Although this charismatic boxer was born Walker Smith, Jr., he is best remembered as Sugar Ray Robinson. Born on May 3, 1921 in Ailey, Georgia, his parents moved the family to New York when Sugar Ray Robinson was a teenager to escape the prevalent prejudice in the south.
It was there, in a Harlem gym, that Sugar Ray was first introduced to boxing. Sugar Ray Robinson visited the gym frequently, using a borrowed Amateur Atheletic Union boxing card of a friend. The friends name, incidentally, was Ray Robinson.
In 1939, Sugar Ray Robinson won the daily news Golden Gloves Feather Weight Championship
As an amateur, Sugar Ray Robinson had 69 knock outs in 89 registered fights, and was undefeated in 125 registered and unregistered fights.
Sugar Ray Robinson turned pro in October of 1940, becoming the Welter Weight Champion on Dec. 20, 1946, defeating Tommy Bell. Robinson would hold the title for five consecutive years (1946-1951).
Sugar Ray Robinson was the five-time Middle Weight Champion between the years of 1951-1960.
At the end of his career, Sugar Ray Robinson had a record of 174 wins, 19 losses, and six draws, with 109 knockouts.
Sugar Ray Robinson retired in December 1965—at the age of 44—after 25 years in the ring and over 200 fights.
It was once said by the greatest himself, "to be a champion, you have to believe in yourself when no one else will."
A great boxing historian, Bert Sugar once said Sugar Ray could deliver a knock out going backwards.
Another boxing great by the name of Sugar Ray Leonard was quoted saying, "someone once said there's a comparison between Sugar Ray Leonard and Sugar Ray Robinson. Believe me, there's no comparison. Sugar Ray Robinson was the greatest."
Sugar Ray Robinson. A champion, a legend—the greatest.