Bert Randolph Sugar, boxing journalist and historian, passed away Sunday from cardiac arrest at the age of 75.
Sporting his trademark fedora and usually chomping on a cigar, Bert Sugar came to represent the colorful, aged voice of common sense in the topsy turvy world of professional boxing, but spent much of his 40+ years in the sport as a hard-hitting journalist and historian.
In 1969, Sugar, who was a non-practicing lawyer, purchased Boxing Illustrated and ran the magazine until 1973. In 1979, he became editor and publisher of Ring Magazine, two years after the magazine’s pay-for-play rankings scandal in 1976, and helped rebuild the magazine’s standing in the industry.
Sugar would leave Ring Magazine in 1983 and, five years later, once again become editor at Boxing Illustrated.
From there, Sugar would become a free agent of sorts, publishing over 80 boxing-related books and making appearances on a variety of boxing TV, radio, and internet shows. He also appeared in several boxing-related movies, playing himself, such as Night and the City, The Great White Hype and Rocky Balboa.
The affable expert was a popular figure at ringside for many of the sport’s biggest bouts and was known by fans and fellow journalists as an extremely outgoing, colorful, and kind character.
Sugar, who had not slowed down a bit in his last years, had also been battling lung cancer.
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