Bone Daddy is a huge longtime boxing fan….but his intense interest did not start until the early 1960’s when network television first really began televising major fights….as he remembers the June 1959 Heavyweight Title Fight between Ingemar Johansson vs. Floyd Patterson on the Friday night Cavalcade of Sports broadcast….when the Swede took the title from the popular champ Patterson….as he also remembers watching the two subsequent fights….where Patterson won back his heavyweight title….and then defended his title in their 3rd fight. BD’s interest in boxing began to grow as he viewed the two Sonny Liston vs. Floyd Patterson title fights in 1962 and 1963….when The Big Bear literally destroyed Patterson…..which made BD completely dislike Liston….who he thought was a bully….and made him a fan of The Louisville Lip, Cassius Clay, when the young 22 year old embarrassed The Big Bear on February 25, 1964….and changed boxing forever….which brought the sport into the limelight and started The Golden Age of Boxing…..which lasted from 1964 to 1991….as a time when boxing went mainstream on television. During the decade of the 1950’s, there were two boxer’s who dominated the newsreel sports at the movie theaters, Joe Louis and Sugar Ray Robinson….where BD or his family went to be entertained once a week….so, until Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) captured the title in 1964, it was Sugar Ray Robinson who BD liked the most….but boxing was just a second level sport until The Louisville Lip captured the imagination of televised sports in America….as BD has often said that “had Sugar Ray Robinson fought in the same era a Clay/Ali, he would have been a big favorite of a budding fight fan….cuz he was something very special in the ring”….so, this story is dedicated to a man who is considered one of the best fighters to ever enter the ring, Sugar Ray Robinson….as I believe the videos presented in this story will prove that opinion to be true.
Boxing – 1938 To 1965 – ESPN Documentary – “Pound For Pound” – The Sugar Ray Robinson Story
Sugar Ray Robinson (born Walker Smith Jr.; May 3, 1921 – April 12, 1989) was an American professional boxer who competed from 1940 to 1965….and was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990….as he is widely regarded with the best of the best as the greatest boxer of all time.
Boxing – 1940 To 1965 – Special Highlights – Sugar Ray Robinson – “The P4P Greatest”
Robinson was a dominant amateur….but his exact amateur record is not known….but is usually listed as 85–0 with 69 knockouts….with 40 being in the first round…..however it has been reported he lost to Billy Graham and Patsy Pesca as a teenager under his given name, Walker Smith. He turned professional in 1940 at the age of 19…..and by 1951 had a professional record of 128–1–2 with 84 knockouts. From 1943 to 1951 Robinson went on a 91-fight unbeaten streak….which is the 3rd longest in professional boxing history. Robinson held the world welterweight title from 1946 to 1951….and won the world middleweight title in the latter year. He retired in 1952, only to come back two-and-a-half years later and regain the middleweight title in 1955. He then became the first 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. Sugar Ray was named “fighter of the year” twice….with the 1st being for his performances in 1942….then nine years and over 90 fights later, for his efforts in 1951. Boxing historian Bert Sugar ranked Sugar Ray Robinson as the greatest fighter of all time and in 2002….while Robinson was also ranked # 1 on The Ring magazine’s list of “80 Best Fighters of the Last 80 Years”. As of October 2020, BoxRec ranked Robinson as the 4th greatest pound-for-pound boxer of all time…..as BoxRec also gave 31 of Robinson’s victorious fights a 5-Star rating.
Boxing – 1940 – Golden Gloves Lightweight Semifinals + Finals – Sugar Ray Robinson Vs Tony Ancona & Andy Nonells
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…..albeit he was one heck of a dancer. He struggled financially until his death in 1989. In 2006, he was featured on a commemorative stamp by the United States Postal Service.
Boxing – 1941 – Welterweight Bout Highlights – Sammy Angott Vs Sugar Ray Robinson
Robinson was born Walker Smith Jr. in Ailey, Georgia, to Walker Smith Sr. and Leila Hurst….as the youngest of three children….when 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…..and according to Robinson, Smith Sr. later worked two jobs to support his family as a 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.”
Boxing – 1940 To 1965 – ESPN Sports Century Greatest Athletes #24 – Sugar Ray Robinson
His parents separated, and he moved with his mother to the New York City neighborhood of Harlem at the age of twelve…..where Robinson originally aspired to be a doctor…..but after dropping out of DeWitt Clinton High School (in the Bronx) in 9th grade….that is when he switched his goal to boxing. When he was 15, he attempted to enter his 1st boxing tournament….but was told he needed to 1st obtain an AAU membership card…. which he couldn’t procure one until he was eighteen years old…..so he received his name when he circumvented the AAU’s age restriction by borrowing a birth certificate from his friend Ray Robinson…..and when he was subsequently told that he was “sweet as sugar” by a lady in the audience at a fight in Watertown, New York….that is when Smith Jr. became known as “Sugar” Ray Robinson.
Boxing – 1938 To 1965 – CBS Sports Special With James Brown – “The Original Sugar Ray” – The Story Of Sugar Ray Robinson
Robinson idolized Henry Armstrong and Joe Louis as a youth….and 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…..and was involved with a street gang….when he married at 16….and became a father of one son, Ronnie….and then got divorced when he was 19. 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 …..and the New York Golden Gloves lightweight championship in 1940 by defeating Andy Nonella with a KO in the 2nd.
Boxing – 1950 – World Welterwt Title Fight – Bobby Dykes Vs Sugar Ray Robinson – Part 1
Boxing – 1950 – World Welterwt Title Fight – Bobby Dykes Vs Sugar Ray Robinson – Part 2
Robinson made his professional debut on October 4, 1940, winning by a 2nd-round stoppage over Joe Echevarria….then he fought five more times in 1940….while winning each time….with four wins coming by way of 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. Robinson defeated Zivic in front of 20,551 at Madison Square Garden ….which was one of the largest crowds in the arena to that date….when Sugar Ray 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…..but Robinson controlled the next two rounds….and had Zivic in the 9th….then after a close 10th round, Robinson was announced as the winner on all three scorecards…..then in 1942, Robinson knocked out Zivic in the 10th round in a January rematch. The knockout loss was only the 2nd of Zivic’s career in more than 150 fights….as Robinson knocked him down in the 9th and 10th rounds before the referee stopped the fight….when Zivic and his corner protested the stoppage….but James P. Dawson of The New York Times stated “They 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. He defeated LaMotta by a unanimous decision….although he failed to get Jake down. 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….while actually landing the harder punches during the fight. Robinson then won four more fights….which included 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 – 1940 To 1965 – HBO Sports Special – “Sugar Ray Robinson: The Bright Lights And Dark Shadows Of A Champion”
Robinson built a record of 40–0 before losing for the first time to LaMotta in a 10-round re-match…. as LaMotta had a 16 lb (7.3 kg) weight advantage over Robinson….when he knocked Robinson out of the ring in the 8th round….and won the fight by decision….as the fight took place in Robinson’s former home town of Detroit….where it attracted a record crowd. After being controlled by Robinson in the early portions of the fight, LaMotta came back to take control in the later rounds…..then after winning the 3rd LaMotta fight less than three weeks later….that is when Robinson defeated his childhood idol and former champion Henry Armstrong…..as Robinson fought Armstrong only because the older man was in need of money….for by then Armstrong was an old fighter….and Robinson later stated that he carried the former champion.
Boxing – 1927 To 1965 – Hardline Boxing Talk Special – “A Statistical Career Match-Up Between Henry Armstrong & Sugar Ray Robinson”
On February 27, 1943, Robinson was inducted into the United States Army….where he was again referred to as Walker Smith….and had a 15-month military career…..as Robinson served with Joe Louis and the pair went on tours where they performed exhibition bouts in front of US 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….while waiting to ship out to Europe….where he was scheduled to perform more exhibition matches…. but on March 29, Robinson disappeared from his barracks….and when he woke up on April 5 in Fort Jay Hospital on Governor’s Island, 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…..when 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…..and 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….as they planned to start a liquor distribution business in New York City….but were denied a license due to their race.
Boxing – 1940 To 1965 – Special – Sugar Ray Robinson – “Perfect Punches Technique Breakdown”
Boxing – 1940 To 1965 – Special – “The Art of Boxing Technique” – With Sugar Ray Leonard
Boxing – 1940 To 1965 – Special – “Sugar Ray Robinson Amazing Combinations”
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. By 1946, Robinson had fought 75 fights to a 73–1–1 record….and had 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….then Sugar was finally given a chance to win a title against Tommy Bell on December 20, 1946….whom he had previously beaten once by decision in 1945. 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. The fight was called a “war”….but Robinson was able to pull out a close 15-round decision….thus winning the vacant World Welterweight title.
Boxing – 1946 – World Welterwt Title Fights Highlights – Sugar Ray Robinson vs. Tony Riccio & Sugar Ray Robinson Vs Freddie Flores
Boxing – 1946 – World Welterwt Title Fights Highlights – Sugar Ray Robinson Vs Artie Levine & Sugar Ray Robinson Vs Tommy Bell
In 1948 Robinson fought five times….but only one bout was a title defense….when among the fighters he defeated in those non-title bouts was future world champion Kid Gavilán….which he won 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…..as the 1st half of the bout was very close….but Robinson took control in the 2nd half…. so, 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 – 1949 – World Middlewt Title Fight Highlights – Kid Galivan Vs Sugar Ray Robinson
Robinson fought 19 times in 1950….when he successfully defended his welterweight title for the last time against Charley Fusari….as Sugar Ray won a lopsided 15-round decision….while knocking Fusari down once…..then 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”….. while stating 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…..“cuz your name ain’t Sugar, mine is.”….after which Robinson knocked Costner out in 2 minutes and 49 seconds.
Boxing – 2020 – Hot Boxing With Mike Tyson + Damien Lillard On – “Sugar Ray Robinson went 174-1 with 85 knockouts”
Boxing – 1953 To 1961 – Rainy Day Boxing Special – “Sugar Ray Robinson RARE Training In Prime”
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 Robinson initially backed out of the fight because he had a dream that he was going to kill Doyle….but a priest and a minister convinced him to fight….but his dream was proven to be true….when on June 25, 1947 Robinson dominated Doyle…..and scored a decisive knockout in the 8th 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….when after learning of Doyle’s intentions of using the bout’s money to buy his mother a house….that is when Sugar Ray 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 – 1947 – Special – 10 Rnd Welterweight Bout Highlights – Jimmy Doyle Vs. Sugar Ray Robinson
Boxing – 1947 – Special – Sugar Ray Robinson – “Dreams Come True” – Highlights Of Jimmy Doyle + Kid Galivan + Charlie Fusari + His Entourage
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 middlewt 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. 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 – 1951 – World Middleweight Title Fight – Sugar Ray Robinson Vs Randy Turpin
Boxing – 1951 – World Middlewt Title Post Fight Interview – Sugar Ray Robinson & Randy Turpin
On February 14, 1951, Robinson and LaMotta met for the sixth time…..as this fight became known as The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre….when Robinson won the undisputed World Middleweight title with a 13th round technical knockout…..as Robinson had outboxed LaMotta for the first 10 rounds…. then unleashed a series of savage combinations on LaMotta for three rounds ….while finally stopping the champion for the 1st time in their legendary six-bout series….and thus 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….as Robinson won five of his six bouts with Jake LaMotta.
Boxing – 1942 To 1951 – Special Highlights – Sugar Ray Robinson Vs Jake LaMotta Legendary 6 Fights – With Awesome St Valentine’s Day Massacre Footage
Boxing – 1951 – World Middleweight Title Fight – Sugar Ray Robinson Vs. Jake LaMotta – 6th Fight – “The Valentines Day Masacre”
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….and an entourage of 13 people….while some were included “just for laughs”. He was a hero in France due to his recent defeat of LaMotta ….as 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….then, during his fight in Berlin against Gerhard Hecht, Robinson was disqualified when he knocked his opponent with a punch to the kidney….which was a punch legal in the US, but not Europe….but 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….then three months later in a rematch in front of 60,000 fans at the Polo Grounds….that is when 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…..and 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….and in 1951, Robinson was named Ring Magazine’s “Fighter of the Year” for the 2nd time.
Boxing – 1952 – World Middleweight Title Fight – Rocky Graziano Vs Sugar Ray Robinson
In 1952 he fought a rematch with Olson, winning by a decision….then he defeated former champion Rocky Graziano by a 3rd-round knockout….and that is when he challenged World Light Heavyweight Champion Joey Maxim. In the Yankee Stadium bout with Maxim, 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 first victim of the heat….and had to be replaced by referee Ray Miller….then the fast-moving Robinson was the heat’s next victim….when at the end of round 13, he collapsed and failed to answer the bell for the next round….thus suffering the only knockout of his career.
Boxing – 1952 – World Middlewt Title Fight – Sugar Ray Robinson Vs Carl Bobo Olson – 2nd Fight
Boxing – 1955 – World Middleweight Title Fight Highlights – Sugar Ray Robinson Vs Carl Bobo Olsen – 3rd Fight
Boxing – 1956 – World Middleweight Title Fight Highlights – Sugar Ray Robinson Vs Carl Bobo Olsen – 4th Fight
Boxing – 1952 – World Light Heavywt Title Fight – Sugar Ray Robinson Vs. 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. He began a career in show business, singing and tap dancing….when 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….then in 1955 Robinson returned to the ring….and although he had been inactive for two and a half years, his work as a dancer kept him in peak physical condition….as 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….however, he bounced back and defeated Rocky Castellani by a split decision….then he challenged Bobo Olson for the world middleweight title….and won the middleweight championship for the third time with a 2nd-round knockout….which was his third 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 ….and Robinson later described this as the biggest disappointment of his professional career. “I haven’t forgotten it to this day, and I never will”, Robinson wrote in his autobiography. Robinson and Olson fought for the last time in 1956….and Robinson closed the four-fight series with a fourth-round knockout.
Boxing – 1957 – World Middlewt Title Fight Highlights – Carmen Basilio Vs Sugar Ray Robinson – 1st Fight
Boxing – 1955 – World Middlewt Title Fight – Rocky Castellani Vs Sugar Ray Robinson
Boxing – 1955 – 10 Rnd Middlewt Bout – Ralph “Tiger” Jones Vs Sugar Ray Robinson
In 1957 Robinson lost his title to Gene Fullmer….as Fullmer used his aggressive, forward moving style to control Robinson….and knocked him down in the fight….but Robinson 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….then 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 – 1957 – World Middleweight Title Fight Highlights – Sugar Ray Robinson Vs Gene Fullmer – 1st Fight
Boxing – 1957 – World Middleweight Title Fight – Sugar Ray Robinson Vs. Gene Fullmer – 2nd Fight
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. 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….but the referee scored the fight for Basilio 69–64….and was booed loudly by the crowd of 19,000 when his decision was announced. Their 1st fight won the “Fight of the Year” award from The Ring magazine for 1957…. while the 2nd fight won the “Fight of the Year” award for 1958.
Boxing – 1957 + 1958 – World Middleweight Title Fights Highlights – 1st & 2nd Fights – Carmen Basilio Vs Sugar Ray Robinson
Robinson knocked out Bob Young in the 2nd round in Boston in his only fight in 1959. A year later, he defended his title against Paul Pender….as Sugar Ray entered the fight as a 5–1 favorite….but lost a split decision in front of 10,608 at Boston Garden. The day before the fight Pender commented that he planned to start slowly, before coming on late. He did just that and outlasted the aging Robinson, who, despite opening a cut over Pender’s eye in the 8th round….and was largely ineffective in the later rounds. An attempt to regain the crown for an unheard of sixth time proved beyond Robinson. Despite Robinson’s efforts, Pender won by decision in that rematch. On December 3 of that year, Robinson and Fullmer fought a 15-round draw for the WBA middleweight title, which Fullmer retained….then 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 – 1960 – World Middleweight Title Fight – Gene Fullmer Vs Sugar Ray Robinson – 3rd Fight
Boxing – 1961 – World Middleweight Title Fight – Sugar Ray Robinson Vs Gene Fullmer – 4th Fight
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….when as 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….as 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….when Giardello knocked Robinson down in the 4th round….as the 43-year-old took until the count of nine to rise to his feet. Robinson was also nearly knocked down in the 6th round….but was saved by the bell….then he rallied in the 7th and 8th rounds, before struggling in the final two. He then embarked on an 18-month boxing tour of Europe.
Boxing – 1940 To 1965 – Special – Sugar Ray Robinson: “Beautiful Brutality”
Robinson’s 2nd 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….and the fight was a fiasco, with Morrison being knocked down twice in the 1st 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….as 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 – 1965 – 1965 – 10 Rnd Middlewt Bout Highlights – Sugar Ray Robinson Vs. Joey Archer – Sugar Ray’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 – 1938 To 1965 – Ringside Documentary With Brian Kenny – “The Life And Times Of Sugar Ray Robinson” After reading this story and viewing the videos posted herewith….is there any doubt that Sugar Ray Robinson belongs at the top of the heap with the absolutely greatest boxers of all time….for it would be like “splitting hairs” when comparing him with anyone whom you might consider to be “The GOAT”….whether it be Muhammad Ali, Joe Louis, Roberto Duran, Julio Cesar Chavez, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Rocky Marciano, Sugar Ray Leonard, Mike Tyson, Jack Johnson, Henry Armstrong et al….but for my money, it is one of two….and that being The Greatest Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Robinson…. as these two exhibited the “Art of Pugilism” like none of the others….as they both had incredible hand and foot speed….awesome punching power…. who were distinctively adept at defensive skills….with the ability to combine footwork and combination punches like none of the others…..for these two men were made from the same “bolt of cloth”…..only cut to different sizes.
Boxing – 1970 – The Art Linkletter Show Special – “Sugar Ray Robinson On Life”
Boxing & Dancing – 1958 – NBC Special – Gene Kelly + Sugar Ray Robinson On Rhythm As They Tap Dance Together