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Robinson Sugar Ray bio, career, net worth, awards, death

Sugar Ray Robinson is a professional boxer known for knockouts and the promoter of pound for pound rankings to the journalists. He has been since 1940-1965.

 Robinson Sugar Ray was a professional boxer and a participant from 1940 to 1965.

 Robinson’s Background

Walker-Smith Sr. and Leila Hurst are his parents and his two sisters Marie(1917) and Evelyn(1919). His father has worked as a cotton and grain farmer but later moved to Detroit working as a sewer worker and cement mixer.

The two parents separated and Robinson moved with his mother and sisters at twelve years of his age.

Sugar’s age

Ray was born on May 3rd, 1921 in Ailey, Georgia his name being Walker Smith Jr. Robinson has died at 67 years in Los Angeles.

Robinson’s Family

Ray had been married thrice until his death. The wives are:

  • Marjorie Joseph the shortest relationship from 1938 until 1938 and she is the first wife.
  • Edna May Holy(1943- 1960)
  • Millie Wiggins Bruce since 1965-1989.

Robinson has left behind two children. Ronnie Smith One of his sons born in 1939, with his first wife and Ray Robinson born in 1949 with his second wife.

Ray and his Net worth

While he competed, he was worth up to 500 thousand US dollars. Later on the worth dropped to 36 thousand US dollars. After his sudden sickness, he died broke due to the bills.

Sugar Ray Robinson in 1966

Robinson in his career

In his childhood, Ray wished to be a doctor, but after dropping out he tried boxing. For the first time, he went for auditions he was asked to attain the AAU membership card but he was 15years old. He used his friend’s birth certificate and joined the games.

On October 4, 1940, is when he first participated and won in the second round stoppage while playing with Joe Echeveria. For the rest four matches, Robinson won with three of them being Knockouts. For 1941, he won between three fighters, Sammy Angott, Marty Servo and Fritzie Zivic at the Madison Square Garden. In a rematch 1942, Sugar Ray bet in the second round. For 1942, Sugar Ray won 14 fights with zero losses.

His first defeat was to La Motta in a 10- round match and La Motta won by knocking him out the ring and this was by the decision from judges.

Recruitment to the U.S.A Army

In 1943, Sugar was recruited in the army on February 23 and this time he was called Walker Jr. Most of the time, Walker was on the wrong side but he defended himself saying that it was discrimination. His station was transferred this time moving to Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn in late March.

March 29, Sugar disappeared from the barracks only later to find himself in hospital. 5th of April, he woke up in Fort Jay hospital with the reports saying that a stranger brought him to hospital. After the doctor’s examination, the army gave him an honorable discharge thus was out of the army on 3rd June 1944.

Despite this, Sugar maintained his friendship with the army friend, Louis. They even wanted to open a liquor distribution company but it was not approved due to their race. Sugar wrote a report on the army saga saying he was framed as a “deserter” by the unfair press story.

Sugar in the Championship League

 The Welterweight Championship

Robinson had a total of 75 fights in 1946 with a 73-1-1 win in the championship. He had bitten all the welterweight champions but refused to cooperate with the organizers thus declining him a chance in the welterweight championship. However, he got a chance to participate in the December 20 fight with Tommy Bella. The two fought with Bella getting a chance to fight him but Ray later put a 15-0 round thus winning the World Welterweight Title.

After winning the title, Robinson was set to defend it in 1947 with Jimmy Doyle. Ray mentioned having a dream killing Doyle but this did not stop his organizers. The fight later was pursued and Sugar won by a knock-out that left Doyle unconscious. Later at night, Doyle died. This was “very trying” as Sugar put it.

He then fought and won five times in 1948 followed by 16 times in 1949 but as a defensive for his title. One of his fights in 1948 was with Kid Gavilan who had taken charge in the first round but again Sugar won in the second round. Again in 1950, he had 19 matches one with Costner. Costner had sometimes referred to himself as Sugar but Ray said he isn’t. Robinson knocked him out in the 2nd minute and 46 seconds.

 The middleweight championship

In  1950, Ray joined the middleweight league saying that this will promote him financially and also it would help in maintaining the 167lb welterweight. He defeated Robert Villeman and in the next fight to defend the title he also bet Jose Basora. Sugar Robinson had a tie with Jose Basora in which he later broke in the second round.

Ray won the World Middleweight Title in 14th February 1951 while fighting La Motta for the sixth time. The fight was to become the St Valentine Day Massacre where Ray won with a Technical Knockout. However, Ray lost the title to a British, Randolph Turpin but in the rematch three months later Robinson knocked Turpin out in ten rounds. For this fight, the Ring magazine named him the “fighter of the year” for the second time.

He later won by decision in the 1954 rematch with Olson. In addition to that, he defeated Rocky Graziano and went for the Word Light Heavyweight Championship. Robinson suffered the heat and went unconscious making this the first knock out in his career.

Retirement and comeback

After the middleweight match, Sugar surrendered his title and announced retirement in 1952, June 20. Ray joined the show business in singing and tap dancing. The career was a fail falsing him to return to the boxing world in 1954. Robinson returned to the ring in 1955 and winning his first five fights.

However, Ray lost to Ralph ‘Tiger’ Jones but won in the Rocky Castellani fight. The year 1955, he won the middleweight challenge from Bobe Olson with a second round knock out. In a fight with Fullmer Robinson lost in 1957 using his first forward tactic to get to Ray.

For the rematch, the two fought to make the first to the fourth round fair but in the fifth round, Robinson gave Fullmer a left hook thus winning the title. He has participated in more fights till 1965 when he retired.

Sugar Ray Robinson Record

Robinson retired with a record of 173–19–6 and no contest and in 200 professional bouts come 180 knockouts. This ranked him among the leaders in knockouts.

Robinson in the Television shows

After his retirement, he did some tv shows like Mission: Impossible, The Detective(1968), The cut classic Candy(1968), and The Todd Killings(1971) among others.

Robinson death

After his announcement to retirement in 1965, November 11, Sugar was diagnosed with diabetes and was treated with insulin. Also, the doctors found that he has Alzheimer’s disease in his last days. Later in 1989, April 12, Robinson was announced dead and his burial was at Inglewood Park Cemetery, California.