World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Randolph Turpin

Article Id: WHEBN0000140608
Reproduction Date:

Title: Randolph Turpin  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: ABA Championships, Albert Finch, Gwrych Castle, Market Square, Warwick, Lonsdale Belt
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Randolph Turpin

Randolph Turpin
Real name Randolph Adolphus Turpin
Nickname(s) The Leamington Licker
Rated at Middleweight
Light heavyweight
Height 5 ft 9 12 in (1.77 m)
Reach 74 12 in (189 cm)
Nationality English
Born (1928-06-07)7 June 1928
Leamington, Warwickshire, England, United Kingdom
Died 17 May 1966(1966-05-17) (aged 37)
Leamington, Warwickshire, England, United Kingdom
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 75
Wins 66
Wins by KO 45
Losses 8
Draws 1
No contests 0

Randolph Adolphus Turpin (7 June 1928 – 17 May 1966), better known as Randolph Turpin, and in the United States also as Randy Turpin, was an English boxer who was considered by some to be Europe's best middleweight boxer of the 1940s and 1950s. In 1951 he became world middleweight champion when he defeated Sugar Ray Robinson. Turpin was inducted into the International Boxing Hall Of Fame in 2001.

Statue of Randolph Turpin in Market Square, Warwick, Warwickshire, England


  • Biography 1
    • Decline 1.1
    • Retirement and suicide 1.2
  • Memorial 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • Further reading 5
  • External links 6


Born in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, to a black father Lionel who was born in British Guyana in 1886, and died within a year of Randolph's birth, having never recovered from injuries suffered in a gas attack during the battle of the Somme, leaving his mother Beatrice (née Whitehouse, 1904–1974), to raise four children. He started, like his brother Dick, to be trained in the art of boxing at Leamington Boys' Club.[1]

Turpin turned professional in London in 1946, soon after his 18th birthday. Trained by his elder brother Dick, who himself was a successful middleweight, Randolph knocked out Gordon Griffiths in his first bout. Turpin put together a string of 16 wins in a row, all over the United Kingdom, until drawing with Mark Hart over six rounds in his last bout of 1947.

Three wins later, he found himself facing Albert Finch who inflicted on Turpin his first defeat, an 8-round-decision loss. After one more win he lost again, knocked out in five rounds by Jean Stock 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 four-round disqualification win against William Poli). 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 out Finch in five rounds on 17 October 1950 at Harringay Arena.

Three more wins followed, including a disqualification win in eight rounds against important challenger Tommy Yarosz. He then met European middleweight champion Luc Van Dam in London, whom he knocked out in the first round to seize the European championship.

Four wins followed after that, including a rematch with Stock, against whom he avenged his second defeat, knocking him out in five rounds. Then world middleweight champion Sugar Ray Robinson travelled to London and, on 10 July 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.[2] His win over Robinson gave him such celebrity that even many people who were not boxing fans knew who he was. When he signed for a rematch with Robinson and chose Gwrych Castle near Abergele in North Wales to train, the castle was constantly hounded by fans and tourists.[1]


His days as a world champion did not last long, however, and when he made his first trip outside his homeland for a fight, he lost his crown to Robinson by a tenth-round TKO with eight seconds left in the round at the Polo Grounds in New York on 12 September 1951.

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 a knockout to win the British Commonwealth light-heavyweight title.

Turpin 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 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 managed another winning streak against some obscure boxers, but by 1958 it was clear his best days in boxing were long over. He lost that year to Yolande Pompey, another future world title challenger, by a second-round knockout in Birmingham, and retired in 1959.

In 1962, he began another comeback which lasted for only two fights, both of which he won, the last being held in Malta.

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

By now he was so short of money that he resorted to professional wrestling. His name meant that he drew moderate crowds for a short time, but in the end this venture was not a success because he was a fighter not a showman.

Retirement and suicide

According to articles, reports and a biography, Turpin couldn't deal with the obscurity resulting from the loss of his crown. In Llandudno in Wales, he bought a public house on the Great Orme, which today retains several genuine artefacts from his career. Between 1952 and 1961, he was the registered licensee.[3]

After being declared bankrupt, Turpin committed suicide by shooting himself in 1966. It is reported that, on the same day, he tried to kill his daughter.[4]

On 17 May 1966 he was found dead in his home Gwen's Transport Cafe in Leamington Spa, where he lived with his wife and four daughters, one of his daughters, Carmen aged four, was taken to hospital in Birmingham with two shot wounds.[5]


Turpin was inducted as a member of the International Boxing Hall Of Fame in Canastota, New York in 2001. There is a statue of him in Market Square, Warwick.

See also


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ Clayton Goodwin, "The Legend Of Sugar Ray Robinson", New African Magazine, 5 October 2011.
  3. ^ Welcome to Llandudno
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Randolph Turpin found dead" (News). The Times (London). Wednesday, 18 May 1966. (56634), col D, p. 1.

Further reading

  • James Morton Fighters: The Sad Lives and Deaths of Freddie Mills and Randolph Turpin, Time Warner Paperbacks, 2005. ISBN 0-7515-3321-1

External links

  • Professional boxing record for Randolph Turpin from BoxRec
  • Randolph Turpin's IMDB profile
  • Tribute Website
Sporting positions
Title last held by
Tiberio Mitri
EBU Middleweight Champion
27 February 1951 – 2 May 1954
Succeeded by
Tiberio Mitri
Preceded by
Sugar Ray Robinson
World Middleweight Champion
10 July 1951 – 12 September 1951
Succeeded by
Sugar Ray Robinson
Titles in pretence
Vacant World Middleweight Champion
BBBC recognition

9 June 1953 – 21 October 1953
Lost bid for undisputed title
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.