[Criteria: Fighter theoretically enters weight category of choice]
WELTERWEIGHTS 147 lbs: p1 Sugar Ray Robinson p3 Carmen Basilio p5 Jose Napoles p6 Ted Kid Lewis p8 Kid Gavilan p9 Emile Griffith p10 Barbados Joe Walcott p11 Charley Burley p11 Jimmy McLarnin p11 Jack Britton
[9.3] SUGAR RAY ROBINSON 200-173(108)-19-6-2 [Light-Heavyweight & Middleweight & Welterweight & Lightweight]: Sugar Ray Robinson - Sugar Ray Leonard - Ralph Whiley - Tommy Bell - Ken Burns TV - Muhammad Ali - Joe Louis - Melvin Durslag - Ray Robinson junior - Edna May Robinson - Mills Lane - Classic Sports - Sugar Ray Robinson Archive Special TV - Hank Camplin - Ringside: Sugar Ray Robinson TV - Dave Hamilton - Pete Hamill - Arthur Daley - US Fight Commentary - Sporting Greats TV - Sugar Ray Robinson: The Bright Lights and Dark Shadows of a Champion 1998 - Reputations TV -
Rhythm is everything in boxing. Every move you make starts with your heart, and that’s in rhythm or you’re in trouble. Sugar Ray Robinson
I’ve never enjoyed boxing. It’s just a business with me. I know I’ve never enjoyed it. It reminds me – there’s something barbaric – two people get in a pit and people throw money at ’em. Ray Robinson, televised interview
1Someone once said there was a comparison between Sugar Ray Leonard and Sugar Ray Robinson. Believe me, there’s no comparison. Sugar Ray Robinson was the greatest. Sugar Ray Leonard
This man was the ultimate warrior in the ring. He was the ultimate dispatcher of a foe. He was a distance fighter, an in-fighter, very scientific, beautiful to see, and he made this brutal, uncivilised, barbaric sport ballet. Ralph Whiley
He come at me with two punches, a left and a right. I didn’t know which hit me first. The punches didn’t hurt me, but when I started to move, my legs wouldn’t go with me, and I fell over on my head. Tommy Bell
Middleweight champion Ray Robinson was Miles Davis’ hero. Davis admired the elegance with which he dispatched his opponents. Admired Robinson’s clothes, his good looks. And the women who seemed always to be on his arm. When he got into the ring, Davis remembered, he never smiled. He was all business. Ken Burns, Jazz: The Gift 1949-1955, PBS 2001
Everything was beautiful. Muhammad Ali
The king. The master. My idol. Muhammad Ali
That man was beautiful. Timing, speed, reflexes, rhythm, his body, everything was beautiful … Sugar Ray Robinson was the greatest of all time. Muhammad Ali
The best fighter who ever stepped into the ring. Joe Louis
When he [Ray Robinson] crossed a hotel lobby, people stared in admiration. Ray was born to wear a crown. No champion boxed or lived with his style. Melvin Durslag
He was the man. My father could walk into a room and people would stop and turn around and go, Who’s that? Dad out of the ring was the embodiment of everything he was in the ring. He was a showman. He was the best of the sharps. He was the lovable conman. Ray Robinson junior
He was a real rogue. Ray Robinson junior
He danced on street corners for coins. He was a tap dancer ... Gets to New York ... He now adopts the name Ray Robinson, borrowing a card from a friend ... He is now accepted as Ray Robinson. And somebody comes to the gym to watch – Jack Case, a writer in the late thirties, and he says to the manager watching this little kid ... ‘That’s a sweet fighter you got there.’ To which George Gainford said, ‘Sweet as Sugar’ ... He was undefeated as an amateur ... Almost too good for his own good. Bert Randolph Sugar
He wore the name brilliantly. Sugar Ray Robinson was the most faultless fighter ever. Bert Randolph Sugar
He could do everything. He was flawless. Bert Randolph Sugar
I saw him knock out a man going backwards. Bert Randolph Sugar
He’s one through nine. And then you pick ten. Bert Randolph Sugar
He was the greatest Welterweight champion there ever was. Middleweight he’s not, and it’s because he’s getting older, he’s past his prime. But he’s still one of the greatest. Bert Randolph Sugar
He had a charm, that was why people fell in love with him ... He loved adulation, yes ... He could never be alone ... But there was something that troubled him deeply. Edna May Robinson, Sugar Ray’s first wife
I think Ray Robinson was probably the greatest fighter to walk on the planet. Mills Lane
Sugar Ray Robinson was stopped just once in 202 bouts. It was due to heat exhaustion in a fight with Joey Maxim. Classic Sports headline banner
Robinson didn’t make a fight: he gave a recital. And these performances stretched over twenty five years ... A total of six world championships by the end. Sugar Ray Robinson Archive Special
By the 1940s he was making fifty thousand dollars a fight. ibid.
But the Father of the Year was anything but. ibid.
33 years old, about to go broke, he had to fight again. ibid.
Ray Robinson died April 12th 1989; he was 67. Ask those who saw him and they will tell you there has never been anything sweeter than Sugar Ray. ibid.
The man had his money up front. At times he didn’t show up ... He was a tough businessman. Hank Camplin, boxing historian
Pound for pound the greatest fighter ever. Ringside: Sugar Ray Robinson
94-0 as an amateur. Then 40-0. Loses to LaMotta. 1 loss in a 135 fights. ibid.
He had it all. ibid.
Everybody who ever saw him said he was the best. Dave Hamilton, Robinson’s biographer
He was a very independent person at the time and made his own deals. Pete Hamill
Once upon a time Robinson was a thing of beauty. In the ring he was an artist of his trade, a master-craftsman who out-boxed the boxers and out-punched punchers. Arthur Daley, The New York Times columnist
1939 Golden Gloves Featherweight Louis Valentine Madison Square Garden: Robinson has shown everyone that there is a brilliant young star rising in the Boxing world. It’s all Ray Robinson ... One of the most vicious punching amateurs ever seen in Golden Gloves competition ... A unanimous decision. US fight commentary
Who stood above them all ... Robinson’s legacy goes beyond his boxing achievements ... He brought glamour to the sport. Sporting Greats: Sugar Ray Robinson
In his first 131 fights he lost only once. Having dominated the Welterweight division for a decade, he went on to become Middleweight champion of the world on five occasions. ibid.
He had a perfect record of 85-0 when he turned professional in 1940. ibid.
He was the king of Harlem. ibid.
He had no equal. ibid.
A fighter with no recognised weaknesses. ibid.
If someone was able to ask God to mould the greatest prize fighter that you can possible mould, it would be Sugar Ray Robinson. Sugar Ray Robinson: The Bright Lights and Dark Shadows of a Champion, opening commentary, 1998
He was the one perfect fighter. ibid.
Three fights within 21 days, and 2 within 8 days. ibid.