NEW YORK - (UP) - Ray
(Sugar) Robinson became wel-
terweight champion of the
world by winning the unanimous
decision over Tommy Bell at
Madison Square Garden after
15 rounds of hard fighting in
which each was floored once.
Robinson, stream-lined Harlem
Negro, rose from the canvas in
the second round and came on to
take the most important decision
of his career, after blasting Bell
to the floor in the 11th.
Robinson and the slender, broad-
shouldered Negro from Youngs-
town, Ohio, were fighting for the
World welterweight crown which
was left vacant when Marty Servo
retired from the ring because of
nose injuries on Sept. 25.
A CROWD of 15,670 paid wit-
nessed a thrilling battle until
Robinson's salvo of body blows in
the seventh round slowed up his
23-year-old opponent and left him
in such fatigued condition that
Bell was lucky to last the distance.
However, the surprising Bell,
who had gone into the ring a
5-1 underdog, rallied in the 13th
round and threatened again to
give Sugar Ray trouble.
The gross gate was $82,948.
Rain and snow pared down both
attendance and gross gate.
ROBINSON, who had waited
five long years for a shot at the
147-pound crown, made the most
of his opportunity. He gamely
came back after being floored for
a count of eight by Bell's left
hook in the second round.
After he slowed up his oppo-
nent with body blows in the sev-
enth, he gave Bell a terrific bat-
tering that was climaxed by
Bell's knockdown in the 11th.
In that session, Robinson belted
him groggy with a series of head
hooks and then sent him to his
haunches on the canvas for a
count of eight.
VIRTUALLY no one in the Gar-
den believed that Bell could sur-
vive the terrific battering he suf-
fered in the 12th, as Robinson -
eager for the kill - tore after him
with an all-out attack that had
blood-smeared Tommy staggering
Robinson, in registering his
second victory over Bell, had a
much harder fight in the early
going than in their first engage-
ment at Cleveland nearly two
years ago when Ray had Tommy
on the floor in the ninth, en route
to a 10-round decision victory.
Robinson registtered his 74th
victory in 76 professional fights,
and it was one of the hardest
won triumphs of his career.
IT WAS the sweetest one too,
for it finally gave Ray the official
recongnition as champion, after be-
ing called "uncrowned king of the
welterweights" since 1941.
Robinson, scaling 146 1/2 pounds
to Bell's 146, grew so tired from
punching Tommy after the 12th
round that his fatigue permitted
Bell to make his surprising rally
in the 13th, and prevented Bell
from being kayoed in the 14th