Sugar Ray Robinson vs. Carmen Basilio I
The Ring Fight of the Year (1957)
September 23, 1957
Sugar Ray Robinson’s middleweight crown, which he’d taken from Jake Lamotta in their fifth and final meeting, had proven much more difficult to retain than the welterweight strap he’d held ten years ago. He’d lost and regained it in a pair of fights against Brit Randy Turpin, given it up for an unsuccessful run at the light heavyweight champion Joey Maxim and had to wait a whole year for another shot at the title.
1957 would not be any easier on Robinson. On the second day of the year, in only his second defense of his newly-reacquired title, he lost the belt to a young brawler by the name of Gene Fullmer in the first installment of their blossoming tetralogy. Four months later, Robinson took the title back in their second fight, the only one of the series that Robinson would win, with what would become known as the greatest left hook ever thrown. He’d already lost and regained the title once, and he’d lose it again before the year was out. Robinson was in for the fight of his life, a fight not only against a new wave of quality competition, but against time…
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