Sugar Ray Robinson Biography
Claim to Fame: Boxer
DOB: May 3, 1921
Diabetes Type: unknown
Born Walker Smith Jr. on May 3, 1921 in Ailey, Georgia, this determined young boy found a love for boxing and a need for an alias very early on. When his parents moved him to New York, he took interest in a local gym in Harlem. He would borrow his friend, Ray Robinsons Amateur Athletic Union boxing card to sneak in. His apparent talent began to draw attention, and eventually future manager George Gainford dubbed him Sugar Ray Robinson because his style in the ring was as sweet as sugar.
At age 19, Sugar Ray won the New York Golden Gloves championship and was launched into his professional career. In 1946, he beat out Tommy Bell in a close 15 round decision to take the world welterweight championship. He held the title for five years before moving onto the world middleweight title in 1951. He would win the middleweight title four more times, the last of which in 1960.
Sugar Ray retired from boxing on November 11, 1965 with a record of 175 wins, 19 losses, and 6 ties with 110 knockouts. Surprisingly enough, he was not knocked out at all during his career. These stats rank him among the all-time leaders in knockouts.
Two years after his retirement, Robinson was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, and then in 1969, he founded the Sugar Ray Robinson Youth Foundation for the inner-city Los Angeles area. After being diagnosed with diabetes and Alzheimers disease, Sugar Ray Robinson died at the age of 67.
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