Lover of the Fancy

Early C20th American culture and dissent

Being Sugar Ray: Sugar Ray Robinson, America’s Greatest Boxer and First Celebrity Athlete
Kenneth Shropshire


Muhammad Ali memorably referred to Sugar Ray Robinson as the king, the master, my idol,” and rarely a fight fan has chosen to argue too much with those words. With a career spanning three decades, multiple championships, over two hundred fights (without once taking a 10-count), and more victories than Joe Louis and Ali combined it was no surprise when RING magazine named Robinson pound for pound, the best boxer of all time.” In Being Sugar Ray , acclaimed scholar Kenneth Shropshire contends that Sugar Ray Robinson’s influence extends far beyond the ring. It was Robinson who introduced America to the athlete as entrepreneur and celebrity.

From his business empire to his prized flamingo pink Cadillac, described as the Hope Diamond of Harlem, Sugar Ray was the trailblazer whom every athlete since has been trying, consciously or otherwise, to emulate.

Paperback, 272pp
Basic Books, 2008
ISBN 9780465078042