Sugar Ray Robinson Is Still The Greatest By Daniel Miltz, Doghouse Boxing (June 23, 2011) Doghouse Boxing - Tweet
This is the portrait of boxer who captivated a large
following, through his mastery and artistry in the fighting ring, a sport known
as "the sweet science".
Also, it reflects a perplexed man, who took
culture and eloquence into the ring, became a demigod to millions of black and
white Americans, and was a hero and idol to many friends and rising contenders.
He lived his life in the sweetest and most charming way possible and wanted his
audience to remember him as a bigger than life boxing icon.
Born Walker Smith Jr.... Early on, he was best remembered as
Ray Robinson. He won 89 amateur fights without defeat, fighting first under his
own name, and then as Ray Robinson, using the amateur certificate of another
boxer of that name in order to qualify for a bout. Then later he was called
So we ask, how did he get that name?The story goes according to his biography,
"Pound for Pound" - one night he was exiting the ring after an amateur
bout and a sportswriter told his coach, "That's some sweet fighter you've
got there." A woman at ringside heard the comment and added: "As
sweet as sugar." The next day in the newspaper, the sportswriter referred
to him as Sugar Ray Robinson and, 'Sugar' became his catchet.
He wore expensive stylish clothes, trotted and rode around
Harlem in his beautiful pink shiny Caddy, and partied in many Manhattan after
hour clubs- with fellow celebrities. He had a way about himself, along with the
sweetest modus vivendi, and most of all, the sweetest ring style.
He was poetry/dance in motion while inside that squared ring. He was the Master of his
owntriumphs, which will live on
He captured the New York Golden Gloves championship in 1940.
The 19-year-old Sugar Ray immediately turned pro, and by 1946, Robinson was the
welterweight champion of the world. He reigned in on a ninety-one fight
winning-streak. Held the title subsequently for five long years, and then moved
on seeking and acquiring the world middleweight title in which he held
intermittently five times between 1951-1960.
A powerful force in the boxing ring for almost twenty years;
Sugar Ray was thirty-eight years old when he won his last middleweight title.
And during that long tenure; he fought a lot of battles - and won the wars. The
early years in his pro career, a fairly confident Sugar Ray, ducked and dodged
nobody - "not like the fighters of today."
He even went in defense of friends who were
fellow pugilists, For example: - The time he battered former welterweight
titlist Fritzie Zivic en-route to a 10th round TKO in January 1942. Robinson
was intent on punishing Zivic and give him a good whopping to gain revenge on
his friend [Henry Armstrong], who had been badly beaten by Zivic, a year
What is more, when in August 1943, Henry, who is now a fading
ex-champion, needed a big payday and asked his buddy Robinson for a fight. Ray
relunctantly granted him the match and carried Armstrong for 10 long rounds,
winning a decision.
In the middle-'60s, Sugar Ray left the ring with style and
grace, he told his coach, "Sometimes we got the best of it in the
past." Sugar Ray's record was 128-1-2 with 84 knockouts at the height of
his career. Amazingly, in over 200 fights altogether, he had 109 KOs, and finished
with a record of 175-19-6 with two no-decisions. Muhammad Ali called him
"the King, the Master, my Idol." Ali fashioned himself after his
hero. Later, Sugar Ray would be part of his mixed entourage.
Several times, when Ali was known as Cassius Clay, had asked
Robinson, to be his manager, but Sugar Ray politely declined every time. The
Ring magazine named Robinson "pound for pound, the best boxer of all
time." And even - the Associated Press' named him both the greatest
welterweight and middleweight boxer of the century.
These are just a few of the trademarks that Robinson left us
with the recollections of a great champion. In a career of fond memories, he is
one of the most admired and beloved champions in all of sports.
I hope this
serves as the appreciation for the man who forever has been - and forever will
be - the greatest pound-for-pound fighter, the sport of boxing has ever seen.
Now equally, even in today's era, there is no boxer that can compare. Sugar Ray
Robinson Is still the "Greatest."