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Scariest incident in boxing: The death of Jimmy Doyle



Sugar Ray Robinson Jimmy Doyle boxing 1

Boxing genius Sugar Ray Robinson’s deadly encounter with Jimmy Doyle is one of the absolute saddest moments in boxing history.

It’s also one of the creepiest things that has ever happened in sports.

In June 1947, Robinson was scheduled to defend his title against challenger Jimmy Doyle. However, the day of the fight the champion backed out because of a strange dream.

“I had just gone to sleep and woke up in a cold sweat. In my dreams I knocked out Doyle and I saw him dying. I was terrified,” Robinson said.

“The next morning I told everyone I had a premonition something terrible was going to happen. I told the press, the public and the boxing officials.”

A priest and a minister tried to convince the badly shaken champion that it was nothing but a bad nightmare, and eventually he was persuaded to fulfill his commitment and fight Doyle.

But Robinson’s dream ended up becoming a reality.

Jimmy Doyle boxing 1

Sugar Ray Robinson blamed himself

The bout took place as planned on June 24, and the slick and superior Sugar Ray Robinson dominated the fight from start. In the eighth round he finally scored the decisive knockout punch, a knockout that his 22-year-old opponent never recovered from.

An unconscious Doyle was taken to a hospital but his life couldn’t be saved, and he was pronounced dead the following afternoon.

For the rest of his life, Sugar Ray was haunted by that eighth round and the reality of his dream.

After hearing that Doyle’s intended to buy his mother a house from the prize money, the champion gave her the money from his next couple of fights so she could buy herself a new home.

And while Robinson would blame himself for the years to come, it was later revealed that Doyle had taken so much damage in his prior fights that his native California Commission refused to sanction his bouts anymore.

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