Greatest Boxer “Pound for Pound”… Ever

Laura0004 crop Greatest Boxer Pound for Pound... EverIII crop Greatest Boxer Pound for Pound... Ever

 

 

 

 

 

 

                              By David Martinez / Boxing Historian

I have been asked many times “who is the greatest boxer of all time in any weight division at the height of his career” and that answer is the easiest for me to come up with – Sugar Ray Robinson.

I could go on and on about his career but I will go on record to say that at his pinnacle years he was clearly the best.

I was fortunate to meet him at a local amateur boxing show in 1986 where I was a referee for the kids. It was truly a highlight that stands out in my over fifty years of being associated with the sport of boxing.

The photos I am including here, along with an excellent highlight video, are Sugar Ray with my daughter Laura who was just 9 years old at the time, as well as Ray with his wife Millie. To shake his hand, get his photo and an autograph that evening will forever live in my mind. I am also including the Sugar Ray Robinson postage stamp which was introduced in April 2006. The only other boxer placed on a U.S. stamp is Joe Louis.

SRR0004 crop Greatest Boxer Pound for Pound... EverSugar Ray Robinson is ranked the greatest boxer of all time by sportswriters, fellow boxers, trainers and historians. The phase “pound for pound” was invented by boxing experts just for him, when they compared fighters regardless of any weight.

I use a famous quote from him when coaching kids at a local boxing gym which is “Rhythm is everything in boxing. Every move you make starts with your heart and that’s in rhythm or you’re in trouble”. That is simply the best quote I can think of that sums it up in boxing.

Sugar Ray Robinson was born on May 3, 1921 and passed away on April 12, 1989. As an amateur he posted an outstanding ring record of 85-0 with 69 of those wins by knockout, and 40 being in the first round.

He turned pro in 1940 at the age of 19 and by 1951 had a professional ring record of 120 – 1- 2 with 84 by knockout. He held the welterweight title from 1946 to 1951, and won the middleweight title in 1951. He retired in 1952, only to comeback two and a half years later to re-capture the middleweight title in 1955. He was the first boxer to win a divisional world title five times and this was at a time when only one champion in each division was recognized.

In 200 bouts over a 25 year career, he was only officially stopped once. That was his fight on June 25, 1952 (ironically on my 4th birthday) at Yankee Stadium in his bid to win the light heavyweight championship against Joey Maxim. Well ahead on all official scorecards (10-3, 9-3-1, 7-3-3) he retired on the stool after the 13th round suffering from heat exhaustion with the temperature being 104 degrees that evening in New York City.

Robinson is best described as a fluid boxer who possessed an excellent jab and had knockout power in either hand. He had tremendous speed with his hands and equal speed with his footwork. His versatility in the ring was second to none.

After a stellar 25 year career Robinson retired from boxing in November 1965. His official ring record was 173 wins, 19 losses, 6 draws (2 no contests) with 108 knockouts.

This isn’t an opinion, but a fact – Sugar Ray Robinson was the greatest boxer “pound for pound”… ever!

Video: Footage Sugar Ray
Robinson Training

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NOTE: as a proud father I want to share my daughter Laura with another Sugar – Sugar Shane Mosley … photos taken: October 2000 and September 2007

SSM Mosley crop Greatest Boxer Pound for Pound... Ever

4 thoughts on “Greatest Boxer “Pound for Pound”… Ever

  1. David !
    Thank you for an AMAZING article ! This was such an interesting topic, and probably the biggest question that EVERYONE wants the answer to ! You painted the answer to that question – with an incredible variety of records, statistics, interesting stories and facts – such that it is easy for any of us to clearly see why and understand, that Mr Sugar Ray Robinson is INDEED the best boxer pound for pound, of all time !

    Excellent writing and most interesting facts I didn’t know and never could have compiled, what a great gift to all who read your website ! And the pictures of your little girl- classic – looks just like her Dad !

    Dave Martinez, thanks for all you do !

    – Roy

  2. David,

    Great article. O’k you have convinced me that Rocky Marciano wasn’t the number one, or Hagler either. Great pictures too. You have quite an extensive colllection “of being right there” with these great boxers/fighters.

    Keep up the great work on your DMBOXING site.

  3. Hey David, the day “Sugar Came To Santa Barbara” was a great day for us who idolize Sugar Ray Robinson. Let’s remember that it was Peter Jordano who was the catalyst for bringing Sugar to our show, one year of planning, dozens of letters, phone calls and meetings led to “Sugar” coming to our Primo Boxing Clubs first boxing show, what a way to start a career.

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