970 – The Art Linkletter Show – Featuring Sugar Ray Robinson In A Candid Interview
He was diagnosed with diabetes mellitus that was treated with insulin. In Robinson’s last years he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. He died in Los Angeles on April 12, 1989, at the age of 67. Robinson is buried at Inglewood Park Cemetery, Inglewood, California.
Boxing – 1950 To 1963 – Rare Film Special – “Sugar Ray Robinson: Old School Training Footage Photo Gallery”
Robinson married Marjorie Joseph in 1938…..but the marriage was annulled the same year…..while their son, Ronnie Smith, was born in 1939. Robinson met his second wife Edna Mae Holly, a noted dancer who performed at the Cotton Club and toured Europe with Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway. According to Robinson, he met her at a local pool he frequented after his boxing workouts…..when in an attempt to get her attention he pushed her into the pool one day, and said it was an accident. After this attempt was met with disdain, he appeared at the nightclub she danced at and introduced himself. Soon the couple were dating and they married in 1944. They had one son, Ray Robinson Jr. (born 1949) before their acrimonious divorce in 1962. She appeared on the 1st cover of Jet magazine in 1951.
Boxing – 1955 – 10 Round Middleweight Bout Highlights – Garth Panter Vs Sugar Ray Robinson
Boxing – 1950 – 10 Round Middleweight Bout Highlights – Sugar Ray Robinson Vs Bobby Dykes
Rhythm is everything in boxing. Every move you make starts with your heart, and that’s in rhythm or you’re in trouble.— Ray Robinson
Boxing – 2019 – Rainy Day Boxing Special – “Rare Sugar Ray Robinson Training Video”
Robinson was the modern definition of a boxer puncher. He was able to fight almost any style….as he could come out one round brawling, the next counterpunching and the next fighting on the outside flicking his jab. Robinson would use his formless style to exploit his opponents’ weaknesses. He also possessed great speed and precision. He fought in a very conventional way with a firm jab…..but threw hooks and uppercuts in flurries in an unconventional way. He possessed tremendous versatility…..and according to boxing analyst Bert Sugar, “Robinson could deliver a knockout blow going backward.” Robinson was efficient with both hands, and he displayed a variety of effective punches…..as according to a Time article in 1951, “Robinson’s repertoire, thrown with equal speed and power by either hand, includes every standard punch from a bolo to a hook—and a few he makes up on the spur of the moment.” Robinson commented that once a fighter has trained to a certain level, their techniques and responses become almost reflexive. “You don’t think. It’s all instinct. If you stop to think, you’re gone.”
Boxing – Style & Technique – 2020 – Ring Roadmap Special – “Sugar Ray Robinson: Techniques & Strategies”
Boxing – ESPN Documentary – 2018 – Sports Century Greatest Athletes Special – “# 24 Sugar Ray Robinson”
Robinson has been ranked as the greatest boxer of all time by sportswriters, fellow boxers, and trainers. The phrase “pound for pound” was created by sportswriters for him during his career as a way to compare boxers irrespective of weight. Hall of Fame fighters Muhammad Ali, Joe Louis, Roberto Durán and Sugar Ray Leonard have ranked Robinson as the greatest pound-for-pound boxer in history. In 1997, The Ring ranked him as the best pound-for-pound fighter in history and in 1999 he was named “welterweight of the century”, “middleweight of the century”, and overall “fighter of the century” by the Associated Press. In 2007 ESPN.com featured the piece “50 Greatest Boxers of All Time”, in which it named Robinson the top boxer in history. In 2003, The Ring ranked him number 11 in the list of all-time greatest punchers. Robinson was also ranked as the # 1 welterweight and the # 1 pound-for-pound boxer of all time by the International Boxing Research Organization. He was inducted into the Madison Square Garden Walk of Fame at its inception in 1992.
Boxing – 2012 – GeneroEdits Film Special – “Sugar Ray Robinsoon: Definition of Greatness”
Robinson was one of the first African Americans to establish himself as a star outside sports. He was an integral part of the New York social scene in the 1940’s and 1950’s. His glamorous restaurant, Sugar Ray’s, hosted stars including Frank Sinatra, Jackie Gleason, Nat King Cole, Joe Louis, and Lena Horne. Robinson was known as a flamboyant personality outside the ring. He combined striking good looks with charisma and a flair for the dramatic. He drove a flamingo-pink Cadillac and was an accomplished singer and dancer…..who once pursued a career in the entertainment industry.
Boxing – 2010 – Special – Sugar Ray Robinson 1959 Pink Elvis Cadillac – Like Brand New! This 6.3 liters V8 Dream Car Was Exported in 1992 to Switzerland and Has Been Exhibited Near Montreux at the Vevey Retro Vintage Cars Show
Boxing – 1940 To 1965 – HBO Documentary Special – “Sugar Ray Robinson – The Bright Lights and Dark Shadows of a Champion”
According to ESPN’s Ron Flatter: “He was the pioneer of boxing’s bigger-than-life entourages, including a secretary, barber, masseur, voice coach, a coterie of trainers, beautiful women, a dwarf mascot and lifelong manager George Gainford.” When Robinson first traveled to Paris, a steward referred to his companions as his “entourage“…..albeit Robinson said he did not like the word’s literal definition of “attendants”, since he felt they were his friends, he liked the word itself and began to use it in regular conversation when referring to them. In 1962, in an effort to persuade Robinson to return to Paris…..where he was still a national hero…..as the French promised to bring over his masseur, his hairdresser, a man who would whistle while he trained, and his trademark Cadillac. This larger-than-life persona made him the idol of millions of African American youths in the 1950’s…..and he inspired several other fighters who took the nickname “Sugar” in homage to him…..such as Sugar Ray Leonard, Sugar Shane Mosley, and MMA fighter “Suga” Rashad Evans.
Boxing – 2020 – Jehu Media Special -“Sugar Ray Robinson’s Top 10 Knockouts”
Sugar Ray Robinson is widely regarded as the P4P greatest boxer of all time, and even Muhammad Ali aggreed. Robinson was poetry in motion, strong in every way and lacking any real weaknesses. His graceful out-boxing was just as efficient as his brutal inboxing, and both paled in comparison to what he could pull off while exchanging at mid range. Every piece of Robinson’s style worked together perfectly, his footwork, head movement and punch selection compounding to enhance each other.
Boxing – 2021 – Rainy Day Boxing Special – “How Good Was Sugar Ray Robinson? – What Boxing Legends Think About Sugar Ray Robinson”
As I come to the conclusion of the story in video of the life and career of Sugar Ray Robinson….and after watching each and every piece of footage of this exceptional master of the fine art and science of pugilism…..I find myself having changed my opinion of who the greatest boxer of all time was…..for that was a position of reverence reserved for Muhammad Ali up to this point …..however, I am going to have to agree with The Greatest, Muhammad Ali, who describes himself as the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time…..while calling Robinson the greatest boxer pound-for-pound of all time…..and I just have to agree with my all time favorite sports hero, Ali. He was so dominate that they actually created the “pound for pound” title after him. The sugar man was like the Willie Mays of baseball…..for he could do everything that the game required to be exceptional…..as he had speed in his hands and his feet….tremendous combinations packed with power…..plus a good chin that could take a big punch….and he took on all comers. He could outbox the boxers…..and out slug the sluggers, who could be backing up and hit you with a punch that would knock you out….for simply put, he was devastating. At one point he held a remarkable record of 128 wins and 1 loss. As a 6 time world champion, he fought for over 25 years…..so, experience the knockouts, the rivalries with the Raging Bull Jake LaMotta, Gene Fulmer, Bobo Olson, Kid Gavilan and Carmen Basilio…..along with the comebacks, the history…… and everything in between…..as seen in the videos posted in this story herewith. When modern day and current fighters talk about being undefeated for 30 fights or even 50 fights in their whole career is nearly meaningless to me…..for that is just business. Sugar Ray Robinson had sometimes two fights a week. With a record like that a few losses takes nothing from a man’s record it only solidifies it’s greatness. Now this man is what I consider a real FIGHTER. In the final video below, as you watch the footage of Sugar Ray Robinson, especially those clips where he is in white trunks…..is it incredible or what, how much Muhammad Ali styled his approach to boxing after Sugar Ray, or what!?!
Boxing – 1940 To 1965 – Legends of Boxing Special – “Highlights of Sugar Ray Robinson: Sweet As Sugar”