Boxing History: May 14, 1945 Sugar Ray Robinson D 10 Jose Basora, Philadelphia. Robinson, regarded as the best welterweight in the world, sees his record go to 54-1-1 (35).
Sugar Ray Robinson (born Walker Smith Jr.; May 3, 1921 – April 12, 1989) was an American professional boxer. Frequently cited as the greatest boxer of all time, Robinson’s performances in the welterweight and middleweight divisions prompted sportswriters to create “pound for pound” rankings, where they compared fighters regardless of weight. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.
Sugar Ray Robinson is considered by most boxing historians and enthusiasts to be the greatest pound-for-pound boxer of all-time. Robinson is frequently, if not always, ranked among the top three boxers ever in both the welterweight and middleweight classes.
Robinson held the world welterweight title from 1946 to 1951, and won the world middleweight title in the latter year. He retired in 1952, only to come back two and a half years later and regain the middleweight title in 1955. He then became the first boxer in history to win a divisional world championship five times, a feat he accomplished by defeating Carmen Basilio in 1958 to regain the middleweight championship. Robinson was named “fighter of the year” twice: first for his performances in 1942, then nine years and over 90 fights later, for his efforts in 1951.
Renowned for his flamboyant lifestyle outside the ring, Robinson is credited with being the originator of the modern sports “entourage”. After his boxing career ended, Robinson attempted a career as an entertainer, but struggled, and lived in poverty until his death in 1989. In 2006, he was featured on a commemorative stamp by the United States Postal Service.
Named Fighter of the Year for 1942 and 1951 by The Ring Magazine. Named Fighter of the Year for 1950 by the Boxing Writers Association of America. Named Fighter of the Decade for the 1950s by The Ring Magazine. Inducted into The Ring Magazine Boxing Hall of Fame in 1967. Inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1981. Inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990. Named Welterweight Fighter of the Century, Middleweight Fighter of the Century, and Fighter of the Century by the Associated Press in 1999. The Ring Magazine ranked Robinson as the best fighter of the last 80 years in 2002. The Ring Magazine ranked Robinson as the 11th greatest puncher of all-time in 2003. Inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 2006. The United States Postal Service honored Robinson with a stamp in 2006. Historian Bert Sugar ranked Robinson #1 in his 2006 book Boxing’s Greatest Fighters. ESPN ranked Robinson as the greatest fighter in history in 2007.
Robinson being held aloft by Gene Fullmer and Carmen Basilio in 1965.