If you were a fan of boxing, even a little bit over the past several decades, you have encountered some of Bert Sugar’s work. He was boxing’s greatest historian, a living compendium of facts and stories that made the sport vastly better. And now he is dead, of cancer, at the age of 74.
Bert Randolph Sugar, the legendary boxing writer and historian, and one of the sport’s most iconic characters, died Sunday afternoon in Chappaqua, N.Y., after a long battle with lung cancer.
Sugar was 74. He was surrounded by family at Northern Westchester Medical Center in Mount Kisco.
With his fedora and ever-present cigar, Sugar was an icon who loved to talk, and he could talk and write about boxing like few others. Few were better ambassadors of the sport than Sugar.
Sugar wrote more than 80 books, and was present at many of the greatest fights in boxing history, including the Ali-Frazier trilogy. He wrote about those fights in a special Muhammad Ali edition for USA TODAY two years ago.
He was best known as the editor and publisher of Boxing Illustrated and Ring magazine.
He was remembered fondly on Twitter as the #BertSugar hashtag trended worldwide in less than an hour after the announcement of his death. Here are some of the wishes left by his fans and friends (and, from the tweets, those two groups intersected quite often).
And there is this multi-tweet tribute by Steve Kim of Max Boxing that struck us as worth sharing in its entirety.