Ex-world title challenger Bobby Dykes passes away

By Scott Shaffer

01/06/2006

Ex-world title challenger Bobby Dykes passes away

Split two bouts with Kid Gavilan

Former welterweight title challenger Bobby Dykes died in Miami at the age of 77 from Lou Gehrig's disease. Dykes lost his title bid to the legendary Kid Gavilan by split decision in 1952, but he got his revenge three years later, defeating Gavilan  after the Kid had been relieved of the world welterweight championship by Johny Saxton. Other career highlights for Dykes were a 1950 majority decision loss to Sugar Ray Robinson and a 1951 split decision win over future world middleweight champion Joey Giardello. He finished up a twelve year career with a mark of 115-23-8 as one of the most popular fighters in Miami history. Dykes, a white man, suffered through criticism for crossing the so-called color line to fight the black Kid Gavilan in 1951, as the landmark Supreme Court decision Brown vs Board of Education that outlawed racial segregation in the United States was still a few years away. He leaves behind a longtime female companion, four children, and a rich legacy.