Boxing Simulation All-Time Middleweight Champion Part 4 Dempsey v. Robinson & Fitzsimmons v. LaMotta

About a computer simulation ran to determine the all-time middleweight championship boxer of the world, the preliminary round featuring Dempsey v. Robinson and Fitzsimmons v. LaMotta.

The All-Time Middleweight Championship of the World

The Preliminaries


Background: The Nonpareil (not related to heavyweight champ Jack Dempsey) won the middleweight title in 1884 and lost it 7 years later to Ruby Bob Fitzsimmons, suffering 13 knockdowns in the fight. The Nonpareil was fast and durable but no match for Fitzsimmons, who later won the heavyweight crown.

Sugar Ray Robinson has been called "pound for pound the greatest fighter of his era." He held the middleweight title 5 different times and the welterweight title once. At one point in 1951, the brilliant boxing-ring general had won 93 bouts in a row. Out of 202 fights, he won 175 and failed to finish only once. That occured on a sultry night in New York when Ray had challenged light-heavyweight champion Joey Maxim for his title. The heat at Yankee Stadium was so intense that Ray could not answer the bell for the 14th round and the fight went to Maxim on a technical KO, the only KO to mar the Sugarman's record.

The fight: Dempsey began the bout confidently, in his standup style, counteracting Robinson's flicking lefts and strong right crosses. But Ray took control in the 4th and dominated the rest of the fight. In the 7th he had the Nonpareil hanging on after a rocking right and in the 11th, following hard body shots, Robinson brought Dempsey's hands down with a blast to the midsection, then followed with a whiplash right to the head. Dempsey was virtually out on his feet when the referee stopped the bout.

Winner: Robinson, TKO 11.


Background: Described by one opponent as a "bald kangaroo," Ruby Robert Fitzsimmons was a curious-looking fellow. He carried the chest and shoulders of a heavyweight on the spindly legs of a lightweight. This gave him the unusual combination of fast footwork and a hard punch and helped him win world championships in the middleweight, light heavy-weight and heavyweight divisions. Born in England, raised in New Zealand, Ruby Bob began his fistic rise in the U.S. One of his most famous bouts was staged in the Wild West when he beat Irishman Pete Maher--with some help from Judge Roy Bean, who convinced a party of Texas Rangers not to stop the bout, and Bat Masterson, who guarded the entrance. Fitzsimmons's famous "solar plexus" punch helped him take the heavyweight crown from Gentleman Jim Corbett in 1897.

Jake LaMotta, fighter and comedian, was the 1st man ever to defeat Sugar Ray Robinson professionally. He won a decision in 1943. Jake stopped Marcel Cerdan for the middleweight championship in 1949, then lost the title to Robinson in 1951. Later, LaMotta said that he had fought Sugar Ray so many times that he had begun to fear diabetes. A back-alley brawler who dragged himself up from the New York slums, LaMotta was renowned for staying on his feet no matter what hit him.

The fight: It took 14 rounds of blacksmith blows from Fitzsimmons to knock the "immovable object" down in this bout, one of the wildest in the tournament. Both fighters landed steadily, Ruby Bob with long, looping bombs and LaMotta with short triphammers from a crouch. LaMotta refused to clinch, pushed Fitz around the ring and cut his eye in the 9th. But Bob took over by the 14th and had Jake down twice for counts of 9. Needing a KO to win, LaMotta roared back in the 15th but Fitz held on for the decision.

Winner: Fitzsimmons, D.

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