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Who was the best Middleweight to you?

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The Professor
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Sugar Ray Robinson - 5 time World Middleweight Champion

Middleweight Career:

Notable Championship Wins:
Jake LaMotta (TKO 13)
Randy Turpin (TKO 10)
Rocky Graziano (KO 3)
Bobo Olson (UD 15) (KO 2) (KO 4)
Gene Fullmer (KO 5)
Carmen Basilio (SD 15)

Notable Losses during era as Champion/Former Champion:
Randy Turpin (PTS 15)
Joey Maxim (TKO 14)
Ralph Jones (UD 10)
Gene Fullmer (UD 15)
Carmen Basilio (SD 15)
Paul Pender (SD 15 )

In 29 fights, starting from when he won the Middleweight Championship the first time to losing it for the last time he had 23 wins and 6 losses, 1 in which he challenged for the Light Heavyweight title and was winning the fight on all cards decisively but was unable to make it off his stool going into the 14th round due to heat prostration from the 100+ degree weather. Of the remaining 5 losses, 2 were by split decision, and he was never knocked out. All of his losses in Middleweight title fights during this time he avenged except for the last against Paul Pender, who would later retire as Middleweight Champion. By the time he fought Pender, Robinson already had 20 years and 150 fights under his belt.

It's also important to note that Robinson as a Welterweight had beat Jake LaMotta 4 out of 5 times prior to their Middleweight Championship bout. During these times LaMotta was always considered a top contender, but due to Zale being drafted, then poor management and bad deelings with the mob, he simply could not get a title shot until 1949. From as early as 1942 (just two years into Robinson's career) he would fight Middleweights in between Welterweight fights starting with Jake LaMotta. 8 years would go by before Robinson's second loss to a Middleweight (Randy Turpin). When Turpin beat Robinson, Ray had already had 131 professional bouts.

Middleweights Robinson beat before becoming World Champion:

Jake LaMotta (x5)
Vic Dellicurti (x3)
Lou Woods
Jose Basora
Jimmy Mandell
Tony Riccio
Freddie Flores (x2)
Freddie Wilson (x2)
Vinnie Vines
Artie Levine
Georgie Abrams
Eddie Finazzo
Ossie Harris (x2)
Henry Brimm (x2)
Don Lee (x2)
Cecil Hudson (x2)
Steve Belloise
Charley Dodson
Aaron Wade
Cliff Beckett (x2)
Ray Barnes
Robert Villemain (x2)
Billy Brown
Joe Rindone
Bobo Olson
Jean Stock
Luc van Dam
Hans Stretz

That's 42 Middleweight wins with only 1 loss prior to winning the World Championship.

Notable Pre-Titleshot Wins:
Bobo Olson (KO 12) *Defended PA State Middleweight Title
Jose Basora (KO 1) *Defended PA State Middleweight Title
Robert Villemain (UD 15) (TKO 9) *Won Vacant PA Middleweight Title in first bout
Artie Levine (KO 10)
Steve Belloise (TKO 7)
Jake LaMotta (UD 10) (UD 10) (UD 10) (SD 12)

ONLY Pre-Titleshot Loss:
Jake LaMotta (UD 10)

So lets do some math here, 43 + 29 = 72. Robinson essentially had 72 Middleweight fights before you could officially mark him as washed up. Of those 72 fights, he won 65 and lost 7, with 6 of the losses coming past his prime, 1 of which came at the hand of the Light Heavyweight Champion he had beat, and 4 coming after he came out of retirement. The names on the resume speak for themselves, the man truly was the greatest.

And honestly, I can't see how it's disputable. Do people fault Robinson for Tony Zale being drafted and causing the Middleweight title to be hijacked for half of the 40s? When Tony finally came back, he had his little trilogy with Graziano, then immediately lost to Cerdan, who would lose to LaMotta in less than a year. While Cerdan was still prime (before his brief stint as World Champion) his handlers never made a fight with Robinson happen. So what could Robinson have done to prove he could have beat any Middleweight during most of the 40s other than what he already did? I mean, I guess during the early 40s one could claim he could have fought Holman Williams and the Cocoa Kid before they were washed up, and during any time in the 40s he could have fought Charley Burley. These guys really were the best there were, but since they were Black and their name wasn't Sugar, they were mainly ducked by marquee fighters. Considering they all held the Colored World Middleweight Championship, I don't think I need to substantiate that. Those fights would have pretty much been considered high risk with no reward for Robinson. Cerdan and LaMotta however would later fight Holman Williams. Problem was, the early 40s were long gone and Holman was already washed up. Anyhow, if not fighting 3 guys that no one else would during the 40s keeps Robinson out of contention as the greatest Middleweight ever, then perhaps Hagler's 2 losses and 1 draw with the Philadelphia boys (who come nowhere near the greatness of the 3 Colored Middleweight Champions I just mentioned) should be held against him too. Non-believers in Robinson either set some absurdly high standards, or simply don't know enough facts. If I did this kind of analysis for everyone only Harry Greb would have a chance at looking better.
 

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Spike Spiegel
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So tough! I mean Sugar Ray is arguably the greatest of all time. Bernard Hopkins is the most accomplished Middleweight Champion of all time, Marvin Hagler... well I don't even need to get any further. Carlos Monzon is an ATG aswell, fantastic fighter. I loved Monzon. Greb is of course one of the greats aswell.

It's going to take a lot of thought into this one.
 

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Hagler is my pick, he only lost twice as a middleweight, one earlier in his career in the other guys hometown, the other late and past his prime, both were close and disputed. Defended The Middleweight Championship 13 times in a row knocking out 12, all the top contenders, and 2 Hall of Famers that went on to win titles at and above middleweight.
 

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Here's how I see it:

1. Sugar Ray Robinson due to the fact he fought in time where boxing was high in competition and fought for a single title.

2. Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins, because became the first Undisputed Middleweight Champion of the world ever since the alphabet titles were made. And defended his title 20+ times as well.

3. Marvelous Marvin Hagler, dominated the MW division in his time as well.
 

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The Professor
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hagler is my pick, he only lost twice as a middleweight, one earlier in his career in the other guys hometown, the other late and past his prime, both were close and disputed. Defended The Middleweight Championship 13 times in a row knocking out 12, all the top contenders, and 2 Hall of Famers that went on to win titles at and above middleweight.
Hagler lost more than twice. And he drew and had a close decision win with another guy.

All the fights he had trouble in were with Philadelphia Boys, there was nothing shady about it, all the greats had trouble with them.
 

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I wrote this on "Obama's Top 15 All Time Heavyweights" thread BUT thought it might be better if I included it here.

To be honest with you, when Robinson won the Middleweight Title he was a little past his best days. As a Welterweight, he was the Greatest without a doubt.

He last defended his Welterweight Title against the "Milkman" Charley Fusari on August 9, 1950 in Roosevelt Stadium, Jersey City, New Jersey. Referee Paul Cavaliere scored the bout 13-1 in favor of Sugar Ray. After that bout Robinson had a record of 110-1-2 with 71 KO's.

Just a side note: I talked to Charley Fusari just a couple of days before he died and I knew him pretty well. I also was a very good friend of the Referee, Paul Cavaliere, as I was over his house many times and when he passed away, I gave the Eulogy.

Robinson fought another 10 bouts before getting a shot at the Middleweight Title, of which he won them all. On February 4, 1951, Robinson stopped Jake LaMotta to win the Middleweight Title. On July 10, 1951, he lost to Randy Turpin, BUT stopped Randy in a return bout on September 12, 1951.

He then beat Bobo Olson and Rocky Graziano before losing to Joey Maxim. Most people say it was because of the heat, BUT Joey also fought in the heat. Robinson was a head on all 3 score cards, 10-3, 9-3-1, and 7-3-3.

Robinson then retired BUT came back after two and a half years. He lost to Ralph Tiger Jones, Gene Fullmer and Carmen Basilio, and beat both Fullmer and Basilio in return goes. Then he lost twice to Paul Pender, then fought a draw with Fullmer and then lost to Fullmer.

At that point in Robinson's career he was 143-9-3, so he was 34-8-1 after the Fusari bout and if you take off the 10 bouts between Fusari and LaMotta, he had a record of 24-8-1.

When he was way passed his prime, Robinson went 30-10-3 (1 NC) in his last 44 bouts.

He finished with an overall record of:

won 173 (KO 108) + lost 19 (KO 1) + drawn 6 = 200

With that said, Robinson was like Willie Mays or Hank Aaron, he was a 5 tool boxer, meaning that he really had no weakness and could do everything well.
 

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Hagler lost more than twice. And he drew and had a close decision win with another guy.

All the fights he had trouble in were with Philadelphia Boys, there was nothing shady about it, all the greats had trouble with them.
At middleweight he lost twice. They were close decisions on the other guys home turf, shady or not, it's the truth.
I wrote this on "Obama's Top 15 All Time Heavyweights" thread BUT thought it might be better if I included it here.

To be honest with you, when Robinson won the Middleweight Title he was a little past his best days. As a Welterweight, he was the Greatest without a doubt.

He last defended his Welterweight Title against the "Milkman" Charley Fusari on August 9, 1950 in Roosevelt Stadium, Jersey City, New Jersey. Referee Paul Cavaliere scored the bout 13-1 in favor of Sugar Ray. After that bout Robinson had a record of 110-1-2 with 71 KO's.

Just a side note: I talked to Charley Fusari just a couple of days before he died and I knew him pretty well. I also was a very good friend of the Referee, Paul Cavaliere, as I was over his house many times and when he passed away, I gave the Eulogy.

Robinson fought another 10 bouts before getting a shot at the Middleweight Title, of which he won them all. On February 4, 1951, Robinson stopped Jake LaMotta to win the Middleweight Title. On July 10, 1951, he lost to Randy Turpin, BUT stopped Randy in a return bout on September 12, 1951.

He then beat Bobo Olson and Rocky Graziano before losing to Joey Maxim. Most people say it was because of the heat, BUT Joey also fought in the heat. Robinson was a head on all 3 score cards, 10-3, 9-3-1, and 7-3-3.

Robinson then retired BUT came back after two and a half years. He lost to Ralph Tiger Jones, Gene Fullmer and Carmen Basilio, and beat both Fullmer and Basilio in return goes. Then he lost twice to Paul Pender, then fought a draw with Fullmer and then lost to Fullmer.

At that point in Robinson's career he was 143-9-3, so he was 34-8-1 after the Fusari bout and if you take off the 10 bouts between Fusari and LaMotta, he had a record of 24-8-1.

When he was way passed his prime, Robinson went 30-10-3 (1 NC) in his last 44 bouts.

He finished with an overall record of:

won 173 (KO 108) + lost 19 (KO 1) + drawn 6 = 200

With that said, Robinson was like Willie Mays or Hank Aaron, he was a 5 tool boxer, meaning that he really had no weakness and could do everything well.
Yes, but that does not mean he was the greatest middleweight of all time. For their records at middleweight, that distinction goes to either Hagler or Monzon, I also rank Hopkins and Greb above SRR as middleweights.

My list:
#1-Marvin Hagler
#2-Carlos Monzon
#3-Bernard Hopkins
#4-Harry Greb
#5-Sugar Ray Robinson
 

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Yes, but that does not mean he was the greatest middleweight of all time. For their records at middleweight, that distinction goes to either Hagler or Monzon, I also rank Hopkins and Greb above SRR as middleweights.

My list:
#1-Marvin Hagler
#2-Carlos Monzon
#3-Bernard Hopkins
#4-Harry Greb
#5-Sugar Ray Robinson

That's what I stated. When Robinson fought as a Middleweight, he wasn't as good as he was as a Welterweight, so I don't rate him the best at the weight.

As far as who was the best at Middleweight, you have listed the top ones, I might include Stanley Ketchel. You can list them in any order, and you won't be wrong.

By the way, I knew a boxer by the name of Joe Borrell, who won a Newspaper Decision over Harry Greb back in 1914. We put up a Monument of him in Cliffside Park, New Jersey in 2004.

North Texas e-News
 

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hhascup, who is rated #1 by most historians?
I never took a poll but here's some of the top Boxing Historian Ratings:


IBRO Updated June 2005
1. Harry Greb
2. Sugar Ray Robinson
3. Stanley Ketchel
4. Mickey Walker
5. Carlos Monzon
6. Marvin Hagler
7. Marcel Cerdan
8. Bob Fitzsimmons
9. Jake LaMotta
10. Charley Burley
11. Tony Zale
12. Tiger Flowers
13. Bernard Hopkins
14. Tommy Ryan
15. Roy Jones Jr.
16. **** Tiger
17. Mike Gibbons
18. Freddie Steele
19. Kid McCoy
20. Gene Fullmer
They rated Robinson #1 as a Welterweight.
Just missing the cut: Sugar Ray Leonard, Les Darcy, Sam Langford, Holman Williams, Billy Papke, Emile Griffith, Frank Klaus, Joey Giardello, Nonpareil Jack Dempsey and Ezzard Charles.

Nat Fleischer (1958)
1. Stanley Ketchel
2. Tommy Ryan
3. Harry Greb
4. Mickey Waker
5. Ray Robinson
6. Frank Klaus
7. Billy Papke
8. Les Darcy
9. Mike Gibbons
10. Jeff Smith


Charlie Rose (1968)
1. Stanley Ketchel
2. Harry Greb
3. Mickey Walker
4. Mike Gibbons
5. Tiger Flowers
6. Eddie McGoorty
7. Jeff Smith
8. **** Tiger
9. Frank Klaus
10. Billy Papke
He rated Robinson 2nd as a Welterweight, behind Joe Walcott


Herb Goldman (1987)
1. Harry Greb
2. Carlos Monzon
3. Marvin Hagler
4. Mickey Walker
5. Marcel Cerdan
6. Charley Burley
7. Jake LaMotta
8. Stanley Ketchel
9. **** Tiger
10. Tony Zale
He rated Robinson #1 as a Welterweight


Middleweights Ratings:
By: Monte D. Cox
1. Harry Greb
2. Bob Fitzsimmons
3. Carlos Monzon
4. Marvin Hagler
5. Stanley Ketchel
6. Bernard Hopkins
7. Charley Burley
8. Marcel Cerdan
9. **** Tiger
10. Jake Lamotta


Welterweight Ratings:
By: Monte D. Cox
1. Ray Robinson
2. Ray Leonard
3. Mickey Walker
4. Thomas Hearns
5. Joe Walcott
6. Jose Napoles
7. Kid Gavilan
8. Emile Griffith
9. Ted “Kid” Lewis
10. Luis Rodriguez
Note: Floyd Mayweather’s career does not give him a top 10 spot. Rodriguez, for example, had a better career than Floyd beating Emile Griffith, Benny Paret, Hurricane Carter, Curtis Cokes, Georgie Benton and Bennie Briscoe. I cannot in all honesty put Mayweather in the top 10 welterweights based on a career of hand picked opponents and having never unified a major title. I am not convinced that Floyd would beat any of the top all time 10 welterweights.


By Jose Corpas of Fightnews
Middleweight
1. Bernard Hopkins
2. Marvin Hagler
3. Harry Greb
4. Ray Robinson
5. Carlos Monzon
6. Tommy Ryan
7. Tony Zale
8. Joey Giardello
9. Gene Fullmer
10. Jake LaMotta


By Jose Corpas of Fightnews
Welterweight
1. Ray Robinson
2. Jose Napoles
3. Jack Britton
4. Kid Gavilan
5. Luis Rodriguez
6. Tommy Ryan
7. Jimmy McLarnin
8. Marlon Starling
9. Felix Trinidad
10. Joe Walcott


All Time Pound 4 Pound
By: Monte D. Cox
1. Ray Robinson
2. Joe Gans
3. Harry Greb
4. Henry Armstrong
5. Joe Louis
6. Muhammad Ali
7. Sam Langford
8. Benny Leonard
9. Roberto Duran
10. Ray Leonard


Max Kellerman: All-Time
1. Sugar Ray Robinson
2. Henry Armstrong
3. Muhammad Ali
4. Harry Greb
5. Sam Langford
6. Pernell Whitaker
7. Roberto Duran
8. Willie Pep
9. Benny Leonard
10. Ezzard Charles
10a. Jimmy Wilde


Tony Atlas: All-Time
1. Sugar Ray Robinson
2. Henry Armstrong
3. Muhammad Ali
4. Benny Leonard
5. Sam Langford
6. Harry Greb
7. Mickey Walker
8. Roberto Duran
9. Gene Tunney
10. Carlos Monzon
10a. Joe Louis


ESPN.com: All-Time
1. Muhammad Ali
2. Alexis Arguello
3. Henry Armstrong
4. Sugar Ray Robinson
5. Joe Louis
6. Roy Jones Jr.
7. Julio Cesar Chavez
8. Abe Attel
9. Ray Leonard
10. Rocky Marciano
10a. Wilfred Benitez
 

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Here's some more rating from Top Boxing Historians:

Middleweights: By: Tracy G. Callis
1. Bob Fitzsimmons
2. Stanley Ketchel
3. Philadelphia Jack O’Brien
4. Harry Greb
5. Sugar Ray Robinson
6. Nonpareil Jack Dempsey
7. Kid McCoy
8. Tommy Ryan
9. Roy Jones Jr.
10. Mickey Walker

MIKE CASEY'S ALL-TIME TOP 20
01. Bob Fitzsimmons (England)
02. Stanley Ketchel (USA)
03. Harry Greb (USA)
04. Carlos Monzon (Argentina)
05. Mickey Walker (USA)
06. Sugar Ray Robinson (USA)
07. Tommy Ryan USA)
08. Marcel Cerdan (France)
09. Mike Gibbons (USA)
10. Marvin Hagler (USA)
11. Charley Burley (USA)
12. Les Darcy (Australia)
13. Kid McCoy (USA)
14. Mike O'Dowd (USA)
15. Tony Zale (USA)
16. **** Tiger (Nigeria)
17. Tiger Flowers (USA)
18. Freddie Steele (USA)
19. Jake LaMotta (USA)
20. Joey Giardello (USA)

Kurt Noltimier Ringwise Management Inc.
Middleweights
1. Harry Greb
2. Mickey Walker
3. Carlos Monzon
4. Ray Robinson
5. Tony Zale
6. Stanley Ketchel
7. Marvin Hagler
8. Bob Fitzsimmons
9. Mike Gibbons
10.Freddie Steele

OTHER OPINIONS ON GREATEST MIDDLEWEIGHT:
INTERNATIONAL BOXING RESEARCH ORGANIZATION: Harry Greb (USA)
JIM AMATO: Sugar Ray Robinson (USA)
TRACY CALLIS: Bob Fitzsimmons (England)
DAN CUOCO: Harry Greb (USA)
BARRY DESKINS: Harry Greb (USA)
STEPHEN GORDON: Sugar Ray Robinson (USA)
MIKE HUNNICUT: Harry Greb (USA)
ERIC JORGENSEN: Harry Greb (USA)
RON LIPTON: Sugar Ray Robinson (USA)
CURTIS NARIMATSU: Bob Fitzsimmons (England)
 

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The Professor
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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Why Sugar Ray HAD to be the Greatest:

5 time World Middleweight Champion

Middleweight Career:

Notable Championship Wins:
Jake LaMotta (TKO 13)
Randy Turpin (TKO 10)
Rocky Graziano (KO 3)
Bobo Olson (UD 15) (KO 2) (KO 4)
Gene Fullmer (KO 5)
Carmen Basilio (SD 15)

Notable Losses during era as Champion/Former Champion:
Randy Turpin (PTS 15)
Joey Maxim (TKO 14)
Ralph Jones (UD 10)
Gene Fullmer (UD 15)
Carmen Basilio (SD 15)
Paul Pender (SD 15 )

In 29 fights, starting from when he won the Middleweight Championship the first time to losing it for the last time he had 23 wins and 6 losses, 1 in which he challenged for the Light Heavyweight title and was winning the fight on all cards decisively but was unable to make it off his stool going into the 14th round due to heat prostration from the 100+ degree weather. Of the remaining 5 losses, 2 were by split decision, and he was never knocked out. All of his losses in Middleweight title fights during this time he avenged except for the last against Paul Pender, who would later retire as Middleweight Champion. By the time he fought Pender, Robinson already had 20 years and 150 fights under his belt.

It's also important to note that Robinson as a Welterweight had beat Jake LaMotta 4 out of 5 times prior to their Middleweight Championship bout. During these times LaMotta was always considered a top contender, but due to Zale being drafted, then poor management and bad deelings with the mob, he simply could not get a title shot until 1949. From as early as 1942 (just two years into Robinson's career) he would fight Middleweights in between Welterweight fights starting with Jake LaMotta. 8 years would go by before Robinson's second loss to a Middleweight (Randy Turpin). When Turpin beat Robinson, Ray had already had 131 professional bouts.

Middleweights Robinson beat before becoming World Champion:

Jake LaMotta (x5)
Vic Dellicurti (x3)
Lou Woods
Jose Basora
Jimmy Mandell
Tony Riccio
Freddie Flores (x2)
Freddie Wilson (x2)
Vinnie Vines
Artie Levine
Georgie Abrams
Eddie Finazzo
Ossie Harris (x2)
Henry Brimm (x2)
Don Lee (x2)
Cecil Hudson (x2)
Steve Belloise
Charley Dodson
Aaron Wade
Cliff Beckett (x2)
Ray Barnes
Robert Villemain (x2)
Billy Brown
Joe Rindone
Bobo Olson
Jean Stock
Luc van Dam
Hans Stretz

That's 42 Middleweight wins with only 1 loss prior to winning the World Championship.

Notable Pre-Titleshot Wins:
Bobo Olson (KO 12) *Defended PA State Middleweight Title
Jose Basora (KO 1) *Defended PA State Middleweight Title
Robert Villemain (UD 15) (TKO 9) *Won Vacant PA Middleweight Title in first bout
Artie Levine (KO 10)
Steve Belloise (TKO 7)
Jake LaMotta (UD 10) (UD 10) (UD 10) (SD 12)

ONLY Pre-Titleshot Loss:
Jake LaMotta (UD 10)

So lets do some math here, 43 + 29 = 72. Robinson essentially had 72 Middleweight fights before you could officially mark him as washed up. Of those 72 fights, he won 65 and lost 7, with 6 of the losses coming past his prime, 1 of which came at the hand of the Light Heavyweight Champion he had beat, and 4 coming after he came out of retirement. The names on the resume speak for themselves, the man truly was the greatest.

And honestly, I can't see how it's disputable. Do people fault Robinson for Tony Zale being drafted and causing the Middleweight title to be hijacked for half of the 40s? When Tony finally came back, he had his little trilogy with Graziano, then immediately lost to Cerdan, who would lose to LaMotta in less than a year. While Cerdan was still prime (before his brief stint as World Champion) his handlers never made a fight with Robinson happen. So what could Robinson have done to prove he could have beat any Middleweight during most of the 40s other than what he already did? I mean, I guess during the early 40s one could claim he could have fought Holman Williams and the Cocoa Kid before they were washed up, and during any time in the 40s he could have fought Charley Burley. These guys really were the best there were, but since they were Black and their name wasn't Sugar, they were mainly ducked by marquee fighters. Considering they all held the Colored World Middleweight Championship, I don't think I need to substantiate that. Those fights would have pretty much been considered high risk with no reward for Robinson. Cerdan and LaMotta however would later fight Holman Williams. Problem was, the early 40s were long gone and Holman was already washed up. Anyhow, if not fighting 3 guys that no one else would during the 40s keeps Robinson out of contention as the greatest Middleweight ever, then perhaps Hagler's 2 losses and 1 draw with the Philadelphia boys (who come nowhere near the greatness of the 3 Colored Middleweight Champions I just mentioned) should be held against him too. Non-believers in Robinson either set some absurdly high standards, or simply don't know enough facts.
 

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I am not saying that Greb or any other Middleweight Champion was better then Robinson BUT here's a list of Opponents Harry Greb beat. As you can see,, he beat 10 different Hall of Famers and 11 or 12 World Champions. He beat 1 Heavyweight Champion, 6 Light Heavyweight Champions and 4 or 5 Middleweight Champions. If your comparing Opponents, I would have to say that Greb fought & beat the better of them.

Gene Tunney (1) – Hall of Famer – World Heavyweight Champion – Beat Dempsey twice, Greb was the only one to beat Tunney
Tommy Loughran (4) – Hall of Famer – World Light Heavyweight Champion
Jimmy Slattery (1) – Hall of Famer – World Light Heavyweight Champion
Maxie Rosenbloom (1) – Hall of Famer – World Light Heavyweight Champion
Jack Dillon (2) – Hall of Famer – World Light Heavyweight Champion
Battling Levinsky (6) – Hall of Famer – World Light Heavyweight Champion
Mike McTigue (2) – World Light Heavyweight Champion
Mickey Walker (1) – Hall of Famer – World Welterweight & Middleweight Champion
Al McCoy (2) – World Middleweight Champion
George Chip (2) – World Middleweight Champion
Johnny Wilson (3) – World Middleweight Champion

Eddie McGoorty (1) – Claimed World Middleweight Champion

Mike Gibbons (1) – Hall of Famer
Tommy Gibbons (2) – Hall of Famer – Went 15 rounds with Dempsey for Heavyweight Title
Kid Norfolk (1) – Hall of Famer
Willie Meehan (2) – Beat Dempsey twice
Gunboat Smith (2) – Top Heavyweight
Billy Miske (2) – Fought Dempsey for Heavyweight Title
Bill Brennan (4) – Fought Dempsey for Heavyweight Title
Augie Ratner - Defeated four world champions in his career

Here's some others that he beat:

Young Ahearn
Jeff Smith
Soldier Bartfield
Leo Houck
Tommy Robson
Bartley Madden
Tommy Robson
Joe Borrell
Bob Moha
Chuck Wiggins
Jack Renault
Charley Weinert
Billy Shade
Homer Smith
Lou Bogash
Bryan Downey
Jackie Clark
Jimmy Delaney
Jack Reddick
Roland Todd
Allentown Joe Gans
Jack Blackburn
 

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Robinson beat 10 Hall of Famers and 13 World Champions, 6 Middleweight Champions, 2 Light MIddleweight Champions, 4 Welterweight Champions and 1 Lightweight Champion.

Jake LaMotta (5) – Hall of Famer – Middleweight Champion
Bobo Olson (4) – Hall of Famer - Middleweight Champion
Randy Turpin – Hall of Famer - Middleweight Champion
Rocky Graziano – Hall of Famer - Middleweight Champion
Gene Fullmer – Hall of Famer - Middleweight Champion
Carmen Basilio – Hall of Famer - Middleweight Champion
Denny Moyer – Light Middleweight Champion
Ralph Dupas – Light Middleweight Champion
Henry Armstrong – Hall of Famer – Featherweight, Lightweight & Welterweight Champion
Kid Gavilan (2) – Hall of Famer – Welterweight Champion
Marty Servo (2) – Welterweight Champion
Fritzie Zivic (2) – Hall of Famer – Welterweight Champion
Sammy Angott (3) – Hall of Famer – Lightweight Champion
 

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The Professor
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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
A case can be made that Greb was the best. Good stuff hhascup. I just haven't really got around to looking into Greb yet, he fought so long ago and I'd be hard pressed to see any of his fights. He's definitely on my things to do list tho. No doubt in my mind really that from Robinson's time on there hasn't emerged a better overall Middleweight.
 

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In 29 fights, starting from when he won the Middleweight Championship the first time to losing it for the last time he had 23 wins and 6 losses, 1 in which he challenged for the Light Heavyweight title and was winning the fight on all cards decisively but was unable to make it off his stool going into the 14th round due to heat prostration from the 100+ degree weather. Of the remaining 5 losses, 2 were by split decision, and he was never knocked out. All of his losses in Middleweight title fights during this time he avenged except for the last against Paul Pender, who would later retire as Middleweight Champion. By the time he fought Pender, Robinson already had 20 years and 150 fights under his belt.

It's also important to note that Robinson as a Welterweight had beat Jake LaMotta 4 out of 5 times prior to their Middleweight Championship bout. During these times LaMotta was always considered a top contender, but due to Zale being drafted, then poor management and bad deelings with the mob, he simply could not get a title shot until 1949. From as early as 1942 (just two years into Robinson's career) he would fight Middleweights in between Welterweight fights starting with Jake LaMotta. 8 years would go by before Robinson's second loss to a Middleweight (Randy Turpin). When Turpin beat Robinson, Ray had already had 131 professional bouts.

Middleweights Robinson beat before becoming World Champion:

So lets do some math here, 43 + 29 = 72. Robinson essentially had 72 Middleweight fights before you could officially mark him as washed up. Of those 72 fights, he won 65 and lost 7, with 6 of the losses coming past his prime, 1 of which came at the hand of the Light Heavyweight Champion he had beat, and 4 coming after he came out of retirement. The names on the resume speak for themselves, the man truly was the greatest.

And honestly, I can't see how it's disputable. Do people fault Robinson for Tony Zale being drafted and causing the Middleweight title to be hijacked for half of the 40s? When Tony finally came back, he had his little trilogy with Graziano, then immediately lost to Cerdan, who would lose to LaMotta in less than a year. While Cerdan was still prime (before his brief stint as World Champion) his handlers never made a fight with Robinson happen. So what could Robinson have done to prove he could have beat any Middleweight during most of the 40s other than what he already did? I mean, I guess during the early 40s one could claim he could have fought Holman Williams and the Cocoa Kid before they were washed up, and during any time in the 40s he could have fought Charley Burley. These guys really were the best there were, but since they were Black and their name wasn't Sugar, they were mainly ducked by marquee fighters. Considering they all held the Colored World Middleweight Championship, I don't think I need to substantiate that. Those fights would have pretty much been considered high risk with no reward for Robinson. Cerdan and LaMotta however would later fight Holman Williams. Problem was, the early 40s were long gone and Holman was already washed up. Anyhow, if not fighting 3 guys that no one else would during the 40s keeps Robinson out of contention as the greatest Middleweight ever, then perhaps Hagler's 2 losses and 1 draw with the Philadelphia boys (who come nowhere near the greatness of the 3 Colored Middleweight Champions I just mentioned) should be held against him too. Non-believers in Robinson either set some absurdly high standards, or simply don't know enough facts.



I agree with you BUT Robinson was still a Welterweight. The 1st time he weighed over 150 pounds in a bout was on September 18, 1945. He then weighed 150 pounds against LaMotta in the very next bout. On June 12, 1946, Robinson weighed in at his all-time highest, up until then, at 156½. After that bout he went back down to 147 just 13 days later. From 1947 to his last defense of his Welterweight Title in 1950, he did box a lot at Middleweight, weighing in at his highest weight of 157 BUT he also went down as low as 146-147 at times.

I also agree with you on the Maxim bout BUT Joey was also boxing that night, and the heat didn't effect him and way it did Sugar Ray. I think Ray would have won if it wasn't so hot, BUT Maxim had to box under the same conditions as well.
 

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A case can be made that Greb was the best. Good stuff hhascup. I just haven't really got around to looking into Greb yet, he fought so long ago and I'd be hard pressed to see any of his fights. He's definitely on my things to do list tho. No doubt in my mind really that from Robinson's time on there hasn't emerged a better overall Middleweight.

That is all I am trying to do, I give the facts and then you can make your own mind up.

Thanks, Henry
 
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