Today in Sports History [3/25]: Sugar Ray Robinson Wins, Again
On this day in 1958, Sugar Ray Robinson became the first boxing champ to win five titles [middleweight].
To commemorate the record-setting achievement, we found a whole bunch of facts about Robinson. Here are, in our opinion, the five most interesting ones:
- At age 14, he tried to enter a boxing tournament but did not have the required Amateur Athletic Union membership card. He borrowed one from a friend by the name of Ray Robinson. He was born Walker Smith Jr in 1921.
- In 1950, Robinson donated all but $1 of the proceeds made from the previous defense of his welterweight title to cancer research.
- Ever heard the term “pound-for-pound”? It was made up by sportswriters at the time to compare Robinson to other boxers in different weight classes.
- In 1946, Robinson won his first welterweight title. In 1947, while defending his title, Robinson accidentally caused the death of opponent Jimmy Doyle. Robinson supposedly said he’d had a vision of the death [say whaaa?!] and had tried to cancel the fight.
- Robinson was one of the first African-American boxers to act as his own manager, negotiating all his contracts. He moved up to middleweight in search of bigger paydays.
[...] the king, the master, my idol. – Muhammad Ali
Robinson could deliver a knockout blow going backward. -Boxing historian Bert Sugar.