Sugar Ray Robinson

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Sugar Ray Robinson
Sugar Ray Robinson 1966.jpg
Robinson in Madison Square Garden in 1966.
Statistics
Nickname(s) Sugar
Rated at Featherweight
Lightweight
Welterweight
Middleweight
Light Heavyweight
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Reach 72 in (183 cm)
Nationality American
Born (1921-05-03)May 3, 1921
Ailey, Georgia
Died April 12, 1989(1989-04-12) (aged 67)
Los Angeles, California
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 200
Wins 173
Wins by KO 108
Losses 19
Draws 6
No contests 2

Sugar Ray Robinson (born Walker Smith Jr.; May 3, 1921 – April 12, 1989) was an American professional boxer. Frequently cited as the greatest boxer of all time, Robinson's performances in the welterweight and middleweight divisions prompted sportswriters to create "pound for pound" rankings, where they compared fighters regardless of weight. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.

Robinson was 85–0 as an amateur with 69 of those victories coming by way of knockout, 40 in the first round. 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, the third longest in professional boxing history.[1][2] 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, a feat he accomplished by defeating Carmen Basilio in 1958 to regain the middleweight championship. Robinson was named "fighter of the year" twice: first for his performances in 1942, then nine years and over 90 fights later, for his efforts in 1951.

Renowned for his 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 struggled, and was challenged financially[3] until his death in 1989. In 2006, he was featured on a commemorative stamp by the United States Postal Service.

Early life[edit]

Robinson was born Walker Smith Jr. in Detroit, Michigan (according to his autobiography),[4] to Walker Smith Sr. and Leila Hurst.[5] Robinson was the youngest of three children; his older sister Marie was born in 1917 and his older sister Evelyn was born 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.[5] 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."[6]

His parents separated and he moved with his mother to the New York City neighborhood of Harlem at the age of twelve. Robinson originally aspired to be a doctor, but after dropping out of De Witt Clinton High school in ninth grade he switched his goal to boxing.[7] When he was 15, he attempted to enter his first boxing tournament but was told he needed to first obtain an AAU membership card. However, he could not procure one until he was eighteen years old. He received his name when he circumvented the AAU's age restriction by borrowing a birth certificate from his friend Ray Robinson.[4] Subsequently told that he was "sweet as sugar" by a lady in the audience at a fight in New York, Smith Jr. became known as "Sugar" Ray Robinson.[8][9]

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.[8] Outside of the ring, Robinson got into trouble frequently as a youth, and was involved with a violent street gang.[8] He married at 16. The couple had one son, Ronnie, and divorced when Robinson was 19.[8] He finished his amateur career with an 85–0 record with 69 knockouts—40 coming in the first round.[10] He won the Golden Gloves featherweight championship in 1939, and the organization's lightweight championship in 1940.[4]

Boxing career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Robinson made his professional debut on October 4, 1940, winning via second-round knockout over Joe Echevarria.[11] Robinson fought five more times in 1940, winning each time, with four wins coming by way of knockout.[11] 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—one of the largest crowds in the arena to that date.[12] Robinson won the first five rounds according to The New York Times Joseph C. Nichols, before Zivic came back to land several punches to Robinson's head in the sixth and seventh rounds.[12] Robinson controlled the next two rounds, and had Zivic wobbly in the ninth. After a close tenth round, Robinson was announced as the winner on all three scorecards.[12]

In 1942, Robinson knocked out Zivic in the tenth round in a January rematch.[11] The knockout loss was only the second of Zivic's career in more than 150 fights.[13] Robinson knocked him down in the ninth and tenth rounds before the referee stopped the fight. Zivic and his corner protested the stoppage; 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."[13] Robinson then won four consecutive bouts by knockout, before defeating Servo in a controversial split decision in their May rematch.[11] After winning three more fights, Robinson faced Jake LaMotta, who would become one of his more prominent rivals, for the first time in October.[11] He defeated LaMotta via unanimous decision. 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.[14] Robinson then won four more fights, including two against Izzy Jannazzo, from October 19 to December 14.[11] For his performances, Robinson was named "Fighter of the Year". He finished 1942 with a total of 14 wins and no losses.[11]

Robinson built a record of 40–0 before losing for the first time to LaMotta in a 10 round re-match.[11][15] 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.[11] The fight took place in Robinson's former home town of Detroit, and attracted a record crowd.[15] After being controlled by Robinson in the early portions of the fight, LaMotta came back to take control in the later rounds.[15] After winning the third LaMotta fight less than three weeks later,[11] Robinson then defeated his childhood idol: former champion Henry Armstrong. Robinson only fought Armstrong because Armstrong was in need of money. By now Armstrong was an old fighter, and Robinson later stated that he carried Armstrong.

On February 27, 1943, Robinson was inducted into the United States Army, where he was again referred to as Walker Smith.[16] Robinson had a short 15 month military career. Robinson served with Joe Louis, and the pair went on tours where they performed exhibition bouts in front of US troops. Robinson got into trouble several times while in the military. 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.[8][17] 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. 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. According to his file, a stranger had found him in the street on 1 April and helped him to a hospital. In his examination report, a doctor at Fort Jay concluded that Robinson's version of events was sincere.[18] He was examined by military authorities, who claimed he suffered from a mental deficiency.[19] 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".[20] 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.[21]

Besides the loss in the LaMotta rematch, the only other mark on Robinson's record during this period was a 10 round draw against Jose Basora in 1945.[11]

Welterweight Champion[edit]

By 1946, Robinson had fought 75 fights to a 73–1–1 record,[11] 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.[22] Robinson was finally given a chance to win a title against Tommy Bell on December 20, 1946.[11] Robinson had already beaten Bell once via 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.[11] The fight was called a "war," but Robinson was able to pull out a close 15 round decision, winning the vacant welterweight title.

In June 1947, after four non-title bouts, Robinson was scheduled to defend his title for the first time in a bout against Jimmy Doyle.[11] Robinson initially backed out of the fight because he had a dream that he was going to kill Doyle. A priest and a minister convinced him to fight. Sadly, his dream proved true.[23][24] 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.[25] Robinson said that the impact of Doyle's death was "very trying". [A]

After his death, criminal charges were threatened against Robinson in Cleveland, up to and including manslaughter, 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.[26][27]

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 Gavilan in a close, controversial 10 round fight. Gavilan hurt Robinson several times in the fight, but Robinson controlled the final rounds with a series of jabs and left hooks.[28] In 1949, he boxed 16 times, but again only defended his title once. In that title fight, a rematch with Gavilan, Robinson again won via decision. The first half of the bout was very close, but Robinson took control in the second half. Gavilan 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.

Robinson fought 19 times in 1950.[11] He successfully defended his welterweight title for the last time against Charley Fusari. Robinson won a lopsided 15 round decision, knocking Fusari down once.[11] Robinson donated all but $1 of his purse for the Fusari fight to cancer research.[29] 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 deserver 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."[30] Robinson then knocked Costner out in 2 minutes and 49 seconds.[11]

Middleweight Champion[edit]

Robinson 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.[31] 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.[11] Later that year, in defense of that crown, he defeated Jose Basora, with whom he had previously drawn. Robinson's 50-second first 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.[11]

On February 14, 1951, Robinson and LaMotta met for the sixth time. The fight would become known as The St. Valentine's Day Massacre. Robinson won the undisputed world middleweight title with a 13th round technical knockout.[11] Robinson outboxed LaMotta for the first 10 rounds, then unleashed a series of savage combinations on LaMotta for three rounds,[8] finally stopping the champion for the first time in their legendary six-bout series—and dealing LaMotta his first legitimate knockout loss in 95 professional bouts.[32] 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.[9] Robinson won five of his six bouts with LaMotta.[11]

After winning his second world title, he embarked on a European tour which took him all over the Continent. Robinson traveled with his flamingo-pink Cadillac, which caused quite a stir in Paris,[33] and an entourage of 13 people, some included "just for laughs".[34] He was a hero in France due to his recent defeat of LaMotta—the French hated LaMotta for defeating Marcel Cerdan in 1949 and taking his championship belt (Cerdan died in a plane crash en route to a rematch with LaMotta).[8] Robinson met President of France Vincent Auriol at a ceremony attended by France's social upper crust; following the ceremony he kissed the President's blushing wife once on each cheek, then repeated the two kisses at the request of press photographers.[35] During his fight in Berlin against Gerhard Hecht, Robinson was disqualified when he knocked his opponent with a punch to the kidney: a punch legal in the US, but not Europe.[25] The fight was later declared a no-contest.[11] In London, Robinson lost the world middleweight title to British boxer Randolph Turpin in a sensational bout.[36] Three months later in a rematch in front of 60,000 fans at the Polo Grounds,[25] 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. 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.[37] Following Robinson's victory, residents of Harlem danced in the streets.[38] In 1951, Robinson was named Ring Magazine's "Fighter of the Year" for the second time.[39]

In 1952, he fought a rematch with Olson, winning by a decision.[11] He next defeated former champion Rocky Graziano by a third-round knockout, then 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.[9] The referee, Ruby Goldstein, was the first victim of the heat, and had to be replaced by referee Ray Miller. The fast-moving Robinson was the heat's next victim – at the end of round 13, he collapsed and failed to answer the bell for the next round,[9] suffering the only knockout of his career.[11]

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. 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. He resumed training in 1954.

Comeback[edit]

In 1955, Robinson returned to the ring. Although he had been inactive for two and a half years, his work as a dancer kept him in peak physical condition: 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 that any he undertook during his boxing career.[40] He won five fights in 1955, before losing a decision to Ralph 'Tiger' Jones. He bounced back, however, and defeated Rocky Castellani by a split decision, then challenged Bobo Olson for the world middleweight title. He won the middleweight championship for the third time via a second round knockout—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. 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.[41] They fought for the last time in 1956, and Robinson closed the four fight series with a fourth round knockout.[11]

In 1957, Robinson lost his title to Gene Fullmer.[11] Fullmer used his aggressive, forward moving style to control Robinson, and knocked him down in the fight.[42] Robinson, however, noticed that Fullmer was vulnerable to the left hook. Fullmer headed into their May rematch as a 3–1 favorite.[43] In the first two rounds Robinson followed Fullmer around the ring, however in the third round he changed tactics and made Fullmer come to him.[43] At the start of the fourth 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.[43] But in the fifth, Robinson was able to win the title back for a fourth time by knocking out Fullmer with a lightning fast, powerful left hook.[43] Boxing critics have referred to the left-hook which knocked out Fullmer as "the perfect punch".[44] It marked the first 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."[43]

Later that year, he lost his title to Basilio in a rugged 15 round fight in front of 38,000 at Yankee Stadium,[45] but regained it for a record fifth 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 the fight, and by the seventh round it was swollen shut.[46] The two judges gave the fight to Robinson by wide margins: 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.[46] The first fight won the "Fight of the Year" award from The Ring magazine for 1957 and the second fight won the "Fight of the Year" award for 1958.[11]

Decline[edit]

Robinson knocked out Bob Young in the second round in Boston in his only fight in 1959.[11] 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.[47] 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 eighth round, was largely ineffective in the later rounds.[47] 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.[11] In 1961, Robinson and Fullmer fought for a fourth time, with Fullmer retaining the WBA middleweight title by a unanimous decision.[11] The fight would be Robinson's last title bout.

Robinson spent the rest of the 1960s fighting 10-round contests. In October 1961, Robinson defeated future world champion Denny Moyer via 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.[48] 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.[49] Robinson lost twice more in 1962, before winning six consecutive fights against mostly lesser opposition.[11] In February 1963, Robinson lost via unanimous decision to former world champion and fellow Hall of Famer Joey Giardello. Giardello knocked Robinson down in the fourth round, and the 43 year old took until the count of nine to rise to his feet.[50] 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.[50] Robinson then embarked on an 18-month boxing tour of Europe.

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 second 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 second round after the "obviously frightened" Morrison laid himself down on the canvas. Robinson fought for the final time in 1965. He lost via unanimous decision to Joey Archer.[51] 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; Archer admitted afterward that it was only the second time he had knocked an opponent down in his career.[11] 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.[51]

On November 11, 1965, Robinson announced his retirement from boxing, saying: "I hate to go too long campaigning for another chance."[52] Robinson retired from boxing with a record of 173-19-6 (2 no contests) with 108 knockouts in 200 professional bouts,[11] ranking him among the all-time leaders in knockouts.

After retiring as a boxer[edit]

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 the ring in his career.[53] 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 International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1967, two years after he retired. In the late 60s 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.[54] In 1969 he founded the Sugar Ray Robinson Youth Foundation for inner-city Los Angeles area. The foundation does not sponsor a boxing program.[55] He was diagnosed with diabetes mellitus that was treated with insulin.[56] In Robinson's last years, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.[56] He died in Los Angeles at the age of 67 and was interred in the Inglewood Park Cemetery, Inglewood, California.

Personal life[edit]

Robinson married Marjorie Joseph in 1938; the marriage was annulled the same year. 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, in 1940.[57] According to Robinson, he met her at a local pool he frequented after his boxing workouts. In an attempt to get her attention he pushed her into the pool one day, and claimed it was an accident.[58] 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 1943. They had one son, Ray Robinson Jr. (born 1949) and divorced in 1960.[57] She appeared on the first cover of Jet magazine in 1951.[59] In April 1959, Robinson's eldest sister Marie died of cancer at the age of 41.[60]

In 1965, Robinson married Millie Wiggins Bruce and the couple settled in Los Angeles.[25] When Robinson was sick with his various ailments, his son accused Robinson's wife of keeping him under the influence of medication to manipulate him. According to Ray Robinson Jr., when Sugar Ray's mother died, Sugar Ray could not attend his mother's funeral because Millie was drugging and controlling him.[61] However, Robinson had been hospitalized the day before his mother's death due to agitation which caused his blood pressure to rise. Robinson Jr. and Edna Mae also claimed that they were kept away from Robinson by Millie during the last years of his life.[61]

He was a Freemason, a membership shared with a number of other improbable athletes, including fellow boxer Jack Dempsey." [62][63]

Boxing style[edit]

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[64]

Robinson was a fluid boxer who possessed a quick jab and knockout power.[65] He possessed tremendous versatility—according to boxing analyst Bert Sugar, "Robinson could deliver a knockout blow going backward."[66] Robinson was efficient with both hands, and he displayed a variety of effective punches—according to a TIME magazine 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."[8] 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."[67]

Legacy[edit]

Robinson being held aloft by Gene Fullmer and Carmen Basilio in 1965.

Robinson has been ranked as the greatest boxer of all time by sportswriters, fellow boxers, and trainers.[4][68][69] The phrase "pound for pound", was created by sportswriters for him during his career as a way to compare boxers irrespective of weight,[9][30] and Hall of Fame fighters such as Muhammad Ali, Joe Louis, Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard have ranked Robinson as the greatest pound for pound boxer in history.[66][70][71] In 1997, The Ring ranked him as the best pound for pound fighter in history,[9] and in 1999, he was named "welterweight of the century," "middleweight of the century," and overall "fighter of the century" by the Associated Press.[72] In 2007, ESPN.com featured the piece "50 Greatest Boxers of All Time", in which it named Robinson the top boxer in history.[68] In 2003, The Ring magazine ranked him number 11 in the list of all-time greatest punchers.[73] Robinson was also ranked as the #1 welterweight and the #1 pound for pound boxer of all-time by the International Boxing Research Organization.[74]

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 1940s and 1950s.[9] His glamorous restaurant, Sugar Ray's, hosted stars such as Frank Sinatra, Jackie Gleason, Nat "King" Cole, Joe Louis, and Lena Horne among others.[75][76] Robinson was known as a flamboyant personality outside the ring. He combined striking good looks,[77] 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.[78] According to ESPN.com'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."[9] When Robinson first traveled to Paris, a steward referred to his companions as his "entourage". Although 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.[79] In 1962, in an effort to persuade Robinson to return to Paris—where he was still a national hero—the French promised to bring over his masseur, his hairdresser, a man who would whistle while he trained, and his trademark Cadillac.[80] This larger than life persona made him the idol of millions of African American youths in the 1950s. Robinson inspired several other fighters who took the nickname "Sugar" in homage to him such as Sugar Ray Leonard, Sugar Shane Mosley, and MMA fighter "Sugar" Rashad Evans.[81][82][83]

Professional boxing record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Type Rd., Time Date Location Notes
Loss 173–19–6 United States Joey Archer UD 10 1965-11-10 United States Civic Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Win 173–18–6 Belize Rudolph Bent KO 3 (10), 2:20 1965-10-20 United States Community Arena, Steubenville, Ohio
Win 172–18–6 Canada Peter Schmidt UD 10 1965-10-01 United States Cambria County War Memorial Arena, Johnstown, Pennsylvania
Win 171–18–6 United States Harvey McCullough UD 10 1965-09-23 United States Philadelphia A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
NC 170–18–6 United States Neil Morrison NC 2 (10), 1:20 1965-09-15 United States The Arena, Norfolk, Virginia
Loss 170–18–6 United States Stan Harrington UD 10 1965-08-10 United States Hawaii International Center, Honolulu, Hawaii
Win 170–17–6 United States Harvey McCullough UD 10 1965-07-27 United States Richmond Arena, Richmond, Virginia
Loss 169–17–6 United States Ferd Hernandez SD 10 1965-07-12 United States Hacienda Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada
Win 169–16–6 United States Harvey McCullough UD 10 1965-06-24 United States Washington Coliseum, Washington, District of Columbia
Loss 168–16–6 United States Stan Harrington UD 10 1965-06-01 United States Hawaii International Center, Honolulu, Hawaii
Loss 168–15–6 Mexico Memo Ayon SD 10 1965-05-24 Mexico Memorial Auditorium, Tijuana, Baja California
Win 168–14–6 United States Rocky Randell KO 3 (10) 1965-04-28 United States Norfolk Municipal Auditorium, Norfolk, Virginia
Win 167–14–6 United States Earl Bastings KO 1 (10), 2:34 1965-04-03 United States Sports Center, Savannah, Georgia
Win 166–14–6 United States Jimmy Beecham KO 2 (10), 1:48 1965-03-06 Jamaica National Stadium, Kingston
Draw 165–14–6 France Fabio Bettini PTS 10 1964-11-27 Italy Palazzetto dello Sport, Rome, Lazio
Win 165–14–5 France Jean Beltritti PTS 10 1964-11-14 France Palais des Sports, Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône
Win 164–14–5 France Jean Baptiste Rolland PTS 10 1964-11-07 France Helitas Stadium, Caen, Calvados
Win 163–14–5 France Jackie Cailleau PTS 10 1964-10-24 France Palais des Sports, Nice, Alpes-Maritimes
Win 162–14–5 Nigeria Johnny Angel TKO 6 (8) 1964-10-12 England Hilton Hotel (Anglo American SC), Mayfair, London
Win 161–14–5 France Yoland Leveque PTS 10 1964-09-28 France Palais des Sports, Paris, Île-de-France
Loss 160–14–5 Republic of Ireland Mick Leahy PTS 10 1964-09-03 Scotland Paisley Ice Rink, Glasgow
Draw 160–13–5 United States Art Hernandez PTS 10 1964-07-27 United States Omaha Civic Auditorium, Omaha, Nebraska
Win 160–13–4 United States Clarence Riley TKO 6 (10) 1964-07-08 United States Wahconah Park, Pittsfield, Massachusetts
Win 159–13–4 United States Gaylord Barnes UD 10 1964-05-19 United States Portland Exposition Building, Portland, Maine
Win 158–13–4 France Armand Vanucci PTS 10 1963-12-09 France Palais des Sports, Paris, Île-de-France
Win 157–13–4 France Andre Davier PTS 10 1963-11-29 France Palais des Sports, Grenoble, Isère
Win 156–13–4 Belgium Emiel Sarens KO 8 (10) 1963-11-16 Belgium Palais des Sports, Brussels, Bruxelles-Capitale
Draw 155–13–4 France Fabio Bettini PTS 10 1963-11-09 France Palais des Sports, Lyon, Rhône
Win 155–13–3 France Armand Vanucci PTS 10 1963-10-14 France Palais des Sports, Paris, Île-de-France
Loss 154–13–3 United States Joey Giardello UD 10 1963-06-24 United States Philadelphia Convention Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Win 154–12–3 Algeria Maurice Rolbnet KO 3 (10) 1963-05-05 Canada Palais des Sports, Sherbrooke, Quebec
Win 153–12–3 United States Billy Thornton KO 3 (10) 1963-03-11 United States Lewiston Armory, Lewiston, Maine
Win 152–12–3 United States Bernie Reynolds KO 4 (10) 1963-02-25 Dominican Republic Estadio Quisqueya, Santo Domingo
Win 151–12–3 United States Ralph Dupas SD 10 1963-01-30 United States Miami Beach Convention Center, Miami Beach, Florida
Win 150–12–3 France Georges Estatoff TKO 6 (10) 1962-11-10 France Palais des Sports, Lyon, Rhône
Win 149–12–3 Spain Diego Infantes TKO 2 (10), 1:15 1962-10-17 Austria Stadthalle, Vienna
Loss 148–12–3 England Terry Downes PTS 10 1962-09-25 England Empire Pool, Wembley, London
Loss 148–11–3 United States Phil Moyer SD 10 1962-07-09 United States Los Angeles Sports Arena, Los Angeles, California
Win 148–10–3 United States Bobby Lee KO 2 (10), 2:38 1962-04-27 Trinidad and Tobago National Stadium, Port-of-Spain
Loss 147–10–3 United States Denny Moyer UD 10 1962-02-17 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Win 147–9–3 Canada Wilf Greaves KO 8 (10), 0:43 1961-12-08 United States Civic Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Win 146–9–3 United States Al Hauser TKO 6 (10), 1:59 1961-11-20 United States Providence Auditorium, Providence, Rhode Island
Win 145–9–3 United States Denny Moyer UD 10 1961-10-21 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Win 144–9–3 Canada Wilf Greaves SD 10 1961-09-25 United States Convention Arena, Detroit, Michigan
Loss 143–9–3 United States Gene Fullmer UD 15 1961-03-04 United States Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada
Draw 143–8–3 United States Gene Fullmer PTS 15 1960-12-03 United States Los Angeles Sports Arena, Los Angeles, California
Loss 143–8–2 United States Paul Pender SD 15 1960-06-10 United States Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts For World Middleweight title.
Win 143–7–2 United States Tony Baldoni KO 1 (10), 1:40 1960-04-02 United States Baltimore Coliseum, Baltimore, Maryland
Loss 142–7–2 United States Paul Pender SD 15 1960-01-22 United States Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts Lost World Middleweight title.
Win 142–6–2 United States Bob Young KO 2 (10), 1:18 1959-12-14 United States Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Win 141–6–2 United States Carmen Basilio SD 15 1958-03-25 United States Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois Won World Middleweight title.
The Ring magazine's "Fight of the Year" (1958)
Loss 140–6–2 United States Carmen Basilio SD 15 1957-09-23 United States Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York Lost World Middleweight title.
The Ring magazine's "Fight of the Year" (1957)
Win 140–5–2 United States Gene Fullmer KO 5 (15), 1:27 1957-05-01 United States Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois Won World Middleweight title.
Loss 139–5–2 United States Gene Fullmer UD 15 1957-01-02 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York Lost World Middleweight title.
Win 139–4–2 United States Bob Provizzi UD 10 1956-11-10 United States New Haven Arena, New Haven, Connecticut
Win 138–4–2 United States Bobo Olson KO 4 (15), 2:51 1956-05-18 United States Wrigley Field, Los Angeles, California Retained World Middleweight title.
Win 137–4–2 United States Bobo Olson KO 2 (15), 2:51 1955-12-09 United States Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois Won World Middleweight title.
Win 136–4–2 United States Rocky Castellani SD 10 1955-07-22 United States Cow Palace, San Francisco, California
Win 135–4–2 United States Garth Panter UD 10 1955-05-04 United States Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan
Win 134–4–2 United States Ted Olla TKO 3 (10), 2:15 1955-04-14 United States Milwaukee Arena, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Win 133–4–2 United States Johnny Lombardo SD 10 1955-03-29 United States Cincinnati Gardens, Cincinnati, Ohio
Loss 132–4–2 United States Ralph Jones UD 10 1955-01-19 United States Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois
Win 132–3–2 United States Joe Rindone KO 6 (10), 1:37 1955-01-05 United States Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan
Loss 131–3–2 United States Joey Maxim TKO 14 (15) 1952-06-25 United States Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York For World Light Heavyweight title.
Win 131–2–2 United States Rocky Graziano KO 3 (15), 1:53 1952-04-16 United States Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois Retained World Middleweight title.
Win 130–2–2 United States Bobo Olson UD 15 1952-03-13 United States San Francisco Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, California Retained World Middleweight title.
Win 129–2–2 United Kingdom Randy Turpin TKO 10 (15) 1951-09-12 United States Polo Grounds, New York, New York Won World Middleweight title.
Loss 128–2–2 United Kingdom Randy Turpin PTS 15 1951-07-10 England Earls Court Arena, Kensington, London Lost World Middleweight title.
Win 128–1–2 Belgium Cyrille Delannoit RTD 3 (10) 1951-07-01 Italy Palazzetto dello Sport, Torino, Piemonte
NC 127–1–2 Germany Gerhard Hecht NC 2 (10) 1951-06-24 Germany Waldbühne, Westend, Berlin
Win 127–1–2 France Jean Walzack TKO 6 (10) 1951-06-16 Belgium Palais des Sports, Liège, Liège
Win 126–1–2 Netherlands Jan de Bruin TKO 8 (10) 1951-06-10 Belgium Sportpaleis, Antwerpen, Antwerpen
Win 125–1–2 France Jean Wanes UD 10 1951-05-26 Switzerland Sports Center, Zurich
Win 124–1–2 Algeria Kid Marcel TKO 5 (10) 1951-05-21 France Palais des Sports, Paris, Île-de-France
Win 123–1–2 United States Don Ellis KO 1 (10), 1:36 1951-04-09 United States Municipal Auditorium, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Win 122–1–2 United States Holly Mims UD 10 1951-04-05 United States Miami Stadium, Miami, Florida
Win 121–1–2 United States Jake LaMotta TKO 13 (15), 2:04 1951-02-14 United States Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois Won World Middleweight title.
Win 120–1–2 Germany Hans Stretz TKO 5 (10) 1950-12-25 Germany Haus der Technik, Frankfurt, Hessen
Win 119–1–2 France Robert Villemain TKO 9 (10) 1950-12-22 France Palais des Sports, Paris, Île-de-France
Win 118–1–2 France Jean Walzack UD 10) 1950-12-16 Switzerland Pavillion Des Sports, Geneva
Win 117–1–2 Netherlands Luc van Dam KO 4 (10) 1950-12-09 Belgium Palais des Sports, Brussels, Bruxelles-Capitale
Win 116–1–2 France Jean Stock TKO 2 (10) 1950-11-27 France Palais des Sports, Paris, Île-de-France
Win 115–1–2 United States Bobby Dykes MD 10 1950-11-08 United States Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois
Win 114–1–2 United States Bobo Olson KO 12 (15), 1:19 1950-10-26 United States Philadelphia Convention Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Win 113–1–2 United States Joe Rindone TKO 6 (10), 0:55 1950-10-16 United States Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Win 112–1–2 United States Billy Brown UD 10 1950-09-04 United States Coney Island Velodrome, Brooklyn, New York
Win 111–1–2 Puerto Rico José Basora KO 1 (15), 0:55 1950-08-25 United States Scranton Stadium, Scranton, Pennsylvania
Win 110–1–2 United States Charley Fusari PTS 15 1950-08-09 United States Roosevelt Stadium, Jersey City, New Jersey Retained World Welterweight title.
Win 109–1–2 France Robert Villemain UD 15 1950-06-05 United States Philadelphia Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Win 108–1–2 United States Ray Barnes UD 10 1950-04-28 United States Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan
Win 107–1–2 Canada Cliff Beckett TKO 3 (10), 1:45 1950-04-21 United States Memorial Hall, Columbus, Ohio
Win 106–1–2 United States George Costner KO 1 (10), 2:49 1950-03-22 United States Philadelphia Convention Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Win 105–1–2 France Jean Walzack UD 10 1950-02-27 United States Saint Louis Arena, Saint Louis, Missouri
Win 104–1–2 United States Aaron Wade KO 3 (10) 1950-02-22 United States Municipal Auditorium, Savannah, Georgia
Win 103–1–2 United States Al Mobley TKO 6 (10) 1950-02-13 United States Coliseum Arena, Miami, Florida
Win 102–1–2 United States George LaRover TKO 4 (10) 1950-01-30 United States New Haven Arena, New Haven, Connecticut
Win 101–1–2 United States Vern Lester KO 5 (10), 0:12 1949-11-13 United States Coliseum Arena, New Orleans, Louisiana
Win 100–1–2 United States Don Lee UD 10 1949-11-09 United States Denver Auditorium Arena, Denver, Colorado
Win 99–1–2 United States Charley Dodson KO 3 (10), 0:20 1949-09-12 United States City Auditorium, Houston, Texas
Win 98–1–2 United States Benny Evans KO 5 (10), 2:56 1949-09-09 United States Omaha Civic Auditorium, Omaha, Nebraska
Win 97–1–2 United States Steve Belloise TKO 7 (10) 1949-08-24 United States Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York
Win 96–1–2 Cuba Kid Gavilan UD 15 1949-07-11 United States Philadelphia Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Retained World Welterweight title.
Win 95–1–2 United States Cecil Hudson KO 5 (10) 1949-06-20 United States Rhode Island Auditorium, Providence, Rhode Island
Win 94–1–2 United States Freddie Flores TKO 3 (10), 2:41 1949-06-07 United States Page Arena, New Bedford, Massachusetts
Win 93–1–2 United States Earl Turner TKO 8 (10), 1:51 1949-04-20 United States Oakland Auditorium, Oakland, California
Win 92–1–2 United States Don Lee UD 10 1949-04-11 United States Omaha Civic Auditorium, Omaha, Nebraska
Win 91–1–2 United States Bobby Lee UD 10 1949-03-25 United States Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois
Draw 90–1–2 United States Henry Brimm PTS 10 1949-02-15 United States Buffalo Memorial Auditorium, Buffalo, New York
Win 90–1–1 United States Young Gene Buffalo KO 1 (10) 1949-02-10 United States West Side Armory, Kingston, Pennsylvania
Win 89–1–1 United States Bobby Lee UD 10 1948-11-15 United States Philadelphia Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Win 88–1–1 Cuba Kid Gavilan UD 10 1948-09-23 United States Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York
Win 87–1–1 United States Bernard Docusen UD 15 1948-06-28 United States Comiskey Park, Chicago, Illinois Retained World Welterweight title.
Win 86–1–1 United States Henry Brimm UD 10 1948-03-16 United States Buffalo Memorial Auditorium, Buffalo, New York
Win 85–1–1 United States Ossie Harris UD 10 1948-03-04 United States Toledo Sports Arena, Toledo, Ohio
Win 84–1–1 United States Chuck Taylor TKO 6 (15), 2:07 1947-12-19 United States Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan Retained World Welterweight title.
Win 83–1–1 United States Billy Nixon TKO 6 (10), 2:10 1947-12-10 United States Elizabeth Armory, Elizabeth, New Jersey
Win 82–1–1 United States California Jackie Wilson TKO 7 (10), 1:35 1947-10-28 United States Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California
Win 81–1–1 Philippines Flashy Sebastian KO 1 (10), 1:02 1947-08-29 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Win 80–1–1 United States Sammy Secreet KO 1 (10), 1:02 1947-08-21 United States Rubber Bowl, Akron, Ohio
Win 79–1–1 United States Jimmy Doyle TKO 8 (15), 1:02 1947-06-24 United States Cleveland Arena, Cleveland, Ohio Retained World Welterweight title.
Doyle died as a result of injuries sustained during the fight.
Win 78–1–1 United States Georgie Abrams SD 10 1947-05-16 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Win 77–1–1 United States Eddie Finazzo TKO 4 (10), 2:30 1947-04-08 United States Memorial Hall, Kansas City, Kansas
Win 76–1–1 United States Freddie Wilson KO 3 (10) 1947-04-03 United States Akron Armory, Akron, Ohio
Win 75–1–1 United States Bernie Miller TKO 3 (10), 1:32 1947-03-27 United States Dorsey Park, Miami, Florida
Win 74–1–1 United States Tommy Bell UD 15 1946-12-20 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York Won World Welterweight title.
Win 73–1–1 United States Artie Levine KO 10 (10), 2:41 1946-11-06 United States Cleveland Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
Win 72–1–1 United States Cecil Hudson KO 6 (10), 2:58 1946-11-01 United States Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan
Win 71–1–1 United States Ossie Harris PTS 10 1946-10-07 United States Duquesne Gardens, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Win 70–1–1 United States Sidney Miller KO 3 (10), 1:52 1946-09-25 United States Twin City Bowl, Elizabeth, New Jersey
Win 69–1–1 United States Vinnie Vines KO 6 (10), 2:46 1946-08-15 United States Hawkins Stadium, Albany, New York
Win 68–1–1 United States Joe Curcio KO 2 (10), 0:10 1946-07-12 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Win 67–1–1 United States Norman Rubio PTS 10 1946-06-25 United States Roosevelt Stadium, Union City, New Jersey
Win 66–1–1 United States Freddie Wilson KO 2 (10), 2:00 1946-06-12 United States Worcester Auditorium, Worcester, Massachusetts
Win 65–1–1 United States Freddie Flores KO 5 (10), 2:52 1946-03-21 United States Golden Gate Arena, New York, New York
Win 64–1–1 United States Izzy Jannazzo UD 10 1946-03-14 United States Fifth Regiment Armory, Baltimore, Maryland
Win 63–1–1 United States Sammy Angott UD 10 1946-03-04 United States Duquesne Gardens, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Win 62–1–1 Canada Cliff Beckett KO 4 (10) 1946-02-27 United States Saint Louis Arena, Saint Louis, Missouri
Win 61–1–1 United States O'Neill Bell KO 2 (10), 1:01 1946-02-15 United States Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan
Win 60–1–1 United States Tony Riccio TKO 4 (10), 2:16 1946-02-05 United States Elizabeth Armory, Elizabeth, New Jersey
Win 59–1–1 United States Dave Clark TKO 2 (10), 2:22 1946-01-14 United States Duquesne Gardens, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Win 58–1–1 United States Vic Dellicurti UD 10 1945-12-04 United States Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Win 57–1–1 United States Jake LaMotta SD 12 1945-09-26 United States Comiskey Park, Chicago, Illinois
Win 56–1–1 United States Jimmy Mandell TKO 5 (10), 1:31 1945-09-18 United States Buffalo Memorial Auditorium, Buffalo, New York
Win 55–1–1 United States Jimmy McDaniels TKO 2 (10), 1:23 1945-06-15 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Draw 54–1–1 Puerto Rico José Basora PTS 10 1945-05-14 United States Philadelphia Convention Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Win 54–1 United States Jake LaMotta UD 10 1945-02-23 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Win 53–1 United States George Costner KO 1 (10), 2:55 1945-02-14 United States Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois
Win 52–1 United States Tommy Bell UD 10 1945-01-16 United States Cleveland Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
Win 51–1 United States Billy Furrone TKO 2 (10), 2:28 1945-01-10 United States Uline Arena, Washington, District of Columbia
Win 50–1 United States George Martin TKO 8 (10) 1944-12-22 United States Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Win 49–1 United States Sheik Rangel TKO 2 (10), 2:50 1944-12-12 United States Philadelphia Convention Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Win 48–1 United States Vic Dellicurti UD 10 1944-11-24 United States Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan
Win 47–1 United States Lou Woods TKO 9 (10) 1944-10-27 United States Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois
Win 46–1 United States Izzy Jannazzo TKO 2 (10), 1:10 1944-10-13 United States Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Win 45–1 United States Henry Armstrong UD 10 1943-08-27 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Win 44–1 United States Ralph Zannelli UD 10 1943-07-01 United States Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Win 43–1 United States Freddie Cabral KO 1 (10), 2:20 1943-04-30 United States Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Win 42–1 United States Jake LaMotta UD 10 1943-02-26 United States Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan
Win 41–1 United States California Jackie Wilson MD 10 1943-02-19 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Loss 40–1 United States Jake LaMotta UD 10 1943-02-05 United States Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan
Win 40–0 United States Al Nettlow TKO 3 (10) 1942-12-14 United States Philadelphia Convention Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Win 39–0 United States Izzy Jannazzo TKO 8 (10), 2:43 1942-12-01 United States Cleveland Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
Win 38–0 United States Vic Dellicurti UD 10 1942-11-06 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Win 37–0 United States Izzy Jannazzo UD 10 1942-10-19 United States Philadelphia Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Win 36–0 United States Jake LaMotta UD 10 1942-10-02 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Win 35–0 United States Tony Motisi KO 1 (10), 2:41 1942-08-27 United States Comiskey Park, Chicago, Illinois
Win 34–0 United States Reuben Shank KO 2 (10), 2:26 1942-08-21 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Win 33–0 United States Sammy Angott UD 10 1942-07-31 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Win 32–0 United States Marty Servo SD 10 1942-05-28 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Win 31–0 United States Dick Banner KO 2 (10) 1942-04-30 United States Minneapolis Armory, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Win 30–0 Canada Harvey Dubs TKO 6 (10) 1942-04-17 United States Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan
Win 29–0 United States Norman Rubio TKO 8 (12) 1942-03-20 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Win 28–0 Canada Maxie Berger TKO 2 (12), 1:43 1942-02-20 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Win 27–0 United States Fritzie Zivic TKO 10 (12), 0:31 1942-01-16 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Win 26–0 United States Fritzie Zivic UD 10 1941-10-31 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Win 25–0 United States Marty Servo UD 10 1941-09-25 United States Philadelphia Convention Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Win 24–0 United States Maxie Shapiro TKO 3 (10), 2:04 1941-09-19 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Win 23–0 France Maurice Arnault TKO 1 (8), 1:29 1941-08-29 United States Atlantic City Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win 22–0 United States Carl Guggino TKO 3 (8), 2:47 1941-08-27 United States Queensboro Arena, Queens, New York
Win 21–0 United States Sammy Angott UD 10 1941-07-21 United States Shibe Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Angott's World Lightweight title not on the line.
Win 20–0 United States Pete Lello TKO 4 (8), 1:48 1941-07-02 United States Polo Grounds, New York, New York
Win 19–0 United States Mike Evans KO 2 (8), 0:52 1941-06-16 United States Shibe Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Win 18–0 United States Nick Castiglione KO 1 (10), 1:21 1941-05-19 United States Philadelphia Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Win 17–0 United States Victor Troise TKO 1 (8), 2:39 1941-05-10 United States Ridgewood Grove, Brooklyn, New York
Win 16–0 United States Joe Ghnouly TKO 3 (8), 2:07 1941-04-30 United States Uline Arena, Washington, District of Columbia
Win 15–0 United States Charley Burns KO 1 (10) 1941-04-24 United States Waltz Dream Arena, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win 14–0 United States Jimmy Tygh TKO 1 (10), 1:51 1941-04-14 United States Philadelphia Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Win 13–0 United States Jimmy Tygh KO 8 (10), 1:13 1941-03-03 United States Philadelphia Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Win 12–0 United States Gene Spencer TKO 5 (6) 1941-02-27 United States Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan
Win 11–0 United States Bobby McIntire UD 6 1941-02-21 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Win 10–0 United States Benny Cartagena KO 1 (6), 1:33 1941-02-08 United States Ridgewood Grove, Brooklyn, New York
Win 9–0 United States George Zengaras PTS 6 1941-01-31 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Win 8–0 United States Frankie Wallace TKO 1 (6), 2:10 1941-01-13 United States Philadelphia Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Win 7–0 United States Harry LaBarba KO 1 (6), 0:40 1941-01-04 United States Ridgewood Grove, Brooklyn, New York
Win 6–0 United States Oliver White TKO 3 (4) 1940-12-13 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Win 5–0 United States Norment Quarles TKO 4 (8), 0:56 1940-12-09 United States Philadelphia Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Win 4–0 United States Bobby Woods KO 1 (6), 1:31 1940-11-11 United States Philadelphia Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Win 3–0 Greece Mitsos Grispos UD 6 1940-10-22 United States New York Coliseum, Bronx, New York
Win 2–0 United States Silent Stafford TKO 2 (4) 1940-10-08 United States Municipal Auditorium, Savannah, Georgia
Win 1–0 Puerto Rico Joe Echevarria TKO 2 (4), 0:51 1940-10-04 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York Professional Debut

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Before that fight, Robinson had a dream that he was going to accidentally kill Doyle in the ring. As a result, he decided to pull out of the fight. However, a priest and a minister convinced him to go ahead with the bout."Sugar Ray Robinson - Dreams Come True". youtube.com. Retrieved March 3, 2013. 

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Sugar Ray Robinson's record". at BoxRec.com. Retrieved 21 May 2013. 
  2. ^ Jackson, Ron. "Most consecutive unbeaten streak". Retrieved 22 May 2013. 
  3. ^ I was his personal secretary during this time. He was in debt, but was able to keep a roof over his head. Marion Young https://www.facebook.com/mariony1028
  4. ^ a b c d Sugar Ray Robinson Returns to the Ring to a 'Stamping Ovation' of 100 Million, usps.com, April 7, 2006, accessed June 5, 2007.
  5. ^ a b Robinson and Anderson, pg. 7.
  6. ^ Robinson and Anderson, pgs. 8–9.
  7. ^ Robinson and Anderson, pg. 5.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h Businessman Boxer, TIME, June 25, 1951, available online via time.com, accessed June 6, 2007.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h Flatter, Ron. The sugar in the sweet science, espn.com, accessed June 6, 2007.
  10. ^ Schwartz, Larry. "ESPN.com: "A brooding genius"". ESPN. Retrieved September 12, 2013. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah Sugar Ray Robinson, boxrec.com, accessed June 4, 2007.
  12. ^ a b c Nichols, Joseph C.Harlem Fighter Still Unbeaten, The New York Times, November 1, 1941, accessed June 6, 2007.
  13. ^ a b Dawson, James P. Robinson Knocks Out Zivic in Tenth Round to Score 27th Victory in Row, The New York Times, January 17, 1942, accessed June 6, 2007.
  14. ^ Nichols, Joseph C. Robinson Takes Unanimous Decision Over La Motta in Garden 10-Round Bout,The New York Times, October 3, 1942, accessed June 6, 2007.
  15. ^ a b c Associated Press. Robinson's Streak Ended by LaMotta, The New York Times, February 6, 1943, accessed June 6, 2007.
  16. ^ Robinson and Anderson, pg. 110.
  17. ^ Robinson and Anderson, pgs. 120-129.
  18. ^ Robinson and Anderson, pgs. 126-130.
  19. ^ Ray Robinson, fbi.gov, accessed June 6, 2007.
  20. ^ Robinson and Anderson, pg. 130.
  21. ^ Boyd and Robinson II. pgs. 94
  22. ^ Sugar: Too sweet for Raging Bull, bbc.co.uk, July 13, 2001, accessed June 6, 2007.
  23. ^ "Sugar Ray Robinson - Dreams Come True". youtube.com. Retrieved March 3, 2013. 
  24. ^ Nat Fleischer, in The Ring, September 1947, "Sugar Ray Robinson backed out of the fight because he had a dream that he killed him: well his dream came true", page 4
  25. ^ a b c d Sugar Ray Robinson, Contemporary Black Biography, The Gale Group, 2006 ISBN 0-7876-7927-5, available online via Answers.com, accessed June 6, 2007.
  26. ^ Robinson's biographer Wil Haygood stated during a September 25, 2010 book festival appearance that Doyle was pushing himself to fight to "buy his mother a house" and after Doyle's death in 1947, Robinson gave the earnings of his next four fights to Doyle's mother, so she could buy that house."
  27. ^ Wil Haygood, Book TV, September 2010
  28. ^ Boyd and Robinson II. pg. 93
  29. ^ Boyd and Robinson II. pgs. 105–06
  30. ^ a b Anderson, Dave. Sports of the Times; The Original Sugar Ray 'Never Lost', The New York Times, April 13, 1989, accessed April 10, 2008.
  31. ^ Robinson and Anderson, pg. 165.
  32. ^ Jake LaMotta, boxrec.com, accessed June 6, 2007.
  33. ^ Robinson and Anderson, pgs. 187–88.
  34. ^ Dethroned in London, The New York Times, July 15, 1951, accessed June 6, 2007.
  35. ^ Sugar Ray Gives Mme. Auriol Kiss; Boxer as Cancer Fund 'Envoy,' Busses French Chief's Wife Twice on Each Cheek, The New York Times, May 17, 1951, accessed June 6, 2007.
  36. ^ Sugar's Lumps, TIME, July 23, 1951, available online at time.com, accessed June 6, 2007.
  37. ^ Daley, Arthur. Sports of The Times; For the Championship, The New York Times, September 12, 1951, accessed June 6, 2007.
  38. ^ Harlem Hails Robinson; More Than 10,000 Cheer Verdict, Sing and Dance in Street, The New York Times, September 13, 1951, accessed June 6, 2007.
  39. ^ Sugar Ray Robinson Named Fighter Of Year, St. Petersburg Times, December 27, 1951, accessed October 14, 2010.
  40. ^ Robinson and Anderson. pg. 227
  41. ^ Robinson and Anderson. pg. 266
  42. ^ Nichols, Joseph C. Utah 160-Pounder to Defend Crown, The New York Times, May 1, 1957, accessed June 6, 2007.
  43. ^ a b c d e Nichols, Joseph C. Robinson Knocks Out Fullmer in Fifth Round to Regain Middleweight Crown, The New York Times, May 2, 1957 accessed June 6, 2007.
  44. ^ Fitzgerald and Hudson. pg. 40
    *Gene Fullmer, ibhof.com, accessed June 6, 2007.
  45. ^ Basilio Takes Title By Beating Robinson, The New York Times, September 24, 1957, accessed June 6, 2007.
  46. ^ a b Nichols, Joseph C. Robinson Outpoints Basilio and Wins World Middleweight Title Fifth Time.The New York Times, March 26, 1958, accessed June 6, 2007.
  47. ^ a b nichols, Joseph C. 5-1 Choice Loses A Split Decision, The New York Times, January 23, 1960, accessed June 6, 2007.
  48. ^ Conkilin, William R. Robinson Beats Moyer in Ten-Rounder Here, The New York Times, October 22, 1961, accessed June 6, 2007.
  49. ^ Teague, Robert L. Denny Moyer Defeats Robinson, The New York Times, February 18, 1962, accessed June 6, 2007.
  50. ^ a b Left Hook Floors Sugar Ray in 4th, The New York Times, June 25, 1963, accessed June 6, 2007.
  51. ^ a b Associated Press. Robinson Beaten in Archer Fight, The New York Times, November 11, 1965, accessed June 6, 2007.
  52. ^ Associated Press. Robinson Declares Bout With Archer Was His Last Fight, The New York Times, November 12, 1965, accessed June 6, 2007.
  53. ^ Robinson and Anderson, pg. 4.
  54. ^ Mission Impossible, accessed October 14, 2010.
  55. ^ Wiley. pg. 223
  56. ^ a b Pace, Frank. Keeping Pace with Sugar Ray Robinson, LA Sports Magazine, August 1976, available online via hofmag.com, accessed June 5, 2007.
  57. ^ a b Edna Mae Robinson, ex-wife of boxing champ Sugar Ray Robinson, dies, JET, May 27, 2002, available online via findarticles.com, accessed June 6, 2007.
  58. ^ Robinson and Anderson, pp. 91-2.
  59. ^ Chenault. pg. 31
  60. ^ Ray Robinson's' Sister Dies, The New York Times, April 21, 1959, accessed June 6, 2007.
  61. ^ a b Wiley. pg. 221
  62. ^ "Famous Free Masons: Athletes". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved February 13, 2013. 
  63. ^ "Well Known Freemasons". Grand Lodge of British Columbia A.F. & A. M. Retrieved February 13, 2013. 
  64. ^ Robinson and Anderson, pg. 75.
  65. ^ Boyd and Robinson II. pg. 271
  66. ^ a b Sugar Ray Robinson quotes, cgmworldwide.com, accessed June 6, 2007.
  67. ^ Hauser. pg. 29
  68. ^ a b Mulvaney, Kieran. Who's the Greatest?, espn.com, accessed March 18, 2009.
  69. ^ Sugar Ray Bio, cgmworldwide.com, accessed June 4, 2007.
    *Review Joe and Teddy Pick Their Top Fighters, espn.com, accessed June 4, 2007.
    * Smith, Michael David. ESPN Greatest Boxers List: Sugar Ray Robinson No. 1, aolsports.com, May 13, 2007, accessed June 6, 2007.
    * Wiley. pg. 226
    *Anderson, Dave. Sugar Ray Robinson, Boxing's 'Best,' Is Dead, The New York Times, April 13, 1989, accessed April 10, 2008.
    * Trickett, Alex, and Dirs, Ben. Who is the greatest of them all?, bbc.co.uk, June 13, 2005, accessed June 6, 2007.
  70. ^ Kehoe, Patrick. Ray Robinson: The champions’ champion. secondsout.com, accessed June 4, 2007.
  71. ^ Hauser. pg. 212
  72. ^ Associated Press. Sugar Ray named century's best, espn.com, December 8, 1999, accessed March 4, 2009.
  73. ^ Ring Magazine's 100 Greatest Punchers, The Ring, (2003), available online at about.com, accessed June 6, 2007.
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Sources[edit]

External links[edit]

Achievements
Preceded by
Marty Servo
Vacated
World Welterweight Champion
20 December 1946 – 14 February 1951
Vacated
Succeeded by
Johnny Bratton
Recognized by NBA
Preceded by
Jake LaMotta
World Middleweight Champion
14 February 1951 – 10 July 1951
Succeeded by
Randy Turpin
Preceded by
Randy Turpin
World Middleweight Champion
12 September 1951 – December 1952
Retired
Succeeded by
Carl (Bobo) Olson
Preceded by
Carl (Bobo) Olson
World Middleweight Champion
9 December 1955 – 2 January 1957
Succeeded by
Gene Fullmer
Preceded by
Gene Fullmer
World Middleweight Champion
1 May 1957 – 23 September 1957
Succeeded by
Carmen Basilio
Preceded by
Carmen Basilio
World Middleweight Champion
25 March 1958 – 22 January 1960
Only recognized by New York and
Massachusetts at time of title loss
Succeeded by
Paul Pender
Awards
Preceded by
Joe Louis
Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year
1942
Succeeded by
Fred Apostoli
Preceded by
Ezzard Charles
Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year
1951
Succeeded by
Rocky Marciano
Preceded by
Ezzard Charles
Edward J. Neil Trophy
(BWAA Fighter of the Year)

1950
Succeeded by
Jersey Joe Walcott