Born: July 21, 1931;

Died: April 27, 2015.

Gene Fullmer, who has died aged 83, was a former middleweight world champion boxer most famous for being knocked out by the greatest left hook punch ever thrown in a world title fight - delivered by "Sugar'' Ray Robinson in 1957.

Fullmer, a Mormon from Utah, where he was born during the Depression, subsequently grew rich as a mink farmer whose luxurious products were worn by wealthy women.

As a boxer, his street brawling style brought him the soubriquet "Cyclone", but it also helped him achieve not one, but three wins over Robinson, who is rated by many as the greatest pound-for-pound boxer ever.

It was Robinson though who scored the single left hook knockout punch that many boxing afficionados still regard as the greatest and most perfectly delivered left hook in world championship boxing history. It happened in May 1957 when Robinson regained the world 160lbs crown from Fullmer who had outpointed the Afro-American in January 1957 over 15 tough rounds.

The eldest of three boxing brothers, Fullmer had seen boxing as a means of economic salvation from working as a welder in a Utah copper mine.

After a highly successful amateur boxing career of 66 wins in 70 bouts, the young Fullmer took the plunge into the pro ranks in 1951, where his crude swarming style saw him score 15 kayos in his first 17 bouts - form which attracted the attention of a shrewd, affluent mink farmer called Marv Jensen under whose tutelage Fullmer flourished. Despite offending the purists among the American boxing press with his ruthless streetfighter style, he still managed to become ''Sugar" Ray Robinson's main challenger for the world middleweight title in January 1957 .

Given Fullmer's lack of the stellar ring finesse that would bring Robinson five 160lbs and one 147 lbs world crowns , most pundits wrote off Fullmer's chances of succeeding Robinson as champion but they were wrong - Fullmer won a unanimous 15-round points decision.

However, four months later, Fullmer made the return match with Robinson memorable for all the wrong reasons when he walked on to that fabulously executed left hook punch from Robinson in Chicago in the fifth round.

Outside the ring, Fullmer was prospering after Marv Jensen persuaded him to invest in the then burgeoning market of mink farming which had helped make Jensen's fortune.

In the meantime, the world 160lbs middleweight title had been split two ways by the American National Boxing Association and the New York commission, thus enabling Fullmer to win again the vacant NBA version of the middleweight title by stopping another great American boxer Carmen Basilio in San Francisco in 1959.

The following year, Fullmer and another future world middleweight champion, Italian-American Joey Gardello, produced one of the dirtiest world title jousts in boxing history. The verdict was a draw after 15 torrid rounds

There were two further bouts with Sugar Ray Robinson, which resulted in one win for Fullmer and a draw, but after two further successful 160lb world title defences, Fullmer's nemesis arrived in the shape of Nigerian fighter Dick Tiger. When Tiger had clashed with the British future world middleweight champion Terry Downes in London, the Nigerian had blown the normally rock hard Downes away inside five brutal rounds of boxing.

So it was with Tiger and Fullmer. In their first world title confrontation in 1962 in San Francisco. Tiger outfought the Utah man over 15 rounds. In 1963 moving their return fight to Las Vegas only changed the location but not the result, with Tiger holding Fullmer to a controversial 15-round draw.

And it was ultimately the fearsome Nigerian who had the final say with Fullmer being knocked out in seven rounds by Tiger in Ibadan, Nigeria, in August 1963.

After that, Fullmer retired from boxing and led a full life with his mink farms while taking time out to appear with the likes of John Wayne and Stewart Granger in cameo film roles as bartenders or rough necks in Westerns.

He was elected to the International Hall of Boxing Fame in 1991, although like his erstwhile nemesis, 'Sugar'' Ray Robinson, he suffered in later years from boxing-related dementia.

He was pre-deceased by his two former world contender boxing brothers Don and Jay, but is survived in Utah by other family members.