Think of boxing superstars and you probably think of Muhammad Ali. When you think of Ali what is it that sticks in your mind? The Ali shuffle? The public persona? It’s no secret that Ali took more than just a touch of inspiration from a certain Walker Smith Jnr, better known as Sugar Ray Robinson calling him “The king, the master, my idol”.
So what is so special about Sugar Ray, why all the fuss?
Put simply he personified the sweet science – knockout power in both hands, dazzling hand speed, stunning footwork, brash super confidence, he knew every punch in the booking text-book and could throw them all, from any angle at any time with explosive power.
He was so good the whole notion of a pound for pound best boxer was created just for Sugar Ray – that’s how special he was.
If you have seen the great film Raging Bull you may remember Robinson’s epic battles with Jake laMotta, they actually fought six times, with Sugar Ray winning five of the six battles.
Robinson retired from boxing with a record of 175-19-6 with 110 knockouts in 200 professional bouts. If you compare that to todays great fighters who tend to retire after around 50 professional fights that will give you some context to this achievement.
I genuinely struggle to put into words how good Sugar Ray Robinson was, to watch him in action is to see something that perhaps only comes around once in history.
Words like genius and legend are banded around so often these days that they have lost their impact, but Sugar Ray really personified both traits.
Watch this video – really do watch it – if you’ve never seen him in action before you are in for something very special indeed: