From ‘Sugar’ Ray Robinson To ‘Sweet Pea’ Whitaker!

From ‘Sugar’ Ray Robinson To ‘Sweet Pea’ Whitaker!

By Ken Hissner: Back in the day, nicknames were used more than today. The greatest pound-for-pound boxer on most lists was ‘Sugar’ Ray Robinson. There have been others to take that nickname ‘Sugar.’

Robinson was 73-1-1 when he won the Welterweight title in December of 1946, defeating Tommy Bell, 39-10-3, for the vacant title after five years in the game.

Marty Servo had vacated the title after winning it in February of 1946. Robinson was the first to defeat him in May of 1942 when he was 31-0 and Servo, 42-0-2.

Robinson’s only loss was when he was 40-0 to Jake ‘Bronx Bull’ LaMotta, 30-5-2. It would be the only time in six meetings LaMotta defeated Robinson. He made the statement, “I fought Sugar Ray so often, I almost got diabetes.”

Robinson defeated LaMotta in their rematch just three weeks after their first fight. He went on to beat Henry ‘Homicide’ Armstrong, a former 3-division world champion and possible second pound-for-pound boxer of all-time, with a record of 132-17-8.

In May 1945, Robinson fought to a draw with Jose Basora, who had a record of 54-9-4, in Philadelphia. In August 1950, Robinson knocked out Basora in the first round of a Pennsylvania middleweight title fight.

In September of 1945, Robinson defeated LaMotta in their fourth meeting by split decision. In February of 1949, he drew with Henry Brimm, 23-9-2, in Buffalo.

In February of 1951, in their fifth meeting, Robinson defeated then Middleweight champion LaMotta, 78-14-3, by stoppage in 13 rounds, which would be their final meeting.

In July of 1951, Robinson traveled to London and lost to Randy Turpin, 40-2-1. Two months later, in New York, Robinson regained the title, stopping Turpin in ten rounds.

In June of 1952, Robinson, after thirteen rounds against Light Heavyweight champion Joey Maxim, 78-18-4, he was ahead by scores of 10-3, 9-3-1, and 7-3-3 when he couldn’t come out for the fourteenth round due to heat exhaustion with a 104 temperature. Referee Ruby Goldstein was replaced in the tenth round.

Robinson would end up with a 174-19-6 record with 109 stoppages in November of 1965.

Philly’s Garnet “Sugar” Hart would be 20-1 when he lost for the second time. The nickname didn’t help him much.

In September of 1972, “Sugar” Ray Seales won the Olympic Gold Medal in Munich, Germany. In August of 1974, at 21-0, he would lose to future champion “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler. He would end up 57-8-3. He would retire with detached retinas in both eyes.

In the 1992 Olympic trials, “Sugar” Shane Mosley lost in the Semi-Final. In August of 1997, at 23-0, he defeated IBF Lightweight champion Phillip Holliday, 31-0, for his first world title.

In June of 2000, Mosley would win his second world title, defeating former Olympic Gold Medalist the WBC World Welterweight champion Oscar “Golden Boy” De La Hoya, 32-1, improving his record to 35-0.

In January of 2002, Mosley, 38-0, lost back-to-back fights to Vernon Forrest, 33-0.

In September of 2003, Mosley won his third division world title, defeating in a rematch WBA and WBC Super Welterweight champion De La Hoya, 36-2, improving his record to 39-2. He would lose back-to-back fights to Ronald “Winky” Wright, 46-3,

In January 2009, Mosley won the WBA Super World Welterweight title, stopping Antonio Margarita, 37-5. In May, he lost to Floyd “Money” Mayweather, 40-0. He would end his career with a 49-10-1 record with 41 stoppages.

Now we jump to the final boxer of this article Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker, who in 1984 won Olympic Gold in Los Angeles. In March of 1988, at 15-0, he lost for the first time to WBC Lightweight champion Jose Luis Ramirez, 100-6. In February of 1989, he won his first world title, defeating the IBF Lightweight champion Greg Haugen, 23-1, improving to 17-1.

In July of 1992, Whitaker won his second world title; he won the IBF Light Welterweight title defeating Rafael “Derby” Pineda, 28-1. In March of 1993, he won his third world division title, defeating WBC World Welterweight champion Buddy McGirt, 59-2-1.

In September of 1993, Whitaker, 32-1, drew with Mexico’s 3-division world champion Julio “J.C.” Cesar Chavez, 87-0.

In August of 1989, in their rematch, Whitaker defeated Ramirez, 102-7, in his hometown of Norfolk, Virginia. In April of 1997, Whitaker, 40-1-1, in a rematch, lost to De La Hoya, 23-0.

Two fights later, Whitaker was defeated by Felix “Tito” Trinidad, 33-0, in February of 1999, dropping to 40-3-1. In the next and last fight of his career, he lost to Carlos “El Elegante” Bojorquez, 14-2-5, being stopped in four rounds, ending with a 40-4-1 record.

There you go from four “Sugar’s,” starting with Robinson, followed by Hart, Seales, and Mosley, to the lone “Sweet Pea”.

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