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Randy Turpin

Randy Turpin (1928-1966) was a boxer from England who was considered by many to be Europe's best Middleweight boxer of the 1940's and 1950's. Turpin was also deaf.

Turpin turned professional in London in 1946, a little after turning 18, and he knocked out Gordon Griffiths[?] in his first bout. He put together a string of 16 wins in a row until drawing in 6 rounds versus Mark Hart[?] in his last bout of 1947. He boxed all over England during that streak.

3 wins later, he found himself facing Albert Finch[?], who inflicted Turpin his first defeat, an 8 round decision loss. After one more win, he lost again, knocked out in 5 rounds by Jean Stock[?], also in London.

Turpin was determined not to lose again after the Stock defeat, and put together another string of wins, which reached 12 (including a 4 round disqualification win against William Poli[?]), and he was rematched with Finch, this time with the British Middleweight title on the line. Turpin avenged his first loss and won his first championship by knocking Finch out in 5 rounds.

3 more wins followed, including a disqualification win in 8 rounds against important challenger Tommy Yarosz[?], and then he met European Middleweight champion Luc Van Dam[?] in London, whom he knocked out in the first round to seize the European championship.

4 wins followed after that, including a rematch with Stock, against whom he avenged his second defeat, knocking him out in 5 rounds. Then, world Middleweight champion Sugar Ray Robinson travelled to London and on July 10, 1951 risked his title against Turpin, who won the world title by beating Robinson on a 15 round decision.

Turpin became an instant national hero. His win over Robinson gave him the type of celebrity were even many people who were not boxing fans knew who he was, and when he signed a rematch with Robinson and chose a castle in Wales to train for it, the castle was constantly hounded by tourists, curious and fans who came to get a glimpse of the world Middleweight champion.

His days as a world champion didn't last long, however, and when he made his first trip outside his homeland for a fight, he lost his crown to Robinson by a 15 round decision in New York.

This turned out to be the beginning of Turpin's problems, because he would begin to miss the sweet life that being a world boxing champion gave him.

He tried to regain his former status, and three fights later, beat Don Cockell[?] in 11 rounds by knockout to conquer the British Commonwealth Light Heavyweight title. Cockell later turned into a good Heavyweight who once challenged Rocky Marciano for the world Heavyweight title.

He went back down in weight, and beat Georges Angelo[?] to regain his British Middleweight title, and put on another string of wins, leading to his challenge of Carl Bobo Olson[?] for the World Middleweight title that Robinson had left vacant after retiring. His second trip to New York turned into another 15 round defeat, this time at the hands of Olson.

In 1954, he went to Rome where he lost his European Middleweight title by a knockout in the first round to Tiberio Mitri[?].

He kept trying mightily as he could to regain his former condition as a world champion and even retained his British Middleweight title a few times in his next ten fights, but he lost two of them to obscure opponents.

After that, he got another winning streak against other boxers of obscure quality, but by 1958 it looked as if his best days in boxing were far gone. He lost that year to Yolande Pompey[?], another future world title challenger, by a knockout in 2 rounds in Birmingham (England)[?], and was retired from 1959 to 1962.

That year, he began another comeback, but the comeback only lasted 2 fights, both of which he won, the last one being held in Malta, then still a possession of Italy.

He retired with a record of 66 wins, 8 losses and 1 draw. Of his 66 wins, 48 came by knockout.

According to articles, reports and a book about his life, Turpin couldn't deal with the fact that after losing his world title, perhaps he wasn't as asked for and talked about by his fans as when he was a world champion, and he committed suicide in 1966.

Turpin is now a member of the International Boxing Hall Of Fame in Canastota, New York.



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