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Thread: Why Sugar Ray Robinson is overrated.

  1. #1
    old school student

    Why Sugar Ray Robinson is overrated.

    To me i really see a some parallels in how tyson and sugar ray got exposed as fighters. In tyson a hybred boxer/slugger against a great boxer with a stiff jab, like douglass who could keep him at bay and wear him down. With Ray it seemed the opposite to me, a mean and tough slugger like Turpin and Lamotta could beat the real Ray robinson (pre 55) before retirement. Ray knew what his toughest style to fight was, i'm convinced. This is WHY i always assume that he could manage to go through the toughest decade of all time the 40's. in his prime and not manage to fight hardly any of the best fighters. I mean Lamotta fought more than him. Let's prove my point my examine this list of the toughest group or period of middleweight's in history what was refferred to as Murders Row for their levels of difficulty.
    Cocoa Kid
    Holman Williams (who lamotta fought)
    Jack Chase
    Charley Burley
    Lloyd Marshall (who lamotta fought)
    ezzard charles
    archie moore
    jimmy bivins
    bert lytell
    aaron TIGER wade (sugar gracious let fight him at the very end of his career, in 1950 albeit)
    kid tunero
    joe carter
    Sugar was fighting hard fights by 41, (servo/zivic) so he just managed to go through the 40's AVOIDING almost all these guys. This is like Jack Johnson not wanting to fight any of the real hard guys (the other black fighters) as champ,(langford,mcvey,jeanette). Sugar drawed the line on some of the best black fighter, and comes off as a prima donna, at least a little bit to say the least. If he fought all of these fighters his record would be riddled with loses, here and there and WOULD every one really look at him as a much different fighter? I mean i don't in any way see him as having so much far superior boxing skills over the guys like Burley. And Charley was facing MUCH, MUCH harder levels of compition. This is why i see Sugar ray as really unable to crack the top 5 in middleweight historys legacy, and much more of about 7 to 9 range, (that would be from about superweight limits and down 168-169 lbs). He wouldn't beat the like of Ezzard charles and Archie moore weighting around 168lbs weighting around 157, like some of these other fighters could. Kid Tunero beat a prime Ezzard charles weighting 155! Imagine that!! Think ray could? This fact really leads me to beleive that history may have scewed his greatness. He was the most gifted maybe, with pure skill but i really think he was soft. And really below many of these other fighters, of his OWN era. How can you be the best if you don't fight the BEST? Understand.

  2. #2
    I'm not an expert on this period but let me start by saying I respect your attempt at this argument. Perhaps the focus should not be on why he is overated but instead fram it with great fighters he could have fought from that era but did not.

    First off, it depends if you rate him as a welter or a middleweight...through th 40's didn't Robinson fight at welter ? Even when he fought LaMotta, what is often left out is that Jake often outweighted him by fight time by about 15 pounds ?

    So many of the great names you mentioned started off at middle but spent the lion's share of their careers at light heavy such as Moore, Bivins, Marshall and Charles. How long were Charles and Moore middleweights ? I've never seen them listed as all time in the middleweight ranks.

    Ray was really a welter who moved up to middle after there were no worlds to conqurer and for bigger money. He stayed there a few years, retired, came back ..the whol time he was already post thirty, past his absolute best.

    If someone can clarify the years that Charles, Bivins, Marshall and Moore fought at middle and if they overlap with most of Robinson's LaMotta - Olsen years, there is a significant point made. I have often read statements by LaMotta that he was the only white guy that fought all the "great" , tough black middleweights the rest avoided. I have also always thought how interesting that all of Ray's middleweight war highlights were against white fighters save Turpin.

    I think it is entirely possible that Robinson, an extremely smart businessman, could have cherry picked his middleweight roadmap by using his huge marketability as leverage. Who in their right mind would have wanted to fight Bivins, Marshall, Moore and Charles ? I don't know if he beats any of them , post 30, at that weight. Definately not Charles. Burley is a whole other topic. The more I think about it, the more interesting it becomes.

  3. #3

    Re: tempest

    No one is saying he was not great. There is no argument there. However, let's not use a record to frame an argument. Records can be extremely deceiving...look at Primo Carnera... in additon, that record was built 99% as a welter.

    The question to me, and it is an honest one, was if Robinson utilized his huge welter success to bypass many of the toughest midleweight fighters out there in the second half of his campaign..guys that were clearly ducked by most of the white fighters...I think it is a legit question and I think the answer to it is yes. In addition, given that Ray was a natural welter and the fact that he was in his in his 30's and past his best days, it is fairly obvious that several of these men had a very good chance of beating him.

  4. #4
    Walker Smith

    Re: tempest

    I can't argue with half that list as I haven't seen some of those guys fight or read much about them, but the ones that I do know, I would say that the list is a little inflated.

    "Holman Williams (who lamotta fought)"

    I disagree. Holman Williams was past it as a middleweight when Robinson won the welterweight title. He'd lost 3 fights to Lytell, LaMotta and Moore and wasn't getting any younger.

    "Jack Chase"

    I can't say that I've seen him fight, but he came across a lot in some of my research for great light-heavyweights and I must say that I wasn't particularly impressed.

    "Charley Burley"

    I agree. Then again, I'm not sure where I rate him. Some rank him like he was superhuman in every way. I think is a legitimate all-time great who was avoided by just about everybody who didn't want to risk their title against a guy who wasn't going to bring a big gate.

    "Lloyd Marshall (who lamotta fought)"

    Lloyd Marshall didn't have a chin and he was no Tommy Hearns skill-wise. I don't believe this is a big omission.

    "ezzard charles"

    If Ezzard Charles was big enough to fight as a heavyweight, then I would venture to say that he must've been one big middleweight. We shouldn't forget, in this scenario, that Ray Robinson was small enough in amateurs to have fought Willie Pep and that he started his career at about 135 pounds in fighting weight. As far as I know, Ezzard Charles never fought below middleweight. In this case, I think it's unfair to expect Ray Robinson to fight Ezzard while we don't expect Sugar Ray Leonard to fight Michael Spinks or Oscar De La Hoya to fight Antonio Tarver.

    "archie moore"

    This is a guy who went between the middleweight and heavyweight divisions and was also not highly regarded, as far as I know, until his late successes at light-heavyweight.

    "jimmy bivins"

    Again, this is another guy who was fighting at light-heavyweight and even fighting heavyweights before AND around the time Sugar Ray Robinson was a welterweight champion. And let us not forget that Bivins was a VERY tough light-heavyweight when Ray Robinson was a welterweight. If people could actually conceive of Robinson fight Bivins in 1945 and that was a fight people really wanted to see, then that only goes to show you how great Ray Robinson was.

    In sum, I believe Robinson only ducked Burley, just as every other fighter did in the 1940s. A lot of it had to do with Burley's style, whom I've heard referred to as a particularly crowd-pleasing fighter, despite being the best of murderers row. The only other guy on that list I see as a feasible opponent for Ray Robinson in the 1940 is Jack Chase and, while I've admitedly never seen him fight, I don't particularly think he was a great fighter from perusing his record. It's certainly not a tragedy that he didn't get a shot at Sugar Ray.

  5. #5

    Re: tempest

    Most, if not all, the cats listed were not at kiddle with Ray. Burley and Williams were no longer viable in 51. Charles fought at middle for a nanosecond, Bivins and Moore all went to heavy or light heavy and it was Moore who shut it down when he and Ray were slated to fight late in life. Give me a break; Ray was never overrated. This works off the assumption that the black fighters were better because they were black. Lloyd Marshall...same thing...light heavy when he would have been ready for Ray. Robinson started at lightweight for God's sake.

  6. #6
    old school student
    Yes robinson was a welter who climbed to middleweight. But so were many of these others like Cocoa kid. In 1943, weighing 150 he was fighting at roughly the same weight as the Cocoa Kid who was fighting the harder compition level. Why didn't ray want to fight him? So what makes ray rate SO far ahead of cocoa kid. I'm talking around 1945 period many of these guys who were in their hay days. Plus he could have fought Holman Williams, cocoa kid (who was a welterweight) and jack chase in 45' weighted 160 a ten pounds deference give or take. Why would he completely avoid Burley who weighted tha same around mid 40's. Sure looks hand picked. He did capitalize on his marketing and fame, but didn't nearly strech his limits as others did. You could make a case that Cocoa kid was better than Robinson at welterweight. He fought as many big names as Sam Langford, a far higher level of compition than Robinson did at welterweight. Yet Ray avoided him, Cocoa fought Archie in 1945 weighting 157, the same weight as Robinson in 45. Yet Everyone assumes Ray is far greater than cocoa who suffered more losses fighting a far hard levels of compition. Makes you think just what plateau Sugar ray was on doesn't it. cocoa has a far better Resume of fighters being fought. My point is if Ray fought some of these he'd would have had a LOT more losses, and are options would be slightly different.

  7. #7
    old school student
    Oh yea i can't beleive i forgot, one of the best also in 40's. Eddie Booker, i knew i left one off the list! Ray avoided him too. Thats almost 10 people!

  8. #8
    Roberto Aqui


    This is a tempest in your little teapot. There are no flies on Ray, none. He fought something like close to 30 HOF fights and didn't start losing until he was in his 130th or so bout. He could box, he could slug, he could gut it out or put on a master class performance and he was a top rated contender when not a champion for most of his career which is considerably longer but a few fighters.

  9. #9
    old school student

    Re: kiki bait

    kikibait i listed bivins more of his affilation to murders row, than a legit opponent for ray. Ezzard he missed a 3 year window in the 40's so i can forgive that from happening. All the others your missing the point severly, crold 1 i'm not talking 51 or so, i stated in the mid 40's 1944-45, he should have been fighting these guys along with Lamotta the real beginning. Ray ducked them they weren't bigger light heavys.
    Weights: Rays weight in 45 against Lamotta 150 lbs.
    1.Cocoa kid in 1945, 155
    2.Holman Williams in 43, 155
    3.jack chase in 44, 159
    4.charley burley in 44, 157
    5.lloyd marshall in 44, 160
    6.archie moore in 44, 161
    7.bert lytell in 45,153
    8.aaron wade in 43, 156
    9.kid tunero in 44, 156
    10.joe carter in 44, 155
    11.eddie booker in 44, 165
    So as we can all see, when lamotta went to fight, them ray opted otherwise THESE GUYS were all in his weight range. So whats your arugment, now naysayers?

  10. #10
    Walker Smith

    Re: kiki bait

    Well, as one naysayer, all I have to say is that you seem to believe that if you are considered the greatest fighter pound-for-pound of all-time, then you must fight every fighter that has at any point fought within 20 pounds of your weight division, even if that fighter only fought briefly at that weight and moved up to taken on bigger foe. Add to that, you seem to think that being the all-time greatest neccessitates fighting even the most borderline contenders of any division within 20 pounds.

    Not to mention, all of those guys' weights you listed are misleading. For the most part, they fought at much heavier weights.

    To me, ducking someone isn't not fighting a viable contender in your era (whether using revisionism or new-historicism), but it entails clearly demonstrating that there was a hard demand for those fights and that Sugar Ray clearly ignored the demand.

  11. #11

    Re: tempest

    Here is a pic. of Jimmy Bivins on the front cover of a 1948 copy of Knockout magazine, as you can see he was fighting as a heavyweight in 1948 , no way could he have fought Sugar Ray in the 40s

    Frank B.

  12. #12
    El Milo

    Re: tempest

    Robinson's last title defence at 147 was in August 1950.

    By this time Charles was the heavyweight champ. Moore may have been the best fighter at 175. Marshall was on the slide. Booker retired in 44. Chase retired in 48, as did Williams. The envelope for Robinson possibly fighting them was relatively short.

    The question is not so much 'Why did Robinson duck these fighters?', but is more 'Why did Robinson not fight guys he had no reason to fight?'. The answer obviously lies in the question. Most of those guys were heavier than Robinson, and at that point of their careers there was little upside for SRR to fight them on a risk/reward basis.

    While it would have been great for Robinson to have fought 4 or 5 fight series' with all the top coloured contenders up to 175, it would not have been particularly smart.

    I think any welterweight who tangles six times with a middleweight bull who regularly fought higher than 160 can be excused on the 'ducking' front.

    If there had been more money on the table, I'm sure Robinson would have fought Burley, Cocoa, etc. He may very well have had more losses on his record, but they would be the losses of an all-time great welterweight to top-drawer middleweights.

  13. #13
    old school student

    Re: Walker Smith

    Non of these guys are borderline contenders, PLEASE. I mean that's ignorant!

  14. #14
    Walker Smith

    Re: Walker Smith

    I don't know. I consider a solid contender someone who actually has a chance at winning the title within his division. Jack Chase just doesn't make my cut. He may have been a warrior and a well-respected fighter in the end, but he lost just about every important fight he fought, with a few exceptions.

    To me, ignorant is expecting Sugar Ray Robinson to fight Jimmy Bivins, who was fighting at 30-35 pounds heavier than Robinson's optimal weight.

  15. #15
    Steve McV

    Re: Weights of fighters

    Some questions: first, what are your sources for the weights you assign these fighters in 1944-45?

    Second, how many other natural welters of the time were fighting guys who afterwards (and not long after) became light heavies (and heavies)? As I recall, Burley fought some bigger men. Anybody else?

    And speaking of Burley, yes, Ray ducked him. Whether the reason was that it wouldn't be a good fight money wise, or whether Ray was just afraid of losing, or both, or whatever, yes, I think Ray ducked Burley. It's always a shame when two great fightes of the same era don't fight.

    You're matching a welterweight who later (years later) became a middleweight, against guys who were middlesweights at one time and later light heavies, and (in a couple instances) even heavyweights. Quite simply, Ray didn't fight them because they were bigger men. That he was a few pounds over the welter limit when he fought LaMotta doesn't make him a middleweight. It makes him a welter with a few pounds extra.

    Also, why are you sure that his career would be "riddled with losses" had he fought these men? Because they were bigger? Or because you think they were better? If you think they'd win because they were bigger, sure, the good big man generally beats the good smaller man. If you;re saying they would have won because you think they were better, wll, you;re entitled to your opinion but I can't agree. All these men you list were at least good fighters and some of them are among the all-time greats in my book, but size advantage aside, I think Ray would be a match (at least) for any of them.

  16. #16
    Mr E

    Sugar Ray

    Like HEGrant, I respect the thought process behind this post. I'm not sure I agree with the conclusion -- i.e., that Robinson is over-rated -- but I do agree with the factual foundation -- i.e., that Robinson may have skipped a few fighters whose abilities surpassed their name recognition such that the cost-benefit analysis of the fight, from Ray's perspective, was not favorable.

    I observe that Gene Fullmer, Carmen Basilion and Ralph "Tiger" Jones all expressed similar sentiments.

  17. #17

    good question

    great great question and I respect OLd School for taking it on. I AGREE. Not to say he wouldnt have beaten everyone, but his ranking as the "all time" greatest as a automatic is not so automatic. He skipped a few (cant blame him for that), for obviously he was connected (as was Joe Louis) to avoid those tuff matchups with Black fighters who could trouble him. Who can blame the guy?
    I would also like to add to the arguement that Ray got a few nods that just might have or should have gone the other way. Harry Brimm, Vic Dellecurti, Jake Lamotta (twice), Jose Basora, Rocky Casstellani, Marty Servo. I guess every great career has those controversies like Dempsey and others. No one is denying him his place as he surely earned it. Lets just say there are others just as "great" and just maybe "greater".

  18. #18
    old school student

    Re: wildhawke

    Thanks for the link, Wildhawke. I do think as a welter, ray was one of the best. but as a middle from 168, the super limit which was what many of these guys were under. if you made a list of the all-time best from 168 on down. How could anyone think ray is top 5. Yet he always shows up on everyones list around there. So MY point is other people took on tougher people who weighted a few pounds more, even people from his own era,(lamotta) like Cocoa kid who was a welterweight. Yet ray manuvered up the food chain, completely avoiding these guys, useing his marketing appeal, while others were forced to do it the hard way. Yet now we HAIL him as certainly a top middleweight, while shunning others, who had as much talent, forced to do it the hard way.
    Tell my why wildhawke, you think ray is so far ahead of Cocoa kid, at welterweight who isn't on anybody list. Cocoa fought much harder fights, than ray did. Ray maybe the best, at welterweight it's debatable. But from 168lbs on down would he even crack the top 10?
    He would have lost to many of these guys, i got MORE respect for people, who were pushing there limits. It's a shame the heat got to him in the MAxim fight at light heavy, or he may have been forced into fighting a couple of these guys!! Like archie moore.
    Like i stated Kid tunero beat Ezzard charles @155lbs, could Ray beat him? My guess is no, these guys on this list may have been much better than they are given credit for, in historys view.(some guy thinks they are borderline contenders), which lends to my point, how historys' treated them. Had sugar ray gone through the Grinder, on these guys he just, may have been a much better fighter a tougher, meaner, and more nasty, fighter than he ever turned out to be. There's no doubt he had the talent, but the heart, will and desire, is in question.

  19. #19

    Re: wildhawke

    To question SRR's fighting heart , now that is really ignorant

    Frank B.

  20. #20


    Old School
    First of all you did a post on Ray Robinson not being classed in the greatest WW fighters of all time because he moved up to MW. You now decide to have a dig at him at MW. What did Ray do to you or your great grandfather to cause this. It could be said that your on some campaign to damage who many experts see as perhaps the greatest or at least one of the very best fighters to lace on a pair of gloves. On a more serious note we can criticise many fighters throughout history because of bad decisions, or the ref doing them favours in the ring. Or guys who they seemed to avoid for what so ever reason.

    Boxing is first and foremost a business always has been and always will be. Is life fair, no it ain't, is boxing perfect, never has been and never will be. Robinson was probably no better or worse at playing his cards the right way as he saw it then many so called great fighters. All i know is in my humble opinion Robinson was possibly the best WW that ever stepped into the ring and i would say at least makes the top five on most peoples MW list which is a very good considering this was considered the elte division by a great many people including myself.

    Could Charley Burley have beaten Ray if they had ever met a lot seem to think so. Then again its a bit like Harry Wills being rated very high on a lot of peoples minds because the fight with Dempsey in fact never came off rather then if they had met and Dempsey had perhaps flattened him. Same could apply to Burley on this one. My personal opinion is Burley could give any fighter at equal weights more then enough problems including Robinson. But like the Wills affair we will never know. If i was pushed i would say Burley would take one in three on this one.

    On a last note glad your enjoying that Title Bout game if you go to the link below, at the bottom of the page i think its called the ultimate fighters pics You will find a 40mb download, you will find it adds about 20% difference to the look of the game. Also very soon there will be another patch coming out which should be an improvement on the way the world rankings work out in the various boxing associations.


  21. #21

    Re: Re

    While I don't know all the facts I believe the following:

    Robinson was in his prime as a welterweight. He was the best welter that ever lived.

    Robinson was not in his prime as a middleweight. He was still a great fighter and one of the greatest middleweights that ever lived.

    Robinson did not fight the best middleweights in the world. He utilized his business savy and his exceptional marketability to avoid the same exceptional black fighters that the white fighters managed to avoid. This does not mean that any of those listed above that were actually around and available could have beaten him, but it does leave doubt, no different than Roy Jones not fighting say a Nigel Benn or a Eubanks.

    This could not be said about my all time pound for pound pick, Sam Langford. Langford fought the best fighters in the world during his career in every division from lightweight to heavyweight.

  22. #22
    Non of these guys are borderline contenders, PLEASE. I mean that's ignorant!
    .........that was really unnecessary and no way to bolster your contentions or make your points.

    Ray Robinson was a natural welterweight; like many others making 147 became more difficult with age and the necessity of earning a living and getting top paydays necessitated the move to middleweight....I have to strongly agree with others here that not fighting 165#ers in 44-45 at the peak of his welterweight prowess just can't be construed as 'ducking".

    Hell, you almost make it seem like thousands of fans and hundreds of experts must all be "ignorant" in their assessment of Ray's greatness....

  23. #23

    Re: wildhawke

    old school - I appreciate the fact that you are trying to make an argument here, though it's a damned tough one. And it's tough for a reason: it's wrong.

    At 147, a truly deep division, nobody can really compare. The man never lost to a welterweight. Ever. His only loss while fighting in that division was to a guy that regularly scaled at least one division heavier. And he beat that same guy four other times before moving up.

    Why hang so tightly to "other men fought bigger guys too"? Did any of them do it with the success of Robinson? Not even close. Hell, when he fought Maxim for the 175 title he weighed in at 155.

    Anyone can point out a few people that the greats missed. It's inevitable - you just can't fight everyone that was or would prove to be a legit contender. But even at 160, Robinson beat Lamotta, Turpin, Olsen, Graziano, Fullmer and Basilio. This is not exactly the lineup of guys you take on if you are hell bent on avoiding the "tough fights".

    The man proved it again and again and again. He was the very best. He had everything - speed, power, stamina, defense, chin, toughness, vast arsenal of punches, footwork, no weaknesses whatsoever. Guys often post "build your perfect fighter" and come up with all the attributes that fighter would have. And once you do that, you have Sugar Ray Robinson. Look for a hole in his record if you want to - nobody took on more top fighters and won than Robinson. I have no idea why this thread has carried on for so many posts. Name another figher that took on more tough fights than Robby in that era. There just aren't any. #1 at welter, and IMO #1 at middle. Nobody else can even try to claim to be the best ever in two different divisions.

  24. #24
    old school student

    Re:Tko 11

    That's where your wrong TKO 11!, there are many.. who could claim the greatess at different levels. It's been done all through out history which beacon's my point. I can go chronilogical throughout history for you. Your assuming WAY to much, the reason is many people tend to forget the vast history of each divisions' weight class. Let's see some people who were great in JUST two weight classes. Joe Walcott, Sam langford, Bob fitzsimmons, Tommy RYan, George carpetier, jack Dillion, Kid Mccoy, Tommy Loughran, Gene Tunney, Gunboat smith, Joe choynski, ezzard charles, archie moore, cocoa kid. These are all guys(just up to 1940's) that may/ or would have been champion at different weight levels. Far before the like's of SUGAR ray. Your Assuming for one, everyone thinks the same hIGH OPITION of him at middleweight as you. That's a grand assumption. I can see others think different as me, but i would never assume EVER everyone AGREE's with me. I can Live with Him #1 at welterweight, just find. But if your convinced that from 168lbs on down(Which is my argument!) he's #1, middleweight! Your nuts! hE CAN NEVER be! SUPER Middleweights would eat him up! Which comes back to my post, which is SOME of these guys COULD take on and sometimes beat BIGGER men, they were that good. Yet far less publized as the great sugar ray. Wisely Sugar avoided them, which we can all see, in black and white. Of these guys he fought, one. So IF YOUR THE BEST, don't you have to beat the best. CLEARLY I feel many of these guys or AT least HALF of them could beat him. So are we too reward the great sugar ray for AVOIDING these guys, while we penizile others for taking the hard road. That's like saying ALI was the greatest without having to fight Foreman & Frazier but instead being the best for beating Quarry, shavers, and Norton. It's the same damn thing! CAN't you see my point.

  25. #25


    I can't because your arguments so precisely do the very thing you are accusing me of, on to a much larger degree. You are making monstrous assumptions which don't make any sense.

    First, in the group of fighters you just named, there are terrific all-time greats. But of them, only Langford comes even close to Robinson on a P4P all-time scale. Charles, Loughran, Tunney and Moore are also all-timers, but only Ezzard might find his way into anyone's top ten all time. Some of those names you've advanced were nice contenders of the time only, like Gunboat and Choynski. Comparing these guys to a Robinsons, when they were not in the same realm in either accomplishments or ability, makes no sense.

    And what is this "from 168 on down" stuff? When Robinsons fought, a fighter entering the ring at 168 was a light-heavy, not a middle. But regardless of that, do you like the Toney of 168 (who struggled so mightily with such ana array of fighters) or the Jones of 168 (who beat Toney but not much else worth mentioning) or anyone else over Robinson?

    And for your Ali argument, it's actually one that proves my point. Do you realize that many use Norton, Foreman et al as arguments AGAINST Ali's greatness? Norton, because Ali struggled so terribly with him and made every effort to never see him in the same ring again after their third meeting, and Foreman because he never got the rematch he probably deserved. Now, I don't think either of these guys detract from Ali's greatness, but the argument is there.

    See how easy it is to poke holes in anyone's record?

    Here's what I'd like to see (which may or may not motivate you). Take the list of ten or so contenders that you have mentioned that Ray didn't fight. Pick one or two of them, the best of the bunch. Break down their abilities and stregths and weaknesses. Then do the same for Robinson. Then you tell me/us just why you think they would have dealt Robinson losses, when so many hall of famers could not. You can focus on either the top-of-the-line version of Robinson at 147, or the noticably lesser 160 version. The ONLy guys I could even attempt an argument for would be Charles and Moore, who were naturally much larger men.

    Incidentally, Robinson started his career in 1941, when the Cocoa Kid was already over 150 fights into his career. It was soon after that the Kid started being about a .500 batter. Suggesting Robinsons avoided him is silly - he would have wrecked that depleted version of the Kid.

  26. #26

    Re: Re:Tko 11

    Traditional Weight Classes aside, wasn't Jake LaMotta essentially a Super Middleweight and an extremely tough one to boot? Lamotta was forever trying to squeeze two loaves of bread into a "one loaf" bread box. And Ray fared extremely well with him.

    While I have no argument with anyone who says that there were other middleweights who had superior careers or resume's at middleweight (Greb, Monzon, even Hopkins as far as a championship career) to SRR, if you were to ask me who I think the best fighter at 160 at their absolute peak/prime at that weight, for one fight in a head to head matchup, I myself would select Robinson.

    Yet even with a career resume at 160, that I would not say was the best, it's still pretty impressive with the list of fighters that he DID beat at 160. And there really arent too many who can compete with having faced and defeated the likes of Lamotta, Turpin, Olsen, Basilio, Fullmer etc.

    Let's add to it that many of these were fights when he was getting a bit long in the tooth.

    I personaly feel no fighter is above questioning and I think it is healthy that we are dissecting Robby's career here. However, I think when we reexamine it, in the end, it only strengthen's Ray's position as the best that ever lived rather than weakens it.

    Add in a couple of the fighters who realistically, he could have faced during his time (a Charley Brutley obviously jumps out) and it makes an already amazing career, better. Essentially, he goes from IMO, the best of all time to, "walks on water."

  27. #27
    walsh b

    Re: Re:Tko 11

    I agree that on a single night at 160lbs at their peak Ray was probably number 1, with Monzon extremely close followed By Marvin

  28. #28

    Re: Re:Tko 11

    old school yes there are a good number of fighters who fought beyond two weight classes and guys much heavier.

    They ended up having a lot of losses, b/c when you are in the 140s fighting guys in the 160s with naturally much bigger frames, it has an effect. It IS NOT A SMART THING TO DO. Cocoa Kid not only got decisively whupped by larger contenders he fought (Billy Smith, Archie Moore) but lost a large number of decisions to other welterweights AT welterweight. Robisnon never lost at welterweight. SO how are they comparable? Was Robinson ducking the likes of Jimmy Leto, Johnny Jackson, and Andre Jerusson?? We all know the answer to that question. And a lot of these guys you could claim he was avoiding in the 40s started almost 10 YEARS EARLIER then Ray and by the late 40s were already up in the 160s (and sometimes higher).

    I guess Pacman should be getting flak b/c he's not clamoring for a match with Hatton . . . . :hat

  29. #29

    Re: Cocoa Kid

    Regarding Cocoa Kid. My cousin’s uncle, the late Werther Arcelli (BoxRec link below),
    told me when I was a kid that Cocoa Kid was the best fighter he ever fought. He rated Cocoa Kid second to Robinson, whom he saw live on several occasions, as the best fighter he ever saw or fought. He rated Robinson higher because of his power and aggressiveness.

    Regarding many of Cocoa’s losses. Werther told me that Cocoa must have been persuaded to go easy on his opponent, or been the victim of some real bad decisions, to lose to some of the lesser fighters he lost to during his prime. He said Cocoa was just too good an all-around fighter to be beaten by some of the journeymen he lost to during his prime. He was really high on the Kid. He couldn’t gage Charley Burley for me because he was well past his prime when he fought him and only went one round.

  30. #30


    oh come on, robinson was the gooddamn best, in spite of the political corectness of the statement, not because of it- this guy was IT- i understand some the resoning but no langford, greb, armstong, burley, etc ever has such incredible talent,guts, chin as he. imo unles i saw it with my own eyes, i would think it would be almost impossible for anyman to be quite so good.bye thanks

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