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Tuesday, 10 July, 2001, 15:12 GMT 16:12 UK
Tribute to boxing's 'Leamington Licker'
Randolph Turpin and Sugar Ray Robinson's 1951 fight
Randolph Turpin fighting Robinson in 1951
Stars of the boxing ring past and present gathered in Warwick to commemorate British boxing legend Randolph Turpin.

Sir Henry Cooper unveiled a replica bronze statue of Turpin - nicknamed the "Leamington Licker" - exactly 50 years after his greatest win.

On 10 July 1951, the Leamington Spa-born fighter carried off the world middleweight title after beating America's Sugar Ray Robinson in front of 18,000 people at Earls Court in London.

He was one of the world's greatest middleweights, beating Sugar Ray Robinson pound for pound

Adrian Bush, Randolph Turpin Memorial Fund
The new statue, which commemorates Turpin's life and career, was sculpted by Stoke-on-Trent artist Carl Paine and cast at a foundry in Oswestry.

It has been erected in Warwick's Town Square.

Adrian Bush, chairman of the Randolph Turpin Memorial Fund, said it had taken five years to reach Tuesday's unveiling ceremony, which was a fitting memorial to the fighter.

"People always used to say, 'What have they got for Randolph?' and there wasn't anything.

Lonsdale belt

"Now there is something."

He added: "He was one of the world's greatest middleweights, beating Sugar Ray Robinson pound for pound.

"He was the biggest boxer of the day and undefeated in 131 bouts until he met Randolph.

The figure was cast in bronze
"Not only that, he was junior ABA and senior ABA champion as an amateur in the same year which hasn't been done since."

Last November, Turpin's hallmarked nine-carat gold Lonsdale belt was sold at auction for 23,000.

It was awarded by the British Boxing Board of Control after he won the national light-heavyweight title for the third time in 1956.

Turpin achieved world fame by defeating Sugar Ray Robinson in 1951 but 63 days later, the American won back the title in a controversial bout in New York's Madison Square Gardens.

Towns' squabble

Although born in Leamington, Turpin's family lived in neighbouring Warwick and both towns laid claim to him as their famous son.

He was the youngest of three boxing brothers and turned professional after a successful amateur career in the Navy.

Turpin retired in 1958 after 73 contests, 64 wins, one draw and eight losses.

He died in 1966 with increasing health and financial worries.

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