‘Sugar’ Ray Robinson restored order in the boxing world.
Considered by many as the greatest boxer in history, Robinson justified that claim in snatching top honors in the eWBSS (World Boxing Super Series) Middleweight Legends Tournament. Three straight knockouts netted him the crown, the latest coming in his slaying Ronald ‘Winky’ Wright in six rounds Sunday afternoon at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Robinson scored two knockdowns, the latter putting Wright down for the count midway through round six.
The fact that Wright made it to the finale given his far more difficult path was the story of the simulated tournament. The St. Petersburg, Florida-based southpaw took out ‘Sugar’ Ray Leonard and Carlos Monzon to reach this point, a far more grueling schedule than Robinson tearing through Fernando Vargas a late-replacement version of Jake LaMotta in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds, respectively.
Once the bell rang, none of that mattered, as Wright landed in a fight which finally played out to the scouting report for the first time in the tournament.
Robinson’s blazing hand speed was a difference maker right from the opening bell. The Hall of Fame former two-division champ—based out of Harlem—consistently drilled Wright with left hands upstairs, often splitting the southpaw’s peek-a-boo defense. A mid-round adjustment by Wright merely left him vulnerable for a body shot which briefly shook hum but to which he remained on his feet.
Wright tried to change his luck in round two, but even in coming forward still remained at least a step behind. Robinson scored with a head-snapping right uppercut, followed up by straight right hands which consistently found its target. The former World junior middleweight king enjoyed a power surge late in the frame, landing with a right hook to cap an effective three-punch combination.
Realizing he wasn’t going to beat his foe to the punch, Wright depended on his granite chin to get him through the day. The take-one-to-give-one approach resulted in some of his most significant blows landed to that point, including a right hook and an uppercut midway through the frame. Robinson continued to land in combination, landing overhand rights behind Wright’s earmuff guard and connecting with left hooks downstairs.
The disparity in hand speed continued to serve as a detriment to Wright in round four. Efforts by the southpaw to load up on left hands resulted in his getting picked apart on the inside. The damage was apparent, with a cut opening under his right eye.
To his credit, Wright never relented—and for good reason. Upset wins over two Hall of Fame legends propelled him into the tournament championship and he remained brimming with confidence even up against the best to ever do it. Wright peppered Robinson with left hands, mixed in with a steady stream of jabs. Robinson was able to get through with enough right hands, though, to give Wright a cut under his left eye.
Robinson finally found the shot to slow down Wright in round six. A crushing left hook sent the Hall of Famer to the canvas early in round six. Wright somehow made it to his feet, but was near defenseless for the eventual finishing sequence. Robinson closed the show like the champion that he is, slamming home a right hand to put Wright down and out for the night.
All three judges were unison, as Robinson was ahead 49-46 across the board at the time of the stoppage.
With the win, Robinson claims the eWBSS middleweight crown, one week after Mike Tyson ran the tables in the heavyweight bracket.
As has been the case throughout both the heavyweight and middleweight tournaments, Sunday’s finale streamed live on WBSS’ social media channel.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox
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