R.I.P. Bert Sugar

Boxing historian loses battle with lung cancer


Photo by David Handschuh

By David Martinez / Boxing Historian

The boxing world lost a legendary historian and writer this past Sunday. Bert Randolph Sugar passed away in Chappaqua, New York from cardiac arrest, after a long battle with lung cancer. He was 74 years old.

My conversations with Bert started many years ago as we both knew another boxing historian, the late Al Nelson. Bert was an expert in boxing and his favorite topic was the golden age of the sport. His top fighters of all time (in order) were Sugar Ray Robinson,


Bert Sugar and David Martinez

Henry Armstrong, Harry Greb, Jack Dempsey, Benny Leonard and Joe Louis.

Bert was best known for being editor and publisher of Boxing Illustrated (1969-1973, 1988) and Ring magazine (1979-1983). He wrote more than eighty books and saw every major fight in the past 65 years. He was a colorful man and was ever present with his fedora and cigar.

Bert was inducted into the World Boxing hall of Fame in 1989 and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2005.

He will be missed. May his soul rest in peace with the Lord.

You can visit David’s website at

ESPN Pays Tribute to Bert Sugar

ESPN will pay special tribute to iconic boxing writer and sports historian Bert Sugar Today, March 26, on ESPN Classic with fifteen hours of programming beginning at 3 p.m.

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  1. Kerry Stanovsky

    Seems like Bert Sugar has always been around. I’ve been a fan for 35 years and I always enjoyed his spin on what was going on in boxing. You will be missed Bert.