Carmen Basilio Overcomes Sugar Ray Robinson With Split Decision For Middleweight Title – September 23, 1957 (This Day In Boxing History)
Sixty-four years ago, Carmen Basilio became one of the few boxers to ever defeat legendary “Sugar” Ray Robinson.
Basilio (56-16-7, 27 KOs) stole the middleweight crown from Robinson (174-19-6, 109 KOs) via split decision at Yankee Stadium.
Robinson was working his jabs, but Basilio kept bobbing and weaving. They were both exhausted towards the end, but they kept on going – all 15 rounds – neither of them going down.
“Well, we were in a position where he was looking for an opponent and I was looking for an opponent so we thought a Robinson vs Basilio fight would be a good thing for the people,” Basilio said. “… One of my great thrills was that I fought him in Yankee Stadium.”
They later had a rematch in Chicago and Robinson got his revenge with a split decision.
Basilio staged his success in front of a crowd of 38,072. This was one of his best victories, and was named The Ring’s Fight of the Year for 1957.
Basilio was also a world champion in the welterweight division. Robinson is still often regarded as one of the greatest boxers of all time.