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The most Iconic athletes of all time: Sugar Ray Robinson

The most Iconic athletes of all time:  Sugar Ray Robinson

The best boxer in history who "killed" his rival and then gave money to his mother.

Sugar Ray RobinsonUsually, when talking about boxing, people think of Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr.) as the most famous and prominent figure who has ever stepped in a ring. However, almost all the top lists place Sugar Ray Robinson as the greatest boxer of all time. In his 200 fights, the American welterweight champion had an impressive collection of knockouts and statistics. Unfortunately, he also had the death of an opponent in his conscience.

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A dream to remember

During his career, Robinson won 173 fights and sent 108 opponents to the canvas. However, it was only one of those bouts that weighed him down until the end of his life. On June 24, 1947 he woke up with a chip on his shoulders. He saw in a dream that he would kill Jimmy Doyle in the ring. Scared to death he tried to cancel the match scheduled for that same night in Cleveland.

The organizers did not want to postpone the event and enlisted the help of a priest, who convinced Robinson to fight. Unfortunately, that decision ended in tragedy. At the age of 26 and at the height of his athletic stamina, Robinson found it easy to master the action. The champion had an advantage in all rounds up to the seventh, except for the sixth where he suffered two hard blows and was injured.

The fight ended in the eighth round, thanks to a well-placed left hook by Robinson. Doyle collapsed and hit his head violently on the canvas. The referee Jackie Davis begun the count and went on to ten. Doyle briefly propped himself up on his elbows but never got up again. He was immediately taken to St. Vincent's Charity Hospital, where he died 6 hours later, at the age of 22. Clinic officials reported that the boxer had blood clots and concussions, in a condition that caused a respiratory arrest.

A wish fulfilled

Robinson faced investigations into the incident. It was even considered prosecuting the champion for Doyle's manslaughter. However, the case did not make it to the American courts.

During this period, he learned of Doyle's desire to allocate the scholarship for an eventual victory in the purchase of a house for his mother. Sugar Ray honored this desire and ceded the money from his next four fights to the family of his dead opponent. In addition, he paid Jimmy's relatives $ 50 per month for ten years.

Sugar Ray Robinson regretted that fight for the rest of his life and did all he could to redeem himself for his fallen adversary in an inspiring story for sure. For more such stories about the greatest legends of the history of sports, make sure to stay tuned, check out our news section, and join ACC-EX in the amazing world of sports!