Sugar Ray Robinson was born as Walker Smith Jr. in Detroit, Michigan, in 1921. He started boxing as a teenager and began his professional career at the age of 19. Robinson went on to become one of the greatest boxers of all time, known for his speed, power, and technical skill. He changed his name to Ray Robinson after borrowing the Amateur Athletic Union card of a boxer named Ray Robinson and using it to enter a tournament.
Robinson won his first professional fight on October 4, 1940, by defeating Joe Echevarria in the second round. He went on to win his next 40 fights before suffering his first defeat in 1943. In total, Robinson had a record of 128 wins, 1 draw, and 2 no contests in 200 professional fights. He retired from boxing in 1965 and was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.
Robinson won his first world title, the welterweight championship, on December 20, 1946, by defeating Tommy Bell. He went on to win the title four more times, becoming the first boxer to win a divisional title five times. Robinson also won the middleweight world championship five times, a record that still stands today. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters of all time.
Robinson was known for his incredible speed and footwork in the ring. He was able to move around the ring with ease, making it difficult for his opponents to land punches on him. Robinson was also known for his powerful left hook and devastating right cross, which helped him win many fights. He was a master at counter-punching and had a great ability to read his opponents’ movements.
Robinson’s record of 128 wins, 1 draw, and 2 no contests in 200 professional fights is one of the most impressive in boxing history. He won 84 fights by knockout and was only knocked out once in his career. Robinson fought against some of the greatest boxers of his time, including Jake LaMotta, Carmen Basilio, and Gene Fullmer. He retired with a career winning percentage of 84.4%.
Robinson’s speed and footwork were two of his greatest assets in the ring. He was able to move around the ring quickly and gracefully, making it difficult for his opponents to land punches. Robinson was also a master of the jab, which he used to set up his devastating left hook and right cross. His punches were known for their speed and accuracy.
Robinson’s five middleweight world championships are a record that still stands today. He won the title for the first time in 1951 and defended it successfully five times before losing it in 1957. Robinson won it back in 1958 and defended it successfully four more times before retiring. His middleweight title reigns were marked by some of the most memorable fights in boxing history.
Robinson is widely regarded as one of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters of all time. He was ranked as the best fighter of the 20th century by The Ring magazine and was named Fighter of the Year six times. Robinson’s accomplishments in the ring have inspired generations of boxers, and his legacy continues to live on today.
Robinson was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990, the same year that it was established. He was also inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1980 and the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 1975. Robinson’s induction into these halls of fame is a testament to his enduring legacy as one of the greatest boxers of all time.
Robinson was also a successful businessman, owning several nightclubs and restaurants in Harlem, New York. He was known for his flamboyant lifestyle and was a regular at the Cotton Club, a famous nightclub in Harlem. Robinson also appeared in several films, including the 1951 film “The Harlem Globetrotters.”
Robinson was a trailblazer in the world of boxing, breaking down racial barriers in a sport that was dominated by white fighters. He was one of the first black boxers to achieve widespread fame and success, paving the way for other black boxers to follow in his footsteps. Robinson was also an advocate for civil rights and was involved in several protests and demonstrations.
In addition to his professional boxing career, Robinson was also a talented dancer and musician. He was known for his smooth moves and often performed in nightclubs and on television. Robinson was also a skilled drummer and played in several jazz bands, including the Sugar Ray Robinson Orchestra.
Robinson was married three times and had several children. His first marriage, to Marjorie Joseph, ended in divorce in 1943. He married Edna Mae Holly in 1943, and they had three children together before divorcing in 1960. Robinson’s third marriage, to Millie Wiggins, lasted until his death in 1989.
Robinson was diagnosed with diabetes in the early 1960s and struggled with the disease for the rest of his life. He also suffered from Alzheimer’s disease in his later years and died of complications from the disease in 1989 at the age of 67. Robinson’s death was a great loss to the world of boxing, but his legacy continues to inspire new generations of boxers.
Robinson was known for his flashy style both in and out of the ring. He often wore colorful robes and trunks adorned with sequins and feathers, and was known for his love of fur coats. Robinson was also a sharp dresser and was frequently photographed wearing tailored suits and fedoras.
Robinson was a gifted athlete from a young age and excelled in several sports, including basketball and track and field. He was also a talented baseball player and briefly played in the Negro Leagues before turning to boxing full-time. Robinson’s athleticism and natural talent helped him become one of the greatest boxers of all time.
Robinson was a favorite of the press and was often referred to as the “uncrowned champion” when he was coming up through the ranks. He was known for his good looks, charming personality, and impeccable style, and was a frequent guest on television talk shows and variety shows.
Robinson’s most famous rivalry was with Jake LaMotta, who he fought six times throughout his career. Their most famous fight, known as the “St. Valentine’s Day Massacre,” took place on February 14, 1951, and saw Robinson win the middleweight title for the first time. Their rivalry was one of the most intense in boxing history and helped establish Robinson as one of the sport’s all-time greats.
Robinson was also known for his philanthropy, donating money to several charities and causes throughout his life. He was particularly involved in the fight against diabetes, and helped raise awareness and funds for the disease through his foundation, the Sugar Ray Robinson Foundation.
Robinson’s style in the ring was often compared to that of a ballet dancer, and he was known for his graceful movements and fluid footwork. He was also a master of defense, using his footwork to avoid his opponent’s punches and his lightning-fast reflexes to slip and dodge incoming blows.
Robinson was a fierce competitor in the ring, but was known for his sportsmanship and respect for his opponents. He was always gracious in victory and defeat, and would often console his opponents after defeating them. This earned him the respect and admiration of his fellow boxers, as well as fans around the world. Robinson’s sportsmanship was a reflection of his character outside of the ring, where he was known for his kindness, generosity, and humility. He remains an icon of sportsmanship and dignity in the world of boxing.
Robinson’s legacy in the world of boxing is cemented as one of the greatest of all time. He held multiple world championships in different weight classes and retired with an impressive record of 173 wins, 19 losses, 6 draws, and 2 no contests. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.
Robinson’s impact on the world of sports extends beyond boxing. He was a trailblazer for black athletes and helped break down racial barriers in sports. His success and popularity helped pave the way for other black athletes to achieve success and recognition, and he remains an inspiration to many young athletes today.