Sugar Ray Robinson
In The 13th Round Of What Was Known As The St. Valentine's Day Massacre, Robinson Beat The "Bronx Bull," Jake LaMotta, With His "Matador" Style. He Went On To Win The 160-Pound Middleweight Title Four More Times And The World Welterweight Title Once.
Robinson, Who Brought Beauty And Artistry To Boxing, Was Never Knocked Out, Though He Put Opponents On The Canvas 110 Times. For Over A Quarter Of A Century- From 1940 to 1965 - Robinson Recorded 175 Victories Against 19 Losses. Five Of Those Losses Occurred In the Last Six Months Of His Career, After Turning 44 Years Old.
According To His Birth Certificate, Robinson Was Born Walker Smith, Jr, May 3, 1921, In Ailey, Georgia. His Family Moved To Detroit And Eventually To New York City, Where He Learned To Box. He Picked Up His Professional Name After He Began Fighting In The Amateur Athletic Union, Using The Name Of Another Teenage Boxer, Raymond Robinson, Who Had Quit Boxing. He Got The Nick Name, "Sugar," When A Local Sports Editor In Watertown, New York, Remarked To One Of Robinson's Handlers, "That's A Sweet Fighter You've Got There…," To Which A Fan Responded, "As Sweet As Sugar."
Ray Robinson Lived A Flamboyant Lifestyle And Caused A Sensation Outside The Ring As Well As Inside. He Spent Much Of His $4 Million Earnings On Pink Cadillacs, Expensive Suits And Several Small Harlem Businesses, Including A Nightclub, Barber Shop, Lingerie Store And Dry Cleaners.
Robinson's Boxing Legacy Has Never Died. The Associated Press, ESPN And Bert Sugar Are Among Those Who Have Named Him The Greatest Boxer In History . He has Inspired Generations Of Young Fighters, Like Sugar Ray Leonard And Muhammad Ali, Who has Called Robinson His Idol.
After Retiring From Boxing in 1965, Robinson Established The Sugar Ray Youth Foundation. He Died April 12, 1989, From Diabetes And Alzheimer's Disease.
"In Order For Black History To Live, We Must Continue to Breathe Life Into It." - Hubert Gaddy, Jr.