This Day in Boxing

Sugar Ray Robinson KOs Gene Fullmer This Day May 1, 1957


Sugar Ray Robinson KOs Gene Fullmer This Day May 1, 1957



  • Gene Fullmer 159¼ lbs
  • Sugar Ray Robinson 159½ lbs
  • KO at 1:27 in round 5 of 15
  • Location: Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois, USA
  • Referee: Frank Sikora
  • Judge: Frank Clark
  • Judge: Jim McManus
  • World Middleweight Championship (1st defense by Fullmer)




Fullmer was a 3½-1 favorite.

The Associated Press reported: “Alert to charges that Fullmer was guilty of rabbit punching and Robinson of continuous holding in their first bout, the Illinois Athletic Commission advised it’s referees to penalize the fighters for any violations.”

There was a crowd of 14,757, which produced a gross gate of $158,643 and a net gate of $124,647.

ABC (American Broadcasting Company) aired the fight live on television and radio. Radio-television receipts were $100,000.

Each fighter received 30% of the revenue, which totaled $67,394 apiece.

Introduced in the ring prior to the bout were Carmen Basilio, Kid Gavilan, Joe Louis and Barney Ross.

Robinson knocked out Fullmer with a left hook to the chin. Robinson later called the blow “the most perfect punch of my career.”

Fullmer later recalled: “I didn’t know anything about being hit. I didn’t know anything about being down. The first thing I knew, I was standing up. Robinson was in the other corner. I thought he was in great condition, doing exercises between rounds. My manager crawled into the ring. I said, ‘What happened?’ He said, ‘They counted to ten.’ Up to then, I didn’t know.”

Fullmer was ahead 19-18 on all three official scorecards. The fight was scored on the five-point must system.

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