The Dutchman Stompe was the first to fall, never producing anything like his true form as Dagenham’s Wayne Mardle established himself as a title contender with a 3-0 victory.King’s defeat was an even bigger upset. He was outplayed by John Walton of Sheffield, who repeated his impressive form of the opening round. King, from Ipswich, had survived a close encounter in his previous match against Chris Mason when he battled back from 2-0 down and saw his opponent fail to convert three match-darts. However, this time there was no way back as Walton made a flying start and maintained the momentum to record another superb average of 32.95.It needed a check-out of 121 from King to stop a run of four successive legs for his 39-year-old opponent at the start of the match, but Walton was soon two sets up.
The Sheffield player then recorded a superb 148 finish to take the advantage in the third set, and although King rallied briefly, it only delayed the inevitable.. I have in my possession a bank book that belonged to Randolph Turpin. The entries are handwritten and trace Turpin’s life from July 1951, when he sensationally outpointed Sugar Ray Robinson for the world middleweight championship at Earl’s Court in London, until shortly before his death by suicide 15 years later. I have in my possession a bank book that belonged to Randolph Turpin. The entries are handwritten and trace Turpin’s life from July 1951, when he sensationally outpointed Sugar Ray Robinson for the world middleweight championship at Earl’s Court in London, until shortly before his death by suicide 15 years later.
By then, Turpin’s account had dwindled from many thousands of pounds to almost nothing. On a wall of the transport cafe he ran in Leamington with his second wife, Gwyneth, hung a motto: “That which seldom comes back to him who waits is the money he lends to friends.”Soon afterwards, fleeced by hangers-on and ruined by foolish investments, unable to meet a tax demand, Turpin fired a .22 bullet into his head, and when that didn’t prove fatal, another through his heart.
He died in front of his two-year old daughter, Carmen, who was found covered in her father’s blood.If it was written in the stars that Turpin would end up as a tragic figure, his election to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, New York, this week recalls the crescendo of national celebration caused by one of the most remarkable upsets in sporting history.When Britain’s leading promoter of the day, Jack Solomons, announced that he had persuaded Robinson to extend a barnstorming tour of Europe by putting up his title against Turpin, not even the most fervent patriots genuinely believed that the former Navy cook and son of a merchant seaman from British Guiana had any chance. Robinson, who would become widely acknowledged as the greatest fighter, pound for pound, there has ever been, was a clear favourite. Odds of 33-1 were offered against Turpin winning on points.Takers were soon on to agood thing. In his book The Big Punchers, the boxing commentator Reg Gutteridge wrote: “Turpindefied Robinson, the odds andmost of the tipsters His deceptive 74-inch reach kept Robinsonaway.