History | Mar 04 2017

On This Day: Gene Fullmer outworks Sugar Ray Robinson in their fourth meeting

Gene Fullmer made it 2-1-1 in his rivalry with Robinson, writes Sean Ellis
Sugar Ray Robinson
Sugar Ray Robinson

1. GENE Fullmer entered his fourth encounter with Sugar Ray Robinson in 1961 as an 8/5 favourite. Either man boasted a win over the other, with one draw between them. Their brawls had stretched from New York City on the East coast, through Chicago to California on the West coast, and would be concluded back in-land at the Convention Center in Las Vegas, in front of 7,400 people.

2. DETAILS surrounding the NBA title fight were met with bitter dispute from Sugar Ray, who demanded that the ring size be changed from sixteen foot to eighteen foot, and the gloves be reduced in size from eight ounces to six.

3. THE Harlem man also evoked the prerogative rights of a champion – of which he wasn’t qualified – to wear white shorts, and walk to the ring second. The requests were granted in a bid to assure the bout took place.