SecondsOut Boxing Information – Most important Options – Sugar Ray Robinson in 1951

Nineteen fifty-one was an enormous yr in some ways, throughout the cultural panorama. That yr noticed the introduction of color tv within the US, the primary use of the time period “rock ‘n’ roll”, and the premiere of I Love Lucy on CBS. The contraceptive capsule was in growth. The Catcher In The Rye was revealed. In cinemas you would go and see the Disney adaptation of Alice and Wonderland and the landmark sci-fi film, The Day The Earth Stood Nonetheless.

In boxing, it typically felt like one man might make the Earth stand nonetheless when he fought, and he captured the followers in his personal Wonderland. Sugar Ray Robinson had many astonishing years. However even by his unbelievable requirements, 1951 was fairly an annum.

As he was placing the Christmas decorations away on the finish of 1950, Robinson was welterweight champion of the world. As he was getting the tinsel again out once more as 1951 got here to a detailed, Ray was the middleweight champ. What occurred in between was extraordinary. He was victorious in a combat without end often known as the St. Valentine’s Day Bloodbath, he went on a European tour, combating in places equivalent to Torino, Zurich, Antwerp, and Paris. He had one combat the place his purse totalled one Franc, and one other the place the referee initially disqualified Ray on a foul, saying that he simply needed to get out of the ring alive. He additionally misplaced and regained the middleweight crown within the house of 64 days.

Has anybody ever had a yr like Sugar Ray in ’51?

At the beginning of 1951, Ray Robinson was 29 years outdated and had been knowledgeable 11 years, with 120 victories to his title, towards only a solitary defeat. He was to step by means of the ropes 11 instances throughout the yr that adopted; a exceptional determine by right this moment’s requirements, however commonplace in these days.

The problem for Jake LaMotta’s middleweight crown on February 14 could be their sixth and ultimate assembly. Though Ray had triumphed on factors in 4 of the earlier 5, the “Bronx Bull” had been the person to inflict the only real defeat on Sugar’s document. After a troublesome begin, Ray was forward on all three scorecards on the time of the stoppage within the thirteenth spherical. Until your title was Billy Fox, a win over the “Bronx Bull” was by no means going to be straightforward to return by.

Mickey Walker and Henry Armstrong had each been earlier welterweight champs who had tried and didn’t seize the middleweight crown. Sugar Ray grew to become the primary man to realize this feat. Perhaps he was aided by his behavior of consuming beef blood. LaMotta noticed Robinson down a glass at a restaurant, with Ray claiming he had been consuming it for years, on the recommendation of Joe Louis’s coach, Chappie Blackburn.

Following the titanic battle, Purple Smith, within the New York Herald Tribune, wrote that, “the best fist fighter on the earth was the middleweight champion of the world, and one of many hardest had suffered the primary plausible knockout of his life. Jake LaMotta was slugged, tortured, flayed, bloodied, and bludgeoned tonight by a greater fighter.”

Robinson instantly relinquished the welterweight crown and after recovering from a virus, was again within the ring in a non-title 10 rounder once more Holly Mills on April 5. Regardless of gaining the factors win, it was a lacklustre show, which Robinson blamed on the aftereffects of the sickness. It didn’t cease him being again within the ring solely 5 days later towards Don Ellis in Oklahoma Metropolis. No excuses have been wanted this time, as Ellis was stopped in simply 96 seconds.

Robinson was in all probability eager on an early end to focus on packing his suitcases for his European journey.

Just some weeks later, on Might 21, in entrance of a crowd of 6,000 in Paris, Robinson stopped Child Marcel in 5 rounds. Ray earned the princely sum of 1 franc for his efforts, endearing himself to the locals by donating the rest of his purse to a most cancers charity.

Round this time, George Gainford, Robinson’s supervisor, was in dialogue with promoter Jack Solomons. Gainford’s preliminary demand for a handbag of $100,000 for Ray to defend towards British middleweight Randy Turpin proved to be a stumbling block. Solomans later got here again and agreed to the monetary calls for however insisted that the bout go forward on July 10. Robinson was pleased with the monetary phrases, however the proposed date could be solely 9 days after his sixth and ultimate bout on his jaunt round mainland Europe. Ray anticipated to make gentle work of those non-title fights, however was this asking an excessive amount of, even for the Sugar man?

Typically, they did show to be routine bouts, although hardly with out incident. Solely 5 days after the Child Marcel combat, he was again within the ring towards Jean Wanes (French for John Wayne?) in Zurich. Wanes survived to listen to the ultimate bell, however solely after climbing off the canvas 5 instances.

In Antwerp on June 10, Ray’s Dutch opponent, Jan De Bruin, was declared the loser by TKO after he walked out of the ring claiming that Robinson was not attempting laborious sufficient. Ray needed to get rounds below his belt in preparation for the proposed Turpin combat, De Bruin seemingly simply needed to get belted. If there wasn’t a headline someplace that learn, “De Bruin’s profession in ruins”, it will be a horrible disgrace.

Ray gave one other referee extra counting observe as he floored Jean Walzack six instances in Liege, Belgium solely six days later, en path to a sixth-round stoppage. Walzack had misplaced his earlier 10 fights and by no means stepped foot within the ring once more.

Subsequent cease Berlin and opponent Gerhard Hecht in entrance of a crowd of 30,000. By the second spherical, the German had been on the ground twice, allegedly from kidney punches. Riots broke out and initially Ray was disqualified, being pressured to take refuge below the ring for a number of minutes to keep away from being hit by flying beer bottles. He needed to be escorted to security by police. Later the outcome was modified to a No Contest.

A extra appreciative crowd was ready for Robinson in Torino on July 1 to see him cease Cyrille Delannoit in three rounds, earlier than Ray, together with 100 items of bags and his Cadillac, might head throughout the channel to England and the a lot larger problem of Randy Turpin.

Robinson was not ready for the take a look at that the British middleweight would carry. In his biography of Robinson, Candy Thunder: The Life and Instances of Sugar Ray Robinson, writer Wil Haygood quotes Gordon Parks, who was travelling with Sugar Ray on the time: “There have been no exercises. Sugar Ray performed golf by means of the times, and at card tables late into the nights.”

Together with this from Ben Phlagar, a photographer observing the champ: “Robinson slept late, amused himself on the piano throughout the morning and took an extended stroll this afternoon.”

British combat followers have been wanting to see Robinson towards Turpin, guaranteeing that the 18,000-seat venue was bought out in two days. It was quickly apparent that Robinson’s lack of preparation and Turpin’s high quality would spell hazard for the champion.

John Jarrett, in his e-book, The Sugar Ray Robinson Story: Boxing’s Comeback King, writes, “Three minutes into this 15-round combat and Sugar Ray already knew he had left his combat on the boulevards of Paris, left it within the continental bistros of Zurich, Antwerp, Liege and Turin, left it on the highway by means of 5 international locations, six fights in 41 days. And now, simply 9 days later, he was in a foreign country, in one other ring, with a heavy-handed 23-year-old who needed his championship.”

On the finish of the 15-round contest, the Related Press scorecard gave Robinson 4 rounds, with 9 to Randy, with two even, reporting that Turpin, “bored in from the beginning, to outpunch, outbox and outsmart the overwhelming favorite.”

Robinson, who suffered a lower on the left eyebrow within the seventh spherical, was “soundly whipped” by the Englishman, however would have the chance for revenge in a return bout on September 12 again on house turf on the Polo Grounds in New York.

Sugar Ray took his second profession defeat in sporting style, merely claiming, “He was higher than I used to be.”

After a few weeks recuperating within the heat of the south of France, Ray headed house to arrange for the return. 61,000 individuals paid document gate receipts for a combat beneath heavyweight to see what Grantland Rice described as a contest between “Robinson’s ability and expertise towards Turpin’s youth, energy and stamina”.

The combat turned on a conflict of heads within the tenth spherical that left Robinson once more bleeding from his left eye. Fearing the combat could also be stopped on account of the lower and being declared the loser, Ray opened up, touchdown a ferocious proper that dumped Turpin on the canvas. He was up and waved on after a rely of 9 from referee, Ruby Goldstein, however the arbiter stepped in seconds later following a barrage of punches from Sugar Ray. As much as that time the combat had been within the stability on the scorecards, however regardless of protests from the Englishman and his supporters, Robinson had introduced the donnybrook to a dramatic conclusion.

Joe Williams, reporting on the time, wrote that it was, “very probably the toughest blow Robinson ever has landed within the ring. It turned Turpin’s head as if on a swivel. His eyes appeared about to pop from his head.”

And with that, Sugar Ray Robinson was champion once more. He would, in fact, have many extra highs and lows in his storied, majestic profession; boxing for an additional 14 years till lastly calling it a day for good in 1965. There could be different nice punches, different nice fights and different nice years. Together with some not-so-great ones.

However there was one thing particular about 1951. The “Bronx Bull” stoppage, turning into a two-weight world champion, a pink Cadillac crossing continents and oceans, adulation in France, riots in Germany, fights simply days aside in numerous international locations, mobbed by followers in London, loaning the title out for 64 days, and a triumphant victory on the Polo Grounds.

The Greatest Image winner on the Oscars that yr was An American In Paris, starring Gene Kelly. For boxing followers although, there was just one American that mattered in Paris, in Italy, in Germany, Austria, the UK, after which again within the US. That was Ray Robinson. Sugar Ray might dazzle together with his fists in addition to his toes.

Has anybody ever had a yr like Sugar Ray in ’51?


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