Sugar Ray Robinson

An Former American Boxer

Sugar Ray Robinson former American boxer source: youtube

Sugar Ray Robinson is a former American boxer who is often considered to be the greatest boxer of all time. A child prodigy who dominant amateur and was considered to be Legend in the 1980s.

Parents, Childhood, Education, Nationality

Sugar Ray Robinson was born as Walker Smith Jr in Ailey, Georgia on May 21, 1921. He was the youngest child of Walker Smith Sr. and Leila Hurst. Besides, Smith Jr., his eldest sister name Maria and his other sister Evelyn was born.

Coming from a poor family, Robinson could only spend time with Smith Sr. only on Sunday. As he worked in two places as a cement worker and sewer worker.

Robinson’s parents got separated and he moved out with his mother to New York City at the age of 12. He started his schooling at Dewitt Clinton High School whose dream was to be a Doctor. Eventually, his Doctor switched up to boxing when he dropped out in ninth grade.

At the age of 14, Robinson attempted to participate in a boxing tournament but got rejected because of the age restriction.

To be a boxer, Robinson needed an AAU membership card but legally procedure to be 16. So, he fulfilled the requirement of an AAU membership with the ID Card of a youth named Ray Robinson.

During his first ever fight a lady compliment him and says ‘Sweet as Sugar’. Robinson was black and an American. Robinson’s amateur career was extraordinary with a total of 85 wins and zero losses.

In 1939 and 1940 Robinson won the Golden Gloves Featherweight championship and Golden Gloves Lightweight championship.

 Boxing Career| Professional Life

Sugar Ray Robinson – The Greatest

Robinson debuted his professional career on October 4, 1940. He started his career with 40 consecutive wins before losing one of the sixth matches with Jake LaMotta. Robinson got a chance to fight his childhood Idol Henry Armstrong when Henry needed money.

Robinson was inducted into United State Army in February 1943 where he got on close terms with his other childhood idol Louis. The pair performed exhibition bouts in front of US Army troops. After a few months, Robinson was granted an honorable discharge on June 3, 1944, due to mental deficiency.

On 1946 December 20, Robinson got a chance to fight for the Welterweight title and claimed victory. He kept his title for six years. In 1951, Robinson won the middleweight championship. In his career, he won the middleweight championship 5 times.

On June 25, 1952, Robinson gave up on his championship and retired with a total of 131 wins with 3 losses and 1 draw.


After two and half years of being inactive in the ring, he fought his first match in 1955. Robinson won his middleweight title after retirement and was considered to be Fighter of the year but was given to welterweight championship.

Robinson retired from boxing on November 11, 1965, with 173 wins with 19 losses and 6 draws in 200 professional matches. Furthermore, He ranked an all-time leader in knockouts with a total of 102.

Later Life

After his boxing career was over, Robinson acted in a few television shows like Mission Impossible and movies like cult classic Candy, and the thriller The todd Killings.

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Title and Awards

Sugar Ray Robinson
Muhammad Ali with his Idol Sugar Ray Robinson source: google

Undoubtedly, Sugar Ray Robinson is considered to be one of the greatest boxers of all time. Muhammad Ali, Joe Louis, Roberto Duran, and some other Hall of Fame fighters regarded him as the greatest Pound-for-Pound boxer of all time.

In 1999, Robinson was named “Welterweight Champion of the century”, “Middleweight Championship of the century ” and overall “Fighter of the century” by The Association Press.

In 2007 ESPY named Robinson featured as one of the 50 greatest boxers of all time. Robinson was idolized by many other boxers who honored him by using the name “Sugar” Sugar Ray Leonard and Sugar Shane Mosley.

He was recognized at the Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990. In Addition, Muhammad Ali called him “The King” and idolized him.

Personal Life

Sugar Ray Robinson
Sugar Ray Robinson with Edan Holly source: google

Robinson married Marjorie Joseph at the age of 16. Soon the couple welcomed their son Ronnie Smith.

Afterward, the couple divorced when Robinson was 19. After that, Robinson married Edna Mae Holly in 1944 soon after dating. The couple had a son in 1949 Robinson Jr.  Certainly they got separated in 1962.

In 1965 Robinson married Millie Wiggins and the couple settled in Los Angles. Robinson Jr stated that he and his mother kept away to meet with Robinson Sr.

In  Additional, Robinson Jr also stated that Millie kept Robinson Sr. under influence of medication to manipulate him.


Robinson died at the age of 67 on April 12, 1989, while he was sorrowing from Alzheimer’s Disease. He was buried at Inglewood cemetery park, Inglewood, California.

Boxing Style

Rythms is everything in boxing. Every moves you make starts with your heart and that’s in rythms or you’re in trouble. – Ray Robinson

Indeed above statement matches his boxing style. He was able to fight in almost all styles. Indeed Robinson possessed tremendous versatility. He threw punches with either of his hands with equal strength and speed. Hence he had a formless style to exploit opponents’ weaknesses.

Net worth and Salary

Despite being one of the greatest and most successful fighters of all time Robinson once was ultimately bankrupt. In his autobiography, Robinson mentioned he spent $4 million which he made inside and outside of a ring by 1965.

Robinson’s net worth was $500 thousand. During his career, he earned the equivalent of $30 million from boxing.

Sugar Ray Robinson
Sugar Ray Robinson source: google

Quick Facts

  • Real Name: Walker Smith Jr.
  • Birth Date:  May 3, 1921
  • Birth Place: Ailey, Georgia, U.S.
  • Died: April 12, 1989
  • Height : 5’11” (180 cm)
  • Weight : 161 lbs (73 kgs)
  • Nationality: American
  • Religion: Christian
  • Active Career: 25 (1940-1965)
  • Total Fights: 201
  • Wins:174
  • Wins By KOs: 109
  • Loses:19
  • Draw:6
  • No contest: 2
  • Net Worth: $500 thousand
  • Nickname: “Sugar”

Some FAQs

Why was Sugar Ray Robinson named?

As a consequence of his action to start boxing at an early age, Walker Smith Jr used a youth name Ray Robinsons’ Id to make an AAU membership card. And Sugar came as a Compliment during his first ever match “Sweet as a Sugar”.

What did Muhammad Ali say about Sugar Ray Robinson?

Muhammad Ali said Sugar Ray Robinson is his Idol. Ali called Robinson “The King”.

Which boxer has beaten the most Hall of Famers?

Sugar Ray Robinson threw down 12 future hall of Famers over 29 fights and went 21-7-1. As a result, Robinson has beaten the most Hall of Famers.

What happened to Sugar Ray Robinson?

Sugar was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 1988. therefore on April 12, 1989, he died at age 67 in Los Angels.



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Written by Prad Nungel

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