JOEY ARCHER, shooting deadly lefts with following right crosses, won a rousing and unanimous 10-round decision over former world champion Sugar Ray Robinson at the Civic Arena, Pittsburgh. Robinson afterwards intimated that he would now be retiring permanently.

It was the 48th victory in 49 fights for the 27-year-old Archer and bolstered his bid for a shot at Dick Tiger’s middleweight title.

But the valiant Robinson, fighting a fellow New Yorker 18 years his junior, occasionally flashed the form which brought him the middleweight crown five times and in a career that spans a quarter of a century.

Robinson was floored in the fourth round and took a count of ‘nine’.

Sugar Ray, weighing 160, threw a hard right to Archer’s head in the sixth round and followed up the advantage with with flurries of lefts and rights. Robinson was at his strongest in this round.

There was scarcely a dull moment in the battle which had 9,023 fans on the edge of their seats applauding both battlers.

This defeat marked a detour in Robinson’s comeback trail which he hoped would lead to a sixth middleweight title. Fighting his 200th professional bout, Robinson experienced his 18th defeat. He has won 175 fights, and was involved in six draws and in a single no-decision.

Archer, at 159, usually stalked his opponent, forcing him into an open fight, but the cagey Robinson eluded this technique and the battlers went into torrid infighting.

Judge Ernie Sesto awarded 49 points to Archer and 40 to Robinson, while judge George Lupinacci scored 50 to the winner and 39 for the loser. Referee Buck McTiernan scored 48 for Archer and 41 for Robinson.

Robinson indicated through his manager that he’s decided to hang up the gloves for good.

“It looks like he’s just decided to quit,” said George Gainford, Robinson’s long-time manager. “He isn’t under contract for any further fights, and I think he is going into the construction business.”

He said Robinson plans to make two movies in the near future.

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