Saturday, March 24, 2001
Updated: March 19, 11:17 AM ET
Sugar Ray reclaims middleweight title
By Larry Schwartz
Special to ESPN.com
March 25, 1958
Six months after losing the middleweight title to Carmen Basilio, Sugar Ray Robinson regains the crown in Chicago. In their bloody rematch, Robinson, a 2-1 underdog, takes a split decision, though most observers don't believe the fight is that close.
By the sixth round, Basilio's left eye is swollen, and by the seventh, it's almost completely shut. When the fight's over, Basilio's eye is grotesque looking, swollen to the size of a discolored billiard ball. Basilio says he had trouble seeing out of it from the fourth round. "I couldn't get my distance right," he says.
Besides both judges voting for Robinson, 30 of 32 ringside reporters also see the fight that way. At 36, Sugar Ray wins the middleweight title for an unprecedented fifth time.