A middleweight who fought up to heavyweight, Robinson was nothing more then a local club-fighter who was used as a stepping-stone for upcoming South Florida prospects.
Robinson was managed by Clyde Killens, a pool hall owner and concert promoter. He generally filled in as a last-minute substitute on Chris Dundee promotions in Miami-Dade County, Florida. "Sweet Jimmy" trained at the famed 5th Street Gym in Miami Beach, but he lived in the Overtown section of Miami known as Liberty City.
According to newspaper reports, Robinson was born in Kansas City, but relocated to Miami. In a 1979 interview, Robinson said he was born in 1925, making him 36 years old when he fought Ali. Robinson always carried his ring gear in an old U.S. Army bag, and he claimed to be a veteran.
Robinson's ring career ended in 1963, and he became a fixture in local pool halls and street corners in Liberty City. In 1968, he was dug out of retirement to fight Kent Green in Miami Beach. Green was the only fighter at the time to hold a TKO win over Muhammad Ali, having stopped Ali as an amateur some ten years earlier. Green landed two punches, and Robinson went down and out in under a minute.
Since 1979, the whereabouts of Robinson have been unknown. Overtown residents recall him as a homeless man who bummed change off of pool-hall customers, and spoke endlessly of his fight with Ali.
Sweet Jimmy Robinson should not be confused with Jim (Slim) Robinson, a Philadelphia boxer who fought from 1953 to 1962 and later became a successful trainer.