By Ken Hissner: It was August of 1943 when in this writer’s opinion, the two pound-for-pound greatest boxers fought one another at Madison Square Garden.
“Sugar” Ray Robinson, 44-1, defeated Armstrong 132-17-8 over 10 rounds.
Robinson was three years from winning the welterweight title. Armstrong had lost his welterweight title to Fritzie Zivic, 100-24-5, in October of 1940 at Madison Square Garden.
In August of 1939, he lost his Lightweight title to Lou Ambers, 84-6-7, at Yankee Stadium. In September of 1938, he vacated his Featherweight title. Armstrong was the only fighter in boxing’s history who held three world titles at the same time.
Armstrong won the world featherweight title in October of 1937, knocking out Petey Sarron, 107-22-13, in six rounds at Madison Square Garden. He gave up the NBA and New York versions shortly after winning the title to concentrate on Lightweight and welterweight titles.
In May of 1938, Armstrong won the welterweight title defeating Barney Ross, 74-3-3, at Madison Square Garden Bowl.
In August, Armstrong won the lightweight title, winning a split decision over Lou Ambers, 75-5-7, at Madison Square Garden.
Robinson won the NBA and NYSAC vacant welterweight titles in Madison Square Garden, defeating Tommy Bell, 39-10-3, improving his record to 74-1-1.
In July of 1949, Robinson, 95-1-2, defeated Kid Gavilan, 53-6-2. In August of 1950, he won the Pennsylvania Middleweight title knocking out Jose Basora, 77-14-6, in the first round whom he had a previous draw with. In February of 1951he defended the Pennsylvania middleweight title knocking out Bobo Olson, 41-3, in 12 rounds.
In July of 1951, he lost a decision to Randy Turpin, 40-2-1, in London. In September, he stropped Turpin in 10 rounds to regain the title.
In October of 1951, Rocky Marciano, 37-0, stopped former world champion Joe “The Brown Bomber” Louis, 66-2, in eight rounds at Madison Square Garden.
After seven rounds, it was in Marciano’s favor4-2, 5-2, and 4-3. It was said Marciano cried afterwards due to Louis being his hero. Louis retired after this fight.
In September, Louis lost his world title to Ezzard Charles, 66-5-1, by decision at Madison Square Garden.
In September of 1952, Marciano won the world title though being behind on the scorecards after 12 rounds by 7-4, 8-4, and 7-5. He knocked out champion “Jersey “Joe Walcott, 49-18-1, in 12 rounds improving his record to 43-0. He defended the title six times, ending with a 49-0 record with 43 stoppages.