Randolph Turpin was a black British boxer in the 1940’s/50s.? He has been described as the most exciting personality to grace the British boxing scene in the 1940s and 50s. Randolph came from a fighting family.? His elder brother , Dick, was the first black boxer to fight for and win a Lonsdale belt, his other brother Jackie Turpin was also a good featherweight.
Although Randolph was not the most scientific fighter of his time his skills and punching power enabled him to take the World Middleweight Crown from Sugar Ray Robinson.
Randolph was a cook in the Royal Navy and enjoyed a successful amateur career, during which he was A.B.A welterweight champion In 1945, Randolph was 17, the following year he was Middleweight Champion. He also won a number of service titles and gained fame helping Britain beat the United States in a match at Wembley by knocking out his opponent Harold Anspach.
Four months later Randolph turned proffesional. He was to go on to win the British, European, Commonwealth and World titles.
His Brother Dick became the British champion and then lost his crown to Albert Finch. Randolph then redeemed the family honor by beating Finch in 5 rounds in 1950.
He fought again, this time against the Dutchman Luc Van Dam of the Netherlands. Turpin took just 48 seconds to dispatch him. His next fight was to see him stagger the boxing fraternity by outpointing Sugar Ray Robinson. He achieved all this in the space of just nine months.
His victory was short lived though and Robinson beat him in the rematch. The money Turpin earned from the fight and the rights to the film and TV rights came to $2207,000 Dollars, he was just 23 years old.
Click here to see an Italian Poster of the fight.
After that he returned to his winning ways. He took the British and Commonwealth light heavy titles, defended his European Middleweight title and once again became leading contender for the Vacant World crown.
Turpin was to fight a Hawaiian, Carl Bobo Olsen. This was a fight that Turpin should have easily won but due to personal reasons Turpin lost the fight on points. Then he lost again in Rome to Tiberio Mitri. It seemed to be the end of the road. Randolph Stayed out of the ring for a whole year before making a comeback.
Once again he regained the British and Commonwealth light heavyweight titles which he had been forced to relinquish in order to challenge for the middleweight crown. Yet, he relinquished them again to fight for the Vacant British Middleweight crown on Nov. 26 1956. He fought and beat Alex Burton, he also successfully defended it against Arthur Howard in 1957. He retired as Champion in 1958.
He then faded from the public eye, trying his hand at various occupations including wrestling. Turpin had not handled his money well, and was hopelessly frustrated. He took his own life in in 1966 a month before his 38th birthday