Ivan "Mighty" Robinson, a warrior of the ring
Iván Robinson was another of the most interesting fighters of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. A fighter from the Philadelphia factory of excellent fencers. He was a boxer with an interesting amateur career, which came close to taking him to the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, but lost in the last round of the always difficult American trials. One of his most important rivals was the later Olympic champion, Oscar De La Hoya. So he had no choice but to pursue a career in the professional field.
Making his debut at the age of 21, at the end of the year 92, he began a solid career based more on good boxing than on punching, highlighting among his victories one by decision against Isaac Cruz (yes, Pitbull Cruz's father) and another against the always dangerous Emanuel Augustus. Thus comes an opportunity for the IBF world title, against the also unbeaten Australian boxer Philip Holiday. A fast-paced fight that still has the record for hits hit to this day, with 555 from the Australian and 435 from Robinson. Still it was the first loss of his career.
As was often the case at that time, a defeat meant seeking an opportunity to return to the elite. His rival next to him, Israel “Pito“ Cardona, runs over him and defeats him by TKO in three rounds. That's why he takes two easy fights to get a shot at the mythical Arturo Gatti, where he was clearly the underdog. But as we already know at this level, the boxers are very even. The fight was exceptional, highlighting the fourth round with Robinson's fall and the sixth round where Robinson landed 15 consecutive punches and yet Gatti had the courage to with a single blow to shake the legs of the Philadelphia fighter.
At the end of 10 fast-paced rounds, Iván Robinson was awarded a split victory, in a fight that was named the surprise of the year and the fight of the year by The Ring magazine, which would place him in the top 10 in '94, '96 , '98 and '99 at 135 pounds.
In the immediate rematch, Ivan Robinson wins again, this time by unanimous decision. From then on, he saw his career slowly go downhill, starting with his defeat with Angel Manfredy, in a fight that was a television viewing record, but linking victories against class B and C fighters, with defeats against contrasted fighters like Jesse. James Leija or Antonio Díaz, also void against former world champion Vivian Harris, but he was no longer among the best.
He practically became an undefeated tester who wanted to gain fame at his expense, but he accepted any challenge without issue. In fact, he suffered a defeat against a nearly retired Julio César Chávez, who was almost nine years older than him. Feeling far off his glory days, he retired at age 37 and with a modest record of [32 (12KO) -12-2]. But leaving an image on the fan of being a good Philadelphia fighter, a brave and technical fighter, someone worth paying a buy for. We are lucky that he has been retired for years, because otherwise Ryan García would be able to face him. No doubt Robinson would accept the fight, despite being his rival 20 years younger, without excuses, without closings, and without nonsense.
A shame that the current 130 and 135 pounds are a nest of poodles, who are afraid of losing their undefeated, because they know that the current fan will turn his back on them. Because today you do not see boxers like before. Iván Robinson was a Gladiator, from a time close in time, but distant in sensations, where there were 15 or 20 boxers who had to fight among themselves to gain prestige. Today boxers are pound for pound, after winning by packs. Too bad, Instagram boxing. Finally in 2013 he was inducted into the Pennsylvania State Boxing Hall of Fame, a sign of his tremendous quality.