Randolph Adolphus ('Randy') Turpin (7 June 1928 – 17 May 1966) known as the Leamington Larruper, was an English boxer who was considered by some to be Europe's best middleweight boxer of the 1940s and 1950s.
Born in Leamington Spa, to a black father who had emigrated from Guyana and a white British mother, he started like his brother Dick to be trained in the art of boxing at Leamington Boys' Club.
Turpin turned professional in London in 1946, soon after his 18th birthday. Trained by his elder brother Dick, who himself was a successful middleweight, Randolph knocked out Gordon Griffiths in his first bout. Turpin put together a string of 16 wins in a row, all over the United Kingdom, until drawing with Mark Hart over six rounds in his last bout of 1947.
Three wins later, he found himself facing Albert Finch who inflicted on Turpin his first defeat, an 8-round-decision loss. After one more win he lost again, knocked out in 5 rounds by Jean Stock 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). 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 out Finch in five rounds on 17 October 1950 at Harringay Arena.
Three more wins followed, including a disqualification win in 8 rounds against important challenger Tommy Yarosz. He then 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 10 July 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 such celebrity that even many people who were not boxing fans knew who he was. When he signed for a rematch with Robinson and chose Gwrych Castle near Abergele in North Wales to train, the castle was constantly hounded by fans and tourists.
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 tenth-round TKO with eight seconds left in the round at the Polo Grounds in New York on 12 September 1951.
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