Sugar Ray Robinson

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Sugar Ray Robinson
Class of 1990
Modern Category
Hall of Fame bio:click
World Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee

Name: Sugar Ray Robinson
Birth Name: Walker Smith Jr.
Born: 1921-05-03
Birthplace: Ailey, Georgia, USA
Died: 1989-04-12 (Age:67)
Hometown: Harlem, New York, USA
Stance: Orthodox
Height: 5′ 11″   /   180cm
Reach: 72½″   /   184cm
Boxing Record: click

Managers: Curt Horrmann, George Gainford
Trainers: Soldier Jones, Harry Wiley, Pee Wee Beale
Sugar Ray Robinson Gallery

Sugar Ray Robinson is considered by most boxing historians and enthusiasts to be the greatest pound-for-pound boxer of all-time. Robinson is frequently, if not always, ranked among the top three boxers ever in both the welterweight and middleweight classes.

Amateur Achievements

Robinson's amateur record is usually listed as 85-0 with 69 knockouts, 40 in the first round. However, he lost to Billy Graham and Patsy Pesca under his given name, Walker Smith Jr.


Preceded by:
Tony Saraullo
New York Daily News Golden Gloves
Open Featherweight Champion

1939
Succeeded by:
Louis Valentine
Preceded by:
Tony Saraullo
New York Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions
Featherweight Champion

1939
Succeeded by:
Frankie Donato
Preceded by:
Eddie Dempsey
Intercity Golden Gloves
Featherweight Champion

1939
Succeeded by:
Frankie Donato
Preceded by:
Willie Smith
New York Daily News Golden Gloves
Open Lightweight Champion

1940
Succeeded by:
Willie Smith
Preceded by:
Johnny Pleasant
New York Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions
Lightweight Champion

1940
Succeeded by:
Johnny Green
Preceded by:
Johnny Pleasant
Intercity Golden Gloves
Lightweight Champion

1940
Succeeded by:
Johnny Green



Awards & Recognition

Notes

  • Robinson was born Walker Smith Jr. He got his boxing name when he used the AAU card of an ex-boxer named Ray Robinson.
  • According to Robinson's autobiography, Sugar Ray, sportswriter Jack Case, after seeing one of Robinson’s amateur performances, said he “sure was a sweet fighter.” Chase called him “Sugar Ray” in one of his sports columns and the now-famous moniker was born.
  • Robinson was a coach for the 1941 New York Golden Gloves Team at the Intercity Golden Gloves Tournament held in Chicago.
  • Robinson won his first 40 professional fights before losing to Jake LaMotta on February 5, 1942. Robinson then went unbeaten in his next 91 fights.
  • Robinson had six fights with Jake LaMotta and won five of them. LaMotta said, "I fought Sugar Ray so often, I almost got diabetes."
  • Height dispute: Robinson's height is usually listed as 5'11", but he was often listed as 6'0" early in his career. He was reported as being 5'11½" at the weigh-in for his bout with Robert Villemain in 1950.
  • On February 27, 1943, Robinson was inducted into the United States Army. He toured Army camps with Joe Louis and boxed exhibitions for soldiers.
  • On March 29, 1944, shortly before he was scheduled to set sail for Europe, Robinson disappeared from his barracks at Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn, New York. Robinson said he fell down the stairs in his barracks and didn't remember anything from the time of the fall until he woke up in a hospital on April 5. According to his file, a stranger found him in the street on April 1 and helped him to a hospital. Robinson received an honorable discharge from the Army as a sergeant on June 3, 1944.
  • Robinson won the vacant World Welterweight Championship in his 76th professional fight, defeating Tommy Bell by a 15-round unanimous decision on December 20, 1950. Robinson would defend the title five times before relinquishing it to fight as a middleweight.
  • Robinson defeated Robert Villemain by a 15-round unanimous decision to win the vacant Pennsylvania World Middleweight Championship on June 5, 1950. The state withdrew recognition from World Middleweight champion Jake LaMotta for failure to defend. Robinson stopped LaMotta in 13 rounds to win the undisputed title on February 14, 1951.
  • Robinson lost the World Middleweight Championship to Randy Turpin by a 15-round decision on July 10, 1951. He regained the title from Turpin with a 10th-round knockout on September 12, 1951.
  • Robinson unsuccessfully challenged Joey Maxim for the World Light Heavyweight Championship on June 25, 1952. Robinson, way ahead on points, couldn't come out for the 14th round due to heat exhaustion. The temperature at ringside was 103 degrees. It was the only stoppage loss of Robinson's career.
  • After losing to Maxim, Robinson retired with a record of 131-3-2.
  • Robinson, who once owned an entire block of shops and businesses in Harlem, returned to the ring in 1955 because he needed money.
  • Robinson would win and lose the World Middleweight Championship three times between 1955 and 1960.
  • Robinson retired for good in 1965 with a record of 173-19-6.
  • Robinson defeated sixteen former, reigning or future world champions during his professional career.
  • When his boxing career ended, Robinson dabbled in acting. He appeared in such films as The Detective (starring Frank Sinatra) and Candy (starring Marlon Brando). He also appeared on the television shows Mission: Impossible, The Mod Squad and Fantasy Island.
  • In 1969, Robinson founded the Sugar Ray Robinson Youth Foundation in Los Angeles.
  • View: Sugar Ray Robinson's Exhibition Bouts

Death Info

  • Robinson died at Brotman Medical Center in Culver City, California. He was suffering from Alzheimer's disease and diabetes.
  • Robinson is listed as Sugar Ray Robinson by the California Death Records database and the Social Security Death Records database. His Social Security number was 080-28-1189.
  • The California Death Records database list his place of birth as Michigan, and Robinson states in his autobiography that he was born in Detroit. However, his birth certificate list his place of birth as Ailey, Georgia. Robinson said his mother was pregnant with him when she moved from Georgia to Detroit.

External Links


Preceded by:
Marty Servo
Vacated
World Welterweight Champion
1946 Dec 20 – 1951 Feb 14
Vacated
Succeeded by:
Johnny Bratton
Recognized by NBA
Preceded by:
Jake LaMotta
World Middleweight Champion
1951 Feb 14 – 1951 Jul 10
Succeeded by:
Randy Turpin
Preceded by:
Randy Turpin
World Middleweight Champion
1951 Sep 12 – 1952 Dec
Retired
Succeeded by:
Carl (Bobo) Olson
Preceded by:
Carl (Bobo) Olson
World Middleweight Champion
1955 Dec 9 – 1957 Jan 2
Succeeded by:
Gene Fullmer
Preceded by:
Gene Fullmer
World Middleweight Champion
1957 May 1 – 1957 Sep 23
Succeeded by:
Carmen Basilio
Preceded by:
Carmen Basilio
World Middleweight Champion
1958 Mar 25 – 1960 Jan 22
Robinson was recognized only by New York and Massachusetts when he lost the title. He had been stripped by the NBA due to inactivity.
Succeeded by:
Paul Pender