The 64 Day Hero

The legend was losing the contest
The referee raised up your hand
Stunned by the flashlights and headlines
A hero across the whole land
A boy exploding out of the back streets
The pundits never gave him a chance
Had unleashed the demons inside him
And led the sugar man a merry dance

The sixty-four day hero was riding nice and high
The sixty-four day hero was reaching for the sky
Take a backward step if you want to make it last
A winner may find things happen much too fast

From dark corners freeloaders emerging
With papers all ready to sign
Nothing was ever delivered
The crown soon lost its golden shine
Real friends much harder to come by
There’s always someone on the take
Chasing whatever is on offer
Everyone you meet is on the make

The sixty-four day hero can feel slightly confused
A man with ready money is too easily used
A legend still fighting is as sad a sight to see
As a man with empty pockets and a fading memory

The rematch nearly went as you planned it
Though lambasted by life before the bell
The title was yours for retaining
Till that point in the tenth when you fell
Comebacks all going through the motions
It’s much harder to regain the skill
Dreams and hopes all soon fading
The only road to take goes downhill

With the last round impending, the hour was too late
He had sunk about as far as his pride would tolerate
The sixty-four day hero was found lying on the floor
The sixty-four day hero couldn’t take it anymore
Forgotten by many, remembered by a few
The saddest of sad tales are so often all too true

On 10th July 1951 middleweight boxer Randolph Turpin (Warwick, England) caused an upset by beating legend Sugar Ray Robinson. He held the title for just 64 days, losing to Robinson in the rematch. Although he enjoyed further success in the ring at light heavyweight his years following his retirement in 1958 were less happy. He died in 1966, aged 37, with increasing health and financial worries. A replica bronze statue of Turpin now stands in the centre of Warwick.