Randy TurpinRandy Turpin (1928-1966) was a boxer from Britain who was considered by many to be Europe's best Middleweight boxer of the 1940s and 1950s. Turpin was also deaf.
Turpin turned professional in London in 1946, a little after turning 18, and he knocked out Gordon Griffiths in his first bout. He put together a string of 16 wins in a row until drawing in 6 rounds versus Mark Hart in his last bout of 1947. He boxed all over Britain during that streak.
Three wins later, he found himself facing Albert Finch, who inflicted Turpin his first defeat, an 8 round decision loss. After one more win, he lost again, knocked out in 5 rounds by Jean Stock, also 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 4 round disqualification win against William Poli), and he was 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 Finch out in 5 rounds.
Three more wins followed, including a disqualification win in 8 rounds against important challenger Tommy Yarosz, and then he 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 5 rounds. Then, world Middleweight champion Sugar Ray Robinson travelled to London and on July 10, 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. His win over Robinson gave him the type of celebrity were even many people who were not boxing fans knew who he was, and when he signed a rematch with Robinson and chose Gwrych Castle near Abergele in North Wales to train for it, the castle was constantly hounded by tourists, curious and fans who came to get a glimpse of the World Middleweight champion.
His days as a world champion didn't last long, however, and when he made his first trip outside his homeland for a fight, he lost his crown to Robinson by a 15 round decision in New York.
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 conquer the British Commonwealth Light Heavyweight title. Cockell later turned into a good Heavyweight who once challenged Rocky Marciano for the World Heavyweight title.
He 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 Carl 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.
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 got another winning streak against other boxers of obscure quality, but by 1958 it looked as if his best days in boxing were far gone. He lost that year to Yolande Pompey, another future world title challenger, by a knockout in 2 rounds in Birmingham (England), and was retired from 1959 to 1962.
He retired with a record of 66 wins, 8 losses and 1 draw. Of his 66 wins, 48 came by knockout.
According to articles, reports and a book about his life, Turpin couldn't deal with the fact that after losing his world title, perhaps he wasn't as asked for and talked about by his fans as when he was a world champion, and he committed suicide in 1966.