When Sugar was being really sweet to a fan at Prestwick Airport
HE looks so gallant as he signs an autograph for this smartly-dressed woman at Prestwick Airport. “It’s not for me, it’s for my husband,” she probably told him.
Curiously, after studying the photograph after enlarging it, I see that it is a Bible he is carrying and leaning on to sign.
The man should be known to boxing fans. He is American Sugar Ray Robinson, said by some to be the best boxer ever – better even than Ali.
This, though, was taken in August 1964, when he was then 42, well past his prime, and touring Europe to pick up some purses to help with his coming retirement.
Promoter Peter Keenan took him to Paisley Ice Rink, where he suffered a rare defeat to Irish boxer Mick Leahy. Sugar Ray put Mick on the canvas in the second round, but he was unable to sustain his attacks, and the fight went the full 10 rounds, with Leahy given the fight on points. Scots boxer Walter McGowan was also on the card.
It seems very old-fashioned now, but the top tickets for the fight were eight guineas, going all the way down to two guineas for seats at the back. The boxer did guest appearances at Ibrox and Parkhead football grounds before matches to drum up interest in the non-title fight.
Sugar Ray Robinson won numerous world titles, and from 1943 to 1951 went on a 91-fight unbeaten streak.
He is giving this woman all his attention, unaware of the eager boxing fan behind him desperate to get his own autograph.
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