DEAD: Sugar Ray Robinson

DEAD: ON THIS DATE

Sugar Ray Robinson (aged 67)
American boxer

Sugar Ray Robinson (born Walker Smith Jr.; May 3, 1921 – April 12, 1989) was an American professional boxer who competed from 1940 to 1965. Robinson’s performances in the welterweight and middleweightdivisions prompted sportswriters to create “pound for pound” rankings, where they compared fighters regardless of weight. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990. He is widely regarded as the greatest boxer of all time, and in 2002, Robinson was ranked number one on The Ring magazine’s list of “80 Best Fighters of the Last 80 Years”.

DEATH: In his autobiography, Robinson states that by 1965 he was broke, having spent all of the $4 million in earnings he made inside and out of the ring during his career. A month after his last fight, Robinson was honored with a Sugar Ray Robinson Night on December 10, 1965, in New York’s Madison Square Garden. During the ceremony, he was honored with a massive trophy. However, there was not a piece of furniture in his small Manhattan apartment with legs strong enough to support it. Robinson was elected to the Ring Magazine boxing Hall of Fame in 1967, two years after he retired and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990. In the late 1960s he acted in some television shows, like Mission: Impossible. An episode of Land of the Giants called “Giants and All That Jazz” had Sugar as a washed up boxer opening a nightclub. He also appeared in a few films including the Frank Sinatra cop movie The Detective(1968), the cult classic Candy (1968), and the thriller The Todd Killings (1971) as a police officer. In 1969, he founded the Sugar Ray Robinson Youth Foundation for the inner-city Los Angeles area. The foundation does not sponsor a boxing program.He was diagnosed with diabetes mellitus that was treated with insulin. In Robinson’s last years, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. He died in Los Angeles at the age of 67 and was interred in the Inglewood Park Cemetery, Inglewood, California.

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