MIAMI -- Bobby Dykes, a boxer in the 1940s and 1950s who fought Kid Gavilan and Sugar Ray Robinson, died Wednesday at his Coral Gables home.
Mr. Dykes, 77, had Lou Gehrig's disease for about eight years, longtime companion Carolyn Carter said.
Mr. Dykes was born in San Antonio and moved to Miami in the late 1940s. He became the area's most popular fighter at a time when boxing was king .
``He remains the biggest drawing card in Miami boxing history," boxing historian Hank Kaplan said.
Mr. Dykes, a white, lanky left-hander, earned a title fight against welterweight champion Gavilan at Miami Stadium on Feb. 4, 1952. The bout was the first between a white and black boxer in then-segregated Miami, and the Cuban-born Gavilan won a split decision.
``I got a few death threats," Mr. Dykes told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel in 2000. ``That was when blacks went to the back of the bus. Two whites could fight and two blacks could fight, but not a black and a white. They told me, `Bobby, you're giving up your heritage by fighting a black.' It was a big thing in those days."
Mr. Dykes and Gavilan met again three years later in a nontitle match, which Mr. Dykes won by unanimous decision. He fought Robinson in 1950 in Chicago, losing a split decision.
Mr. Dykes retired after a knockout victory over Gordon Pouliot in 1957. He finished his 11-year career with a record of 115-23-8, with 54 knockouts.
He also leaves a son and three daughters.