Sugar Ray Robinson Is Still The Greatest
By Daniel Miltz, Doghouse Boxing (June 23, 2011) Doghouse Boxing
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Sugar Ray Robinson
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 "Sugar". 

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 own  triumphs, which will live on forever!

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 earlier. 

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."

... For more from Daniel... visit Miltz Boxing News at www.miltzboxingnews.com

Write for Doghouse Boxing: anthonyc1974@gmail.com.



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