Sugar Ray Robinson was thoroughly enjoying his European tour until he encountered Randy Turpin in London
RANDY TURPIN w pts 15 SUGAR RAY ROBINSON
July 10, 1951; Earls Court, London
ACCORDING to several books, Sugar Ray Robinson – a bona fide international superstar – was having a wonderful time in Europe until he stepped into the ring with Randy Turpin in 1951. The narrative remains that Robinson didn’t take the fight seriously but to say he wasn’t in fighting shape was untrue: Though it was his first defence of the world middleweight title he had taken from Jake LaMotta five months before, he had engaged in eight non-title bouts in the interim, six in Europe, never weighing more than 162lbs. But it’s certainly fair to assume he took victory over Turpin for granted. What followed was the greatest performance in history by a British fighter. There were street parties up and down the country afterwards.
DID YOU KNOW? Robinson was paid $84,000 for the fight which set a new record for the highest-paid fighter ever to appear in a British ring.
WATCH OUT FOR: The American commentator’s observations are hilarious at times. “Turpin doesn’t even have a glass chin which is usually standard FOB equipment for British fighters,” he says during round nine.