Sugar Ray Robinson Loses to Joey Maxim This Day June 25, 1952
Ray Robinson succumbs to heat and fails in attempt to become light heavyweight champion
Sugar Ray Robinson 157½ lbs
Joey Maxim 173 lbs
RTD in round 13 of 15
Location: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York, USA
Referee: Ruby Goldstein
World Light Heavyweight Title (2nd defense by Maxim)
The fight was originally scheduled for June 23 but was postponed because of rain.
Robinson was a slight betting favorite.
Maxim had a two-inch height advantage, but Robinson had a one-inch reach advantage.
There was no home TV or radio for the fight. 39 theaters in 25 cities carried the bout on closed circuit television.
Maxim and Robinson each received 30% of the net gate.
There was a crowd of 47,968.
The gross gate was $421,696.
Maxim was warned for elbowing, and Robinson was admonished for holding.
The temperature on the night of the fight was 103 degrees. Referee Ruby Goldstein, overcome by the heat, was replaced by Ray Miller after the tenth round.
Robinson, suffering from heat exhaustion, was unable to come out for the 14th round. It was the only time Robinson was stopped in 200 professional fights.
At the time of the stoppage, Robinson led by scores of 10-3, 9-3-1 and 7-3-3. The Associated Press had Robinson ahead 9-3-1, and the United Press had him in front 10-2-1.
Robinson retired after this fight, but he returned to the ring in 1955.
Joey Maxim: “I was way behind, and I knew it. But I also knew I had him if I didn’t run out of rounds.”
Jack Kearns (Maxim’s manager): “The heat talk is an alibi and excuse. Robinson was nailed good in the belly in the tenth round and again in the twelfth and he got a left hook and a right to the head at the end of the thirteenth, when he was on the ropes. If the bell hadn’t rang he’d be dead. It was the way we planned it. We had Joey lay back and let Robinson punch himself out.”