Bob Fitzsimmons

Robert James Fitzsimmons (26 May 1863 – 22 October 1917) was a British professional boxer who was the sport's first three-division world champion.[1][2] He also achieved fame for beating Gentleman Jim Corbett (the man who beat John L. Sullivan), and he is in The Guinness Book of World Records as the lightest heavyweight champion, weighing just 165 pounds when he won the title.[3] Nicknamed Ruby Robert and The Freckled Wonder, he took pride in his lack of scars and appeared in the ring wearing heavy woollen underwear to conceal the disparity between his trunk and leg-development.

Robert Fitzsimmons
Robert Fitzsimmons.jpg
Fitzsimmons in 1891
Statistics
Real nameRobert James Fitzsimmons
Nickname(s)
  • Bob
  • Ruby Rob
  • The Freckled Wonder
  • The Fighting Blacksmith
Weight(s)
Height5 ft 11+12 in (182 cm)
Reach71+12 in (182 cm)
Born(1863-05-26)26 May 1863
Helston, Cornwall, England
Died22 October 1917(1917-10-22) (aged 54)
Chicago, Illinois, US
StanceOrthodox
Boxing record
Total fights101
Wins69
Wins by KO57
Losses12
Draws14
No contests9

Considered one of the hardest punchers in boxing history,[4] Fitzsimmons is ranked as No. 8 on The Ring magazine's list of 100 greatest punchers of all time.

Early lifeEdit

 
The birthplace of Bob Fitzsimmons in Helston, Cornwall

Robert James Fitzsimmons was born on 26 May 1863 in Helston, Cornwall, England, the youngest of seven boys and five girls born to James and Jane (née Strongman) Fitzsimmons.[5] Not long before his birth, his parents had moved from his father's native Ireland to Cornwall, where his mother came from, in order for his father to find work as a policeman.[6] Fitzsimmons received his early education at the National school in Helston.[7] In 1873, the family moved again; James, Jane and their youngest five children sailed on the Adamant for the 93 day journey to Lyttelton, New Zealand.[5][8]

They settled in Timaru, a town 147 km (91 miles) south-west of Lyttelton populated mainly by Cornish immigrants, and James Fitzsimmons established a blacksmith's forge in the town.[7] Once Fitzsimmons had completed his education at the Timaru Main School, he took on a range of jobs. He wanted to join the crew of the Isabella Ridley, and do some service as a sailor, hoping that it would toughen him up for a career in boxing, but the ship was badly damaged in storms while still docked in Timaru.[9] Instead, he took on a range of jobs; as a butcher's delivery boy, a carriage painter, striker at an iron foundry, and a decorator, before becoming an apprentice at his family's blacksmith's forge with his brother Jarrett. His time working in the blacksmith's forge helped to develop his upper body, particularly his arms and shoulders.[5][7] During his time working in the blacksmith's forge, there are stories that Fitzsimmons was not averse to fighting quarrelsome, often drunk, customers, and it was suggested that this even boosted business, as customers returned to the forge, hoping to see a fight.[10]

Amateur careerEdit

In the early 1880s Jem Mace, an English bare-knuckle boxer, travelled to New Zealand, and Timaru hosted both his boxing school, and the first boxing championships held in New Zealand.[11] Fitzsimmons entered the tournament and knocked out four opponents on his way to winning the competition. He successfully defended his title in the subsequent competition.[5][a] During one of these tournaments, it is often suggested that Fitzsimmons defeated Herbert Slade, a professional heavyweight boxer who was touring with Mace, but Slade was touted as being undefeated in 1883, and it is possible that it was Slade's brother that Fitzsimmons beat.[13] After these tournaments, Fitzsimmons boxed at least six times in New Zealand, including some bare knuckle bouts, but it is unclear if he received payment for his fights during this time.[14]

Professional careerEdit

Move to AustraliaEdit

Boxing record books show Fitzsimmons officially began boxing professionally in 1883, in Australia. He beat Jim Crawford there by getting a knockout in three rounds. Fitzsimmons had his first 28 definite professional fights in Australia, where he lost the Australian middleweight title to Mick Dooley (rumours spoke of a fixed bout) and where he also won a fight by knockout while on the floor: when Edward Starlight Robins dropped Fitzsimmons to the canvas in round nine of their fight, he also broke his hand and could not continue, therefore the referee declared Fitzsimmons the winner by a knockout.

By this stage, Fitzsimmons had established his own style. He developed a certain movement and caginess from one of the greatest bare-knuckle fighters, Jem Mace. Mace encouraged Fitzsimmons to develop his punching technique, drawing on the enormous power he had gained from blacksmithing. Fitzsimmons delivered short, accurate and occasionally conclusive punches. He soon built up a reputation as by far the hardest puncher in boxing.

Winning the Middleweight titleEdit

Moving on to the United States, Fitzsimmons fought four more times in 1890, winning three and drawing one.

 
Fitzsimmons knocks down Dempsey in New Orleans, 1891.

Then, on 14 January 1891, in New Orleans, he won his first world title from Jack (Nonpareil) Dempsey.[15][16] Fitzsimmons knocked out Dempsey (from whom the later Jack Dempsey took his name) in the 13th round to become the World Middleweight Champion. Fitzsimmons knocked Dempsey down at least 13 times and by the finish left him in such a pitiable condition that he begged him to quit. Since Dempsey would not do so, Fitzsimmons knocked him out and then carried him to his corner. On 22 July, police broke off his fight with Jim Hall after he had knocked Hall down several times.

Fitzsimmons spent the next two years fighting non-title bouts and exhibitions until giving Hall a chance at the title in 1893. He retained the crown by a knockout in round four. He spent the rest of that year doing exhibitions, and on 2 June, he had scheduled a two-way exhibition where he would demonstrate in public how to hit the boxing bag and then how to box against a real opponent. Reportedly, two freak accidents happened that day: Fitzsimmons hit the bag so hard that it broke, and then his opponent of that day allegedly slipped, getting hit in the head and the boxing exhibition was cancelled.

At a public sparring performance on 16 November 1894 at Jacob's Opera House, Syracuse, New York, Fitzsimmons knocked out sparring partner Con Riordan, who was carried off unconscious and died several hours later. Two months later Fitzsimmons was charged with manslaughter but was acquitted.[17]

Fitzsimmons vs. SharkeyEdit

After vacating the Middleweight title, Fitzsimmons began campaigning at heavyweight (the light heavyweight division did not exist at that time). On 2 December 1896, the San Francisco Athletic Club sponsored a fight at the Mechanics' Pavilion in San Francisco between Fitzsimmons and Tom Sharkey. Unable to find a referee, they called on former lawman Wyatt Earp. He had officiated 30 or so matches in earlier days, though not under the Marquess of Queensberry rules.[18] The fight may have been the most anticipated fight on American soil that year. Fitzsimmons was favoured to win, and bets flowed heavily his way. Earp entered the ring still armed with his customary Colt .45 and drew a lot of attention when he had to be disarmed. He later said he forgot he was wearing it. Fitzsimmons was taller and quicker than Sharkey and dominated the fight from the opening bell. In the eighth round, Fitzsimmons hit Sharkey with his famed "solar plexus punch," an uppercut under the heart that could render a man temporarily helpless. The punch caught Sharkey, Earp, and most of the crowd by surprise, and Sharkey dropped, clutched his groin, and rolled on the canvas, screamed foul.[19]

Earp stopped the bout, ruling that Fitzsimmons had hit Sharkey with a low blow.[20] His ruling was greeted with loud boos and catcalls.[21] Very few witnessed the foul Earp ruled on. He awarded the decision to Sharkey, who attendants carried out as "...limp as a rag."[22]

Winning the heavyweight titleEdit

 
March 1897 Fitzsimmons–Corbett boxing match

In 1896, Fitzsimmons won a disputed version of the World Heavyweight Championship in a fight in Langtry, Texas, against the Irish fighter Peter Maher.[23] On 17 March 1897, in Carson City, Nevada, he knocked out American Jim Corbett, generally recognised as the legitimate World Heavyweight Champion (having won the title from John L. Sullivan in 1892) in round 14.[16][24] This constituted a remarkable achievement, as Jim Corbett, a skilled boxer, weighed one stone 3 pounds (17 lb) more than Fitzsimmons. He out-boxed Fitzsimmons for several rounds, knocked him down in the sixth round and badly damaged his face with his jab, left hook and right hand, but Fitzsimmons kept coming and Corbett began to tire. In the 14th round, Fitzsimmons won the title with his "solar plexus" punch. Corbett collapsed in agony. Fitzsimmons' "solar plexus" punch became legendary, although he himself may never have used the phrase. The entire fight was filmed by Enoch J. Rector and released to cinemas as The Corbett-Fitzsimmons Fight, the longest film ever released at the time. Using her maiden name, it was covered by Nellie Verrill Mighels Davis, the first woman to report a prize fight.[25]

Fitzsimmons spent the rest of 1897 and 1898 doing stage tours.[clarification needed] In 1899, Fitzsimmons fought James J. Jeffries at the Coney Island Athletic Club near Brooklyn, New York. Most people gave Jeffries little chance, even though at over 15 stones (95 kg) he massively outweighed his opponent and was far younger, but Jeffries lifted the World Heavyweight Championship from Fitzsimmons with an 11th-round knockout.

In June 1901 Fitzsimmons took part in a wrestling match against Gus Ruhlin. He lost and went back to boxing. He then enjoyed legitimate boxing knockouts of leading contenders Ruhlin and Tom Sharkey.

In 1901 he published a book Physical Culture and Self-Defense (Philadelphia: D. Biddle). In 1902, he and Jeffries had a rematch, once again with the World Heavyweight Champion at stake. Fitzsimmons battered Jeffries, who suffered horrible punishment. With his nose and cheek bones broken, most would have sympathized with Jeffries had he quit, but he kept going until his enormous strength and youth wore down Bob and he knocked him out cold in round eight.

Winning the Light Heavyweight titleEdit

In November 1903, Fitzsimmons made history by defeating World Light Heavyweight Champion George Gardiner (also known as Gardner) by a decision in 20 rounds,[16][26] becoming the first boxer to win titles in three weight-divisions.[2]

Soon afterward, he went back to the Heavyweights, where he kept fighting until 1914, with mixed results. In 1907 at age 44, Fitzsimmons fought much younger Jack Johnson, during the time period in which reigning champion James J. Jeffries refused to fight Johnson. The bout between Johnson and Fitzsimmons ended in victory for Johnson with a second round knockout.[27]

RetirementEdit

Although Fitzsimmons became a world champion in each of the Middleweight, Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight divisions, historians do not consider him the first world Light Heavyweight Champion to become World Heavyweight Champion, because he won the Heavyweight title before winning the Light Heavyweight belt. Michael Spinks counts as the first Light Heavyweight World Champion to win the Heavyweight belt as well. However, Fitzsimmons was the first Middleweight Champion to win the Heavyweight title and the only Heavyweight Champion to drop down and win the Light Heavyweight title. Fitzsimmons and later Henry Armstrong were the only men to win undisputed world championships in three different weight classes.

Fitzsimmons had a final professional record of 66 wins with 59 by knockout, 8 losses, 4 draws, 19 no contests and 2 no decisions (Newspaper Decisions: 2–0–0).

Fitzsimmons's exact record remains unknown, as the boxing world often kept records poorly during his era, but Fitzsimmons said he had had more than 350 fights (which could have involved exaggeration on his part).[citation needed] It's also possible that Bob may have included his many exhibition bouts in his total.

Death and legacyEdit

 
Fitzsimmons' grave at Graceland Cemetery

Fitzsimmons died of pneumonia on 22 October 1917 in Chicago, survived by his fourth wife. His grave lies in the Graceland Cemetery, Uptown. Having four wives, a gambling habit and a susceptibility to confidence tricksters, he did not hold on to the money he made.

The statue Peace on the Dewey Arch was modelled on Fitzsimmons by the sculptor Daniel Chester French.[citation needed] A statue of Fitzsimmons has also stood in the city centre of Timaru, New Zealand, since 1987. It was commissioned by New Zealand millionaire boxing fan Bob Jones and sculpted by Margriet Windhausen.[28]

The International Boxing Hall of Fame has made Fitzsimmons a member in its "Old Timer" category.

In 2003 The Ring named Fitzsimmons number eight of all time among boxing's best punchers.[29]

WorksEdit

  • Fitzsimmons, Robert (1901). Physical Culture and Self-Defense. Philadelphia, PA: Drexel Biddle.

Personal lifeEdit

Fitzsimmons married four times and had six children, four of whom survived infancy.[30]

Professional boxing recordEdit

All information in this section is derived from BoxRec,[31] unless otherwise stated.

Official recordEdit

Professional record summary
101 fights 61 wins 8 losses
By knockout 57 7
By decision 4 0
By disqualification 0 1
Draws 4
No contests 6
Newspaper decisions/draws 22

All newspaper decisions are officially regarded as “no decision” bouts and are not counted in the win/loss/draw column.

No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
101 Win 61–8–4 (28) Jersey Bellew NWS 6 20 Feb 1914 Municipal Hall, South Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, US
100 Win 61–8–4 (27) Dan Sweeney NWS 6 29 Jan 1914 Athletic Club, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, US
99 Loss 61–8–4 (26) Bill Lang KO 12 (20) 27 Dec 1909 Sydney Stadium, Sydney, Australia For Australian heavyweight title
98 Loss 61–7–4 (26) Jack Johnson KO 2 (6) 17 Jul 1907 Washington Sports Club, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
97 Win 61–6–4 (26) Charlie Haghey KO 4 (6) 31 Jan 1906 Webster, Massachusetts, US
96 Loss 60–6–4 (26) Philadelphia Jack O'Brien RTD 13 (20) 20 Dec 1905 Mechanic's Pavilion, San Francisco, California, US Lost world light-heavyweight title
95 Win 60–5–4 (26) Philadelphia Jack O'Brien NWS 6 23 Jul 1904 Baker Bowl, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
94 Win 60–5–4 (25) George Gardiner PTS 20 25 Nov 1903 Mechanic's Pavilion, San Francisco, California, US Won world light-heavyweight title
93 Win 59–5–4 (25) Joe Grim NWS 6 14 Oct 1903 Southern Athletic Club, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
92 Win 59–5–4 (24) Con Coughlin TKO 1 (6), 2:52 30 Sep 1903 Washington Sporting Club, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
91 Win 58–5–4 (24) Mike Ranke KO 2 (4), 0:15 27 Dec 1902 Bozeman, Montana, US
90 Win 57–5–4 (24) Steward KO 1 (4) 19 Dec 1902 Butte, Montana, US
89 Loss 56–5–4 (24) James J. Jeffries KO 8 (20) 25 Jul 1902 San Francisco Athletic Club, San Francisco, California, US For world heavyweight title
88 Win 56–4–4 (24) Tom Sharkey KO 2 (25), 2:06 24 Aug 1900 Coney Island Athletic Club, Brooklyn, New York, US
87 Win 55–4–4 (24) Gus Ruhlin KO 6 (25), 2:10 10 Aug 1900 Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, US
86 Win 54–4–4 (24) Ed Dunkhorst KO 2 (25), 2:25 30 Apr 1900 Hercules Athletic Club, Brooklyn, New York, US
85 Win 53–4–4 (24) Jim Daly TKO 1 (6) 27 Mar 1900 First Regiment Armory, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
84 Win 52–4–4 (24) Geoff Thorne KO 1 (6) 28 Oct 1899 Tattersalls, Chicago, Illinois, US
83 Loss 51–4–4 (24) James J. Jeffries KO 11 (20), 1:32 9 Jun 1899 Coney Island Athletic Club, Brooklyn, New York, US Lost world heavyweight title
82 Win 51–3–4 (24) Lew Joslin KO 2 (4) 5 Jun 1897 Leadville, Colorado, US
81 Win 50–3–4 (24) James J. Corbett KO 14 (25) 17 Mar 1897 The Race Track Arena, Carson City, Nevada, US Won world heavyweight title
80 Loss 49–3–4 (24) Tom Sharkey DQ 8 (10) 2 Dec 1896 Mechanic's Pavilion, San Francisco, California US
79 Win 49–2–4 (24) Peter Maher KO 1, 1:35 21 Feb 1896 Coahuila de Zaragoza, Mexico Billed for the heavyweight championship;
A finish fight
78 Win 48–2–4 (24) Mike Connors KO 1 (4) 19 Apr 1895 New York City, New York, US
77 Win 47–2–4 (24) Al Allich KO 3 (4) 16 Apr 1895 New York City, New York, US
76 Win 46–2–4 (24) Dan Creedon KO 2 (25), 1:40 26 Sep 1894 Olympic Club, New Orleans, Louisiana, US Retained world middleweight title
75 Win 45–2–4 (24) Frank Kellar KO 2 (4) 28 Jul 1894 Buffalo Driving Park, Buffalo, New York, US
74 Draw 44–2–4 (24) Joe Choynski PTS 5 (8) 18 Jun 1894 The Boston Theatre, Boston, Massachusetts, US Choynski was down and bloodied when the police stepped in
and would likely have been knocked out had the fight continued
The bout was declared a draw. Pre-fight agreement that the fight could only be won via KO
73 Win 44–2–3 (24) Jack Hickey TKO 3 (4) 5 Sep 1893 Caledonian Park, Newark, New Jersey, US
72 Win 43–2–3 (24) Dan Coner KO 1 (4) 30 May 1893 Philadelphia Athletic Club, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
71 Win 42–2–3 (24) Mike Brennan KO 4 (4) 6 May 1893 Boston, Massachusetts, US
70 Win 41–2–3 (24) Joe Godfrey KO 1 (4) 21 Apr 1893 Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
69 Win 40–2–3 (24) Mike Monoghan KO 1 (4) 21 Apr 1893 Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
68 Win 39–2–3 (24) Alexander Kilpatrick KO 4 (4) 21 Apr 1893 Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
67 Win 38–2–3 (24) Jack Sheridan TKO 1 (4) 15 Apr 1893 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
66 Win 37–2–3 (24) Dan Curry KO 2 (4) 12 Apr 1893 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
65 Win 36–2–3 (24) Hank Smith KO 1 (4) 12 Apr 1893 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
64 Win 35–2–3 (24) Alexander Kilpatrick KO 3 (4) 12 Apr 1893 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
63 Win 34–2–3 (24) Jack Warner TKO 1 (4) 31 Mar 1893 Baltimore, Maryland, US
62 Win 33–2–3 (24) Phil Mayo KO 2 (4) 25 Mar 1893 2nd Regiment Armory, Chicago, Illinois, US
61 Draw 32–2–3 (24) Dan Bayliff PTS 4 15 Mar 1893 Indianapolis, Indiana, US
60 Win 32–2–2 (24) Jim Hall KO 4 8 Mar 1893 Crescent City Club, New Orleans, Louisiana, US Retained world middleweight title;
A finish fight
59 Win 31–2–2 (24) Jack Britton RTD 2 (4) 10 Dec 1892 Newark, New Jersey, US
58 Win 30–2–2 (24) Millard Zender KO 1 (4) 3 Sep 1892 Anniston, Alabama, US
57 Win 29–2–2 (24) Jerry Slattery KO 2 (4) 11 May 1892 Miners 8th St Theater, New York City, New York, US
56 Win 28–2–2 (24) Joe Godfrey RTD 2 (4) 6 May 1892 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
55 Win 27–2–2 (24) James Farrell KO 2 (4) 29 Apr 1892 Newark, New Jersey, US
54 Win 26–2–2 (24) Thomas Robbins RTD 3 (4) 28 Apr 1892 Newark, New Jersey, US
53 Win 25–2–2 (24) Tom Burns RTD 3 (4) 28 Apr 1892 Newark, New Jersey, US
52 Win 24–2–2 (24) James Malone RTD 2 (4) 27 Apr 1892 Newark, New Jersey, US
51 Win 23–2–2 (24) Charles Puff KO 2 (4) 26 Apr 1892 Newark, New Jersey, US
50 Win 22–2–2 (24) Peter Maher RTD 12 2 Mar 1892 Olympic Club, New Orleans, Louisiana, US A finish fight
49 ND 21–2–2 (24) Harris Martin ND 4 1 May 1891 Washington Rink, Minneapolis, Minnesota, US
48 Win 21–2–2 (23) Abe Coughle TKO 2 (3) 27 Apr 1891 Battery D Armory, Chicago, Illinois, US
47 Win 20–2–2 (23) Nonpareil Dempsey RTD 13 14 Jan 1891 Olympic Club, New Orleans, Louisiana, US Won world middleweight title;
A finish fight
46 Win 19–2–2 (23) Arthur Upham KO 9 28 Jul 1890 Audubon Athletic Club, New Orleans, Louisiana, US A finish fight
45 Win 18–2–2 (23) Billy McCarthy RTD 10 29 May 1890 California Athletic Club, San Francisco, California, US A finish fight
44 Win 17–2–2 (23) Frank Allen RTD 1 (3) 17 May 1890 California Athletic Club, San Francisco, California, US
43 Win 16–2–2 (23) Professor Jack West KO 1 (4) 1 Mar 1890 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
42 Win 15–2–2 (23) Edward Starlight Rollins TKO 9 22 Feb 1890 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia A finish fight
41 Loss 14–2–2 (23) Jim Hall KO 4 (20) 11 Feb 1890 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia For Australian middleweight title
40 Draw 14–1–2 (23) Edward Starlight Rollins NWS 4 10 Feb 1890 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
39 Win 14–1–2 (22) Dave Conway KO 4 (15) 1 Feb 1890 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
38 Win 13–1–2 (22) Dick Ellis RTD 3 (20) 16 Dec 1889 Royal Standard Theatre, Sydney, Australia
37 Win 12–1–2 (22) Professor Jack West KO 1 (8) 30 Nov 1889 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
36 Draw 11–1–2 (22) Pat Kiely NWS 4 26 Nov 1889 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
35 Win 11–1–2 (21) Jim Hall RTD 5 (8) 19 Jan 1889 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia Won Australian middleweight title
34 Win 10–1–2 (21) McEwan NWS 4 1 Dec 1888 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
33 Draw 10–1–2 (20) Jim Hall NWS 4 24 Nov 1888 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
32 Win 10–1–2 (19) Jim Hall NWS 4 10 Nov 1888 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
31 ND 10–1–2 (18) Mick Dooley ND 4 1 May 1888 Amateur Athletic Club, Sydney, Australia
30 Draw 10–1–2 (17) Bill Slavin NWS 4 17 Apr 1888 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
29 Draw 10–1–2 (16) Bill Slavin NWS 4 17 Mar 1888 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
28 Win 10–1–2 (15) Bill Slavin TKO 7 (8) 5 Mar 1888 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
27 Draw 9–1–2 (15) Billy McCarthy NWS 4 11 Feb 1888 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
26 Draw 9–1–2 (14) Tom Taylor NWS 4 26 Jan 1888 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
25 Draw 9–1–2 (13) Dan Hickey PTS 4 23 Jan 1888 Centennial Hall, Sydney, Australia
24 ND 9–1–1 (13) Frank Slavin ND 4 1 Jan 1888 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
23 Win 9–1–1 (12) Dave Travers KO 3 24 Sep 1887 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia A finish fight
22 Loss 8–1–1 (12) Jim Hall NWS 4 28 May 1887 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
21 Win 8–1–1 (11) George Eager KO 2 (4) 4 Apr 1887 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
20 Win 7–1–1 (11) Bill Slavin TKO 5 (8) 20 Mar 1887 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
19 Win 6–1–1 (11) Dick Sandall RTD 4 (4) 1 Mar 1887 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
18 Win 5–1–1 (11) George Seale PTS 4 15 Feb 1887 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
17 Win 4–1–1 (11) Jack Bonner NWS 4 12 Feb 1887 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
16 Draw 4–1–1 (10) Frank Slavin NWS 4 1 Jan 1887 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
15 Draw 4–1–1 (9) Jack Malloy PTS 4 4 Dec 1886 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
14 ND 4–1 (9) McArdle ND 4 9 Oct 1886 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
13 NC 4–1 (8) Australian Billy Smith ND 4 7 Oct 1886 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
12 Loss 4–1 (7) Tom Lees NWS 4 25 Aug 1886 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
11 Win 4–1 (6) McArdle NWS 4 7 Aug 1886 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
10 Loss 4–1 (5) Mick Dooley NWS 4 5 Jun 1886 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
9 Loss 4–1 (4) Mick Dooley NWS 4 2 Jun 1886 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
8 ND 4–1 (3) Steve O'Donnell ND 4 22 May 1886 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
7 Loss 4–1 (2) Mick Dooley RTD 3 (4) 15 May 1886 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
6 Draw 4–0 (2) Brinsley NWS 4 1 May 1886 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
5 Draw 4–0 (1) Pablo Fanque NWS 3 1 May 1886 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
4 Win 4–0 Pablo Fanque KO 2 (4) Feb 1886 The Green, Sydney, Australia
3 Win 3–0 Jack Greentree KO 3 (4) Mar 1, 1885 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia Exact date unknown
2 Win 2–0 Alf Bramsmead KO 2 (4) Apr 1, 1885 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia Exact date unknown
1 Win 1–0 Joe Riddle PTS 4 Mar 1, 1885 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia Exact date unknown

Unofficial recordEdit

Professional record summary
101 fights 69 wins 12 losses
By knockout 57 7
By decision 12 4
By disqualification 0 1
Draws 14
No contests 6

Record with the inclusion of newspaper decisions to the win/loss/draw column.

No. Result Record Opponent Type Round Date Location Notes
101 Win 69–12–14 (6) Jersey Bellew NWS 6 20 Feb 1914 Municipal Hall, South Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, US
100 Win 68–12–14 (6) Dan Sweeney NWS 6 29 Jan 1914 Athletic Club, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, US
99 Loss 67–12–14 (6) Bill Lang KO 12 (20) 27 Dec 1909 Sydney Stadium, Sydney, Australia For Australian heavyweight title
98 Loss 67–11–14 (6) Jack Johnson KO 2 (6) 17 Jul 1907 Washington Sports Club, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
97 Win 67–10–14 (6) Charlie Haghey KO 4 (6) 31 Jan 1906 Webster, Massachusetts, US
96 Loss 66–10–14 (6) Philadelphia Jack O'Brien RTD 13 (20) 20 Dec 1905 Mechanic's Pavilion, San Francisco, California, US Lost world light-heavyweight title
95 Win 66–9–14 (6) Philadelphia Jack O'Brien NWS 6 23 Jul 1904 Baker Bowl, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
94 Win 65–9–14 (6) George Gardiner PTS 20 25 Nov 1903 Mechanic's Pavilion, San Francisco, California, US Won world light-heavyweight title
93 Win 64–9–14 (6) Joe Grim NWS 6 14 Oct 1903 Southern Athletic Club, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
92 Win 63–9–14 (6) Con Coughlin TKO 1 (6), 2:52 30 Sep 1903 Washington Sporting Club, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
91 Win 62–9–14 (6) Mike Ranke KO 2 (4), 0:15 27 Dec 1902 Bozeman, Montana, US
90 Win 61–9–14 (6) Steward KO 1 (4) 19 Dec 1902 Butte, Montana, US
89 Loss 60–9–14 (6) James J. Jeffries KO 8 (20) 25 Jul 1902 San Francisco Athletic Club, San Francisco, California, US For world heavyweight title
88 Win 60–8–14 (6) Tom Sharkey KO 2 (25), 2:06 24 Aug 1900 Coney Island Athletic Club, Brooklyn, New York, US
87 Win 59–8–14 (6) Gus Ruhlin KO 6 (25), 2:10 10 Aug 1900 Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, US
86 Win 58–8–14 (6) Ed Dunkhorst KO 2 (25), 2:25 30 Apr 1900 Hercules Athletic Club, Brooklyn, New York, US
85 Win 57–8–14 (6) Jim Daly TKO 1 (6) 27 Mar 1900 First Regiment Armory, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
84 Win 56–8–14 (6) Geoff Thorne KO 1 (6) 28 Oct 1899 Tattersalls, Chicago, Illinois, US
83 Loss 55–8–14 (6) James J. Jeffries KO 11 (20), 1:32 9 Jun 1899 Coney Island Athletic Club, Brooklyn, New York, US Lost world heavyweight title
82 Win 55–7–14 (6) Lew Joslin KO 2 (4) 5 Jun 1897 Leadville, Colorado, US
81 Win 54–7–14 (6) James J. Corbett KO 14 (25) 17 Mar 1897 The Race Track Arena, Carson City, Nevada, US Won world heavyweight title
80 Loss 53–7–14 (6) Tom Sharkey DQ 8 (10) 2 Dec 1896 Mechanic's Pavilion, San Francisco, California US Billed as the world heavyweight title
79 Win 53–6–14 (6) Peter Maher KO 1, 1:35 21 Feb 1896 Coahuila de Zaragoza, Mexico Billed as the world heavyweight title;
A finish fight
78 Win 52–6–14 (6) Mike Connors KO 1 (4) 19 Apr 1895 New York City, New York, US
77 Win 51–6–14 (6) Al Allich KO 3 (4) 16 Apr 1895 New York City, New York, US
76 Win 50–6–14 (6) Dan Creedon KO 2 (25), 1:40 26 Sep 1894 Olympic Club, New Orleans, Louisiana, US Retained world middleweight title
75 Win 49–6–14 (6) Frank Kellar KO 2 (4) 28 Jul 1894 Buffalo Driving Park, Buffalo, New York, US
74 Draw 48–6–14 (6) Joe Choynski PTS 5 (8) 18 Jun 1894 The Boston Theatre, Boston, Massachusetts, US Choynski was down and bloodied when the police stepped in
and would likely have been knocked out had the fight continued
The bout was declared a draw. Pre-fight agreement that the fight could only be won via KO
73 Win 48–6–13 (6) Jack Hickey TKO 3 (4) 5 Sep 1893 Caledonian Park, Newark, New Jersey, US
72 Win 47–6–13 (6) Dan Coner KO 1 (4) 30 May 1893 Philadelphia Athletic Club, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
71 Win 46–6–13 (6) Mike Brennan KO 4 (4) 6 May 1893 Boston, Massachusetts, US
70 Win 45–6–13 (6) Joe Godfrey KO 1 (4) 21 Apr 1893 Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
69 Win 44–6–13 (6) Mike Monoghan KO 1 (4) 21 Apr 1893 Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
68 Win 43–6–13 (6) Alexander Kilpatrick KO 4 (4) 21 Apr 1893 Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
67 Win 42–6–13 (6) Jack Sheridan TKO 1 (4) 15 Apr 1893 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
66 Win 41–6–13 (6) Dan Curry KO 2 (4) 12 Apr 1893 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
65 Win 40–6–13 (6) Hank Smith KO 1 (4) 12 Apr 1893 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
64 Win 39–6–13 (6) Alexander Kilpatrick KO 3 (4) 12 Apr 1893 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
63 Win 38–6–13 (6) Jack Warner TKO 1 (4) 31 Mar 1893 Baltimore, Maryland, US
62 Win 37–6–13 (6) Phil Mayo KO 2 (4) 25 Mar 1893 2nd Regiment Armory, Chicago, Illinois, US
61 Draw 36–6–13 (6) Dan Bayliff PTS 4 15 Mar 1893 Indianapolis, Indiana, US
60 Win 36–6–12 (6) Jim Hall KO 4 8 Mar 1893 Crescent City Club, New Orleans, Louisiana, US Retained world middleweight title;
A finish fight
59 Win 35–6–12 (6) Jack Britton RTD 2 (4) 10 Dec 1892 Newark, New Jersey, US
58 Win 34–6–12 (6) Millard Zender KO 1 (4) 3 Sep 1892 Anniston, Alabama, US
57 Win 33–6–12 (6) Jerry Slattery KO 2 (4) 11 May 1892 Miners 8th St Theater, New York City, New York, US
56 Win 32–6–12 (6) Joe Godfrey RTD 2 (4) 6 May 1892 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
55 Win 31–6–12 (6) James Farrell KO 2 (4) 29 Apr 1892 Newark, New Jersey, US
54 Win 30–6–12 (6) Thomas Robbins RTD 3 (4) 28 Apr 1892 Newark, New Jersey, US
53 Win 29–6–12 (6) Tom Burns RTD 3 (4) 28 Apr 1892 Newark, New Jersey, US
52 Win 28–6–12 (6) James Malone RTD 2 (4) 27 Apr 1892 Newark, New Jersey, US
51 Win 27–6–12 (6) Charles Puff KO 2 (4) 26 Apr 1892 Newark, New Jersey, US
50 Win 26–6–12 (6) Peter Maher RTD 12 2 Mar 1892 Olympic Club, New Orleans, Louisiana, US A finish fight
49 ND 25–6–12 (6) Harris Martin ND 4 1 May 1891 Washington Rink, Minneapolis, Minnesota, US
48 Win 25–6–12 (5) Abe Coughle TKO 2 (3) 27 Apr 1891 Battery D Armory, Chicago, Illinois, US
47 Win 24–6–12 (5) Nonpareil Dempsey RTD 13 14 Jan 1891 Olympic Club, New Orleans, Louisiana, US Won world middleweight title;
A finish fight
46 Win 23–6–12 (5) Arthur Upham KO 9 28 Jul 1890 Audubon Athletic Club, New Orleans, Louisiana, US A finish fight
45 Win 22–6–12 (5) Billy McCarthy RTD 10 29 May 1890 California Athletic Club, San Francisco, California, US A finish fight
44 Win 21–6–12 (5) Frank Allen RTD 1 (3) 17 May 1890 California Athletic Club, San Francisco, California, US
43 Win 20–6–12 (5) Professor Jack West KO 1 (4) 1 Mar 1890 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
42 Win 19–6–12 (5) Edward Starlight Rollins TKO 9 22 Feb 1890 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia A finish fight
41 Loss 18–6–12 (5) Jim Hall KO 4 (20) 11 Feb 1890 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia For Australian middleweight title
40 Draw 18–5–12 (5) Edward Starlight Rollins NWS 4 10 Feb 1890 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
39 Win 18–5–11 (5) Dave Conway KO 4 (15) 1 Feb 1890 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
38 Win 17–5–11 (5) Dick Ellis RTD 3 (20) 16 Dec 1889 Royal Standard Theatre, Sydney, Australia
37 Win 16–5–11 (5) Professor Jack West KO 1 (8) 30 Nov 1889 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
36 Draw 15–5–11 (5) Pat Kiely NWS 4 26 Nov 1889 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
35 Win 15–5–10 (5) Jim Hall RTD 5 (8) 19 Jan 1889 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia Won Australian middleweight title
34 Win 14–5–10 (5) McEwan NWS 4 1 Dec 1888 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
33 Draw 13–5–10 (5) Jim Hall NWS 4 24 Nov 1888 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
32 Win 13–5–9 (5) Jim Hall NWS 4 10 Nov 1888 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
31 ND 12–5–9 (5) Mick Dooley ND 4 1 May 1888 Amateur Athletic Club, Sydney, Australia
30 Draw 12–5–9 (4) Bill Slavin NWS 4 17 Apr 1888 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
29 Draw 12–5–8 (4) Bill Slavin NWS 4 17 Mar 1888 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
28 Win 12–5–7 (4) Bill Slavin TKO 7 (8) 5 Mar 1888 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
27 Draw 11–5–7 (4) Billy McCarthy NWS 4 11 Feb 1888 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
26 Draw 11–5–6 (4) Tom Taylor NWS 4 26 Jan 1888 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
25 Draw 11–5–5 (4) Dan Hickey PTS 4 23 Jan 1888 Centennial Hall, Sydney, Australia
24 ND 11–5–4 (4) Frank Slavin ND 4 1 Jan 1888 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
23 Win 11–5–4 (3) Dave Travers KO 3 24 Sep 1887 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia A finish fight
22 Loss 10–5–4 (3) Jim Hall NWS 4 28 May 1887 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
21 Win 10–4–4 (3) George Eager KO 2 (4) 4 Apr 1887 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
20 Win 9–4–4 (3) Bill Slavin TKO 5 (8) 20 Mar 1887 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
19 Win 8–4–4 (3) Dick Sandall RTD 4 (4) 1 Mar 1887 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
18 Win 7–4–4 (3) George Seale PTS 4 15 Feb 1887 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
17 Win 6–4–4 (3) Jack Bonner NWS 4 12 Feb 1887 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
16 Draw 5–4–4 (3) Frank Slavin NWS 4 1 Jan 1887 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
15 Draw 5–4–3 (3) Jack Malloy PTS 4 4 Dec 1886 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
14 ND 5–4–2 (3) McArdle ND 4 9 Oct 1886 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
13 ND 5–4–2 (2) Australian Billy Smith ND 4 7 Oct 1886 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
12 Loss 5–4–2 (1) Tom Lees NWS 4 25 Aug 1886 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
11 Win 5–3–2 (1) McArdle NWS 4 7 Aug 1886 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
10 Loss 4–3–2 (1) Mick Dooley NWS 4 5 Jun 1886 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
9 Loss 4–2–2 (1) Mick Dooley NWS 4 2 Jun 1886 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
8 ND 4–1–2 (1) Steve O'Donnell ND 4 22 May 1886 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
7 Loss 4–1–2 Mick Dooley RTD 3 (4) 15 May 1886 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
6 Draw 4–0–2 Brinsley NWS 4 1 May 1886 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
5 Draw 4–0–1 Pablo Fanque NWS 3 1 May 1886 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia
4 Win 4–0 Pablo Fanque KO 2 (4) Feb 1886 The Green, Sydney, Australia
3 Win 3–0 Jack Greentree KO 3 (4) Mar 1, 1885 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia Exact date unknown
2 Win 2–0 Alf Bramsmead KO 2 (4) Apr 1, 1885 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia Exact date unknown
1 Win 1–0 Joe Riddle PTS 4 Mar 1, 1885 Foley's Hall, Sydney, Australia Exact date unknown

See alsoEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Most modern sources list these tournaments as happening a year apart, in 1880 and 1881. However, contemporary reports in the Timaru Herald suggest that they took place a few months apart in 1882.[12]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "The Lineal Boxing World Champions". The Cyber Boxing Zone Encyclopedia.
  2. ^ a b "Robert Fitzsimmons". Encyclopædia Britannica. British boxer, the first fighter to hold the world boxing championship in three weight divisions.
  3. ^ McWhirter, Norris. The Guinness Book of World Records 1997. p.467. " Lightest heavyweight champion Robert James "Bob" Fitzsimmons of Great Britain, weighed 165 pounds when he won the title by knocking out James J. Corbett". Random House Publishing Group, 1997
  4. ^ Physical Freak Flattened Men "Like Texas Cyclone", The Barrier Miner, (Thursday, 25 November 1954), p.7.
  5. ^ a b c d McMillan, N.A.C. "Fitzsimmons, Robert". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  6. ^ Ingram 2012, p. 37.
  7. ^ a b c Baker, Anne Pimlott (2011) [2004]. "Fitzsimmons, Robert [Bob]". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/37418. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  8. ^ Brett, Henry (1924). "White Wings (volume I)". Auckland, New Zealand: The Brett Printing Company Limited. p. 152.
  9. ^ Nicholson 2011, p. 45.
  10. ^ Nicholson 2011, p. 46.
  11. ^ Romanos, Joseph (5 September 2013). "Boxing and wrestling – Professional boxing". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  12. ^ "The Mace Combination Company". Timaru Herald. 10 June 1882. p. 2. Retrieved 21 December 2021 – via Papers Past. A feature of the entertainments given by the troupe is that amateurs are invited to contest in boxing and wrestling matches for silver medals
  13. ^ Pollack, Adam (2006). John L. Sullivan: The Career of the First Gloved Heavyweight Champion. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company Inc. p. 65. ISBN 978-0-7864-2558-7.
  14. ^ Kieza 2015, p. 30.
  15. ^ "The Lineal Middlleweight Champions". The Cyber Boxing Zone Encyclopedia.
  16. ^ a b c "Box rec.com. boxer: Bob Fitzsimmons". Archived from the original on 3 October 2012. Retrieved 23 December 2009.
  17. ^ Toronto Star, 19 January 1895.
  18. ^ Reilly, Joe. "Born To Uphold The Law: Frank Sulloway's Principles Applied to the Earp-Clanton Feud of 1879–1882" (PDF). Drexel E-Repository and Archive. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 July 2007. Retrieved 6 June 2011.
  19. ^ Barra, Alan (26 November 1995). "BACKTALK;When Referee Wyatt Earp Laid Down the Law". New York Times. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
  20. ^ Carpenter, Les (22 July 2015). "The forgotten story of … Wyatt Earp and the 'fixed' heavyweight title fight". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 18 November 2020.
  21. ^ Rasmussen, Cecilia (4 June 2000). "LA Then and Now: Mrs. Wyatt Earp Packed Her Own Punch". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
  22. ^ Shillingberg, William B. (Summer 1976). "Wyatt Earp and the Buntline Special Myth". Kansas Historical Quarterly. 42 (2): 113–154. Archived from the original on 1 February 2012.
  23. ^ Sonnichsen, C.L. (1968). Pass of the North: Four Centuries on the Rio Grande. Texas Western Press. pp. 358–362.
  24. ^ "The Lineal Heavyweight Champions". The Cyber Boxing Zone Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on 3 June 2009.
  25. ^ "Nellie Mighels Davis". Nevada Women's History Project. University of Nevada, Reno. Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2012.
  26. ^ "The Lineal Light Heavyweight Champions". The Cyber Boxing Zone Encyclopedia.
  27. ^ Ken Burns, Unforgivable Blackness
  28. ^ Romanos, J. "Statue of Bob Fitzsimmons, Timaru", Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, 27 January 2015. Retrieved 10 December 2016.
  29. ^ "Bob Fitzsimmons". The Ring Yearbook 2003 - The 100 Greatest Punchers of All-Time. The Ring. pp. 26–27.
  30. ^ "Robert Fitzsimmons - Genealogy". Fitzsimmons.co.nz. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  31. ^ "BoxRec: Bob Fitzsimmons". Boxrec.com. Retrieved 22 October 2021.

BibliographyEdit

Further readingEdit

  • Kiwis With Gloves On by Brian F O'Brien, published 1960, Reed.

External linksEdit

Achievements
Preceded by World Middleweight Champion
14 January 1891 – 26 September 1894
Vacated
Succeeded by
Preceded by World Heavyweight Champion
17 March 1897 – 9 June 1899
Succeeded by
Preceded by World Light Heavyweight Champion
25 September 1903 – 20 December 1905
Succeeded by
Titles in pretence
Preceded by World Heavyweight Champion
21 February 1896 – 2 December 1896
Succeeded by