Titles: Middleweight champion 1891-1897, light heavyweight champion 1903-1905, heavyweight champion 1897-1899 Record: 40-11 with 10 no decisions Born: May 26, 1863 in Helstol, Conrwall, England Years active: 1883-1914 Nickname: Ruby Robert Bob Fitzsimmons has to be the most least likely looking heavyweight champion of all time. Standing less than 6 feet, he looked rather frail with red balding hair, covered with freckles and spindly legs, yet he held titles in 3 different weights. It was said his upper body strength came from years of work as a blacksmith apprentice. The career of Bob Fitzsimmons began when he entered and won a amateur tourney in New Zealand and was discovered by old bare knuckle champ Jem Mace who encouraged him to turn pro. He did eventually turn pro and fought in Australia to begin his career with a record of 15 wins and 5 losses to go along with six no decisions. His career skyrocketed when he moved to America and won 3 fights by knockout to get a shot at the legendary Jack "Nonpareil" Dempsey for the middleweight crown. It was all Fitzsimmons who knocked out Dempsey in the 13th of a one sided affair. Fitzsimmons a very sound business man immediately looked to fight bigger men for bigger purses. He defeated very good heavyweight Peter Maher to secure a world title shot at James J. Corbett. Giving up 16 pounds and 4 years of youth he entered the ring as a 10 to 6 underdog. The first half of the fight was all Corbett who beat Fitzsimmons to the punch on every occasion and also sent Fitzsimmons to the canvas. He gamely fought on and landed a famous "Solar Plexus Punch" to the pit of Corbett's stomach and he went down in a heap gasping for air. One punch made Fitzsimmons the heavyweight champion! It took 2 years before Bob defended his title, Fitzsimmons was busy traveling the land basking in victory and on occasion fighting exhibition bouts. He lost the title in his first defense to James J. Jefferies who outweighed him by 64 pounds and was 12 years younger, no punch could save Fitzsimmons this time. The fight lasted for 11 rounds and other than a couple of flurries he was soundly beaten. Although the rematch ended in the 8th round it saw Fitzsimmons do much better than the previous bout. Fitzsimmons was not yet done however and came back from a short lived retirement. At the age of 40 won the light heavyweight title from a good George Gardner in 20 rounds to become the first man to ever hold 3 titles in 3 different weights. Bob dominated the early rounds and had to hold on for the last 3 rounds to get a well deserved decision. Again he did not defend the title often only fighting once in 2 years but it was against the very good Jack O'Brien which ended in a no decision. A rematch was much more one sided and saw Fitzsimmons loose when he could not continue after 12 rounds of eating left hooks. A unwise comeback saw Fitzsimmons dominated by Jack Johnson and the 44 year old Fitzsimmons didn't even last until the third round. He was coaxed out of retirement 3 more times with a predictable results. Fitzsimmons did a little stage acting and died at the age of 54 after contracting pneumonia.
1883 --- Jim Crawford Sydney, NSW, Aus TK0 3 -Bare Knuckles were used for this bout --- Pablo Frank Sydney, NSW, Aus W 4 --- Joe Riddle Sydney, NSW, Aus W 4 --- Alf Brinsmead Sydney, NSW, Aus KO 2 --- Jack Greentree Sydney, NSW, Aus KO 3 --- Jack Bonner Sydney, NSW, Aus W 4 --- Dick Sandall Sydney, NSW, Aus W 4 1886 May 15 Mick Dooley Sydney, NSW, Aus KOby 4 Jun 2 Mick Dooley Sydney, NSW, Aus L 4 Jun 5 Mick Dooley Sydney, NSW, Aus L 4 Jul 10 Mick Dooley Sydney, NSW, Aus KO 2 Aug 7 McArdle Sydney, NSW, Aus W 4 Oct 7 Bill Smith Sydney, NSW, Aus ND 4 1887 Mar Bill Slavin Sydney, NSW, Aus TKO 5 --- George Eager Sydney, NSW, Aus KO 2 --- Dave Conway Sydney, NSW, Aus TKO 2 1888 --- Jim Hall Sydney, NSW, Aus ND 4 --- Frank "Paddy" Slavin Sydney, NSW, Aus ND 4 --- Jim Hall Sydney, NSW, Aus ND 4 --- Billy McCarthy Sydney, NSW, Aus ND 4 Dec 1 McEwan Sydney, NSW, Aus W 4 1889 Dec 12 Dick Ellis Sydney, NSW, Aus ND 4 1890 Feb 4 Edward "Starlight" Rollins Sydney, NSW, Aus ND 4 Feb 10 Jim Hall Sydney, NSW, Aus KO 1 Feb 12 Jim Hall Sydney, NSW, Aus KOby 4 Feb 22 Edward "Starlight" Rollins Sydney, NSW, Aus TKO 9 Mar Professor West Sydney, NSW, Aus TKO 1 May 17 Frank Allen San Francisco, Ca TKO 1 May 29 Billy McCarthy San Francisco, Ca KO 5 Jun 28 Arthur Upham New Orleans, La KO 9 Jul 10 Joe Choynski San Francisco, Ca ND 4 1891 Jan 14 "Nonpareil" Jack Dempsey New Orleans, La KO 13 -Middleweight Championship of the World; Apr 28 Abe Cougle Chicago, Il TKO 2 May 1 Harris Martin "Black Pearl" Minneapolis, Mn W 4 Jul 22 Jim Hall Minneapolis, Mn 1892 Mar 2 Peter Maher New Orleans, La TKO 12 Apr Charles Puff Newark, NJ KO Apr Thomas Robbins Newark, NJ TKO 3 Apr 30 James Farrell Newark, NJ KO 2 May 6 Joe Godfrey Philadelphia, Pa KO 1 May 11 Jerry Slattery New York, NY KO 2 Sep 3 Millard Zender Anniston, Al KO 1 1893 Feb 20 Frank Bosworth Bay St. Louis, Ms KO Mar 8 Jim Hall New Orleans, La KO 4 -Middleweight Championship of the World Mar 25 Phil Mayo Chicago, Il KO 2 Mar 31 Jack Warner Baltimore, Md TKO 1 Apr 12 Dan Curry Philadelphia, Pa TKO 1 Apr 12 Hank Smith Philadelphia, Pa TKO 1 Apr 13 Alexander Kilpatrick Philadelphia, Pa TKO 3 Apr 15 Jack Sheridan Philadelphia, Pa TKO 1 Apr 22 Joe Godfrey Philadelphia, Pa KO 1 Apr 22 Mike Monoghan Philadelphia, Pa TKO 1 Apr 22 Alexander Kilpatrick Philadelphia, Pa ND 3 May 6 Mike Brennan Boston, Ma KO 4 May 30 Dan Coner Philadelphia, Pa TKO 1 Sep 5 Jack Hickey Newark, NJ W 3 --- Paul Loeser Chicago, Il W 5 --- Louis the Giant Chicago, Il KO 3 --- George Dobson Chicago, Il KO 3 --- Charlie Biehle Chicago, Il KO 5 --- Wyoming Chicago, Il KO 3 --- "Big" Bill Collins Chicago, Il KO 2 --- Paul Loeser Chicago, Il KO 2 --- an unnamed opponent Chicago, Il KO 1 1894 Jun 17 Joe Choynski Boston, Ma D 5 Jul 28 Frank Kellar Buffalo, NY KO 2 Sep 26 Dan Creedon New Orleans, La (1:40) KO 2 -Middleweight Championship of the World; 1895 Apr 16 Al Allich New York, NY KO 3 Apr 19 Mike Connors New York, NY KO 1 1896 Feb 21 Peter Maher Mexico, near Langtry, Tx KO 1 Feb 29 Peter Maher New York, NY ND 3 Dec 2 "Sailor" Tom Sharkey San Francisco, Ca L D.Q 8 1897 Mar 17 Jim Corbett Carson City, Nv KO 14 Heavyweight Championship of the World; Jun 5 Leadville Blacksmith Leadville, Co KO 2 1899 Jun 9 Jim Jeffries Brooklyn, NY KOby 11 Heavyweight Championship of the World; Oct 28 Geoff Thorne Chicago, Il KO 1 1900 Mar 27 Jim Daly Philadelphia, Pa KO 1 Apr 30 Ed Dunkhorst Brooklyn, NY KO 2 Aug 10 Gus Ruhlin New York, NY KO 6 Aug 24 "Sailor" Tom Sharkey Brooklyn, NY KO 2 1902 Jul 25 Jim Jeffries San Francisco, Ca KOby 8 -Heavyweight Championship of the World; Dec 19 Steward Butte, Mt KO 1 Dec 27 Mike Ranke Bozeman, Mt KO 2 1903 Sep 30 Con Coughlin Philadelphia, Pa KO 1 Oct 14 Joe Grim Philadelphia, Pa ND 6 Nov 25 George Gardner San Francisco, Ca W 20 Light Heavyweight Championship of the World; 1904 Jul 23 "Philadelphia" Jack O'Brien Philadelphia, Pa ND 6 1905 Dec 20 "Philadelphia" Jack O'Brien San Francisco, Ca TKoby 13 Light Heavyweight Championship of the World; 1906 Jan 31 Charles Haghey Webster, Ma KO 4 1907 Jul 17 Jack Johnson Philadelphia, Pa KOby 2 1908 Sep 21 Jean Paul Benson Mines, NY KO 1 1909 Dec 27 Bill Lang Sydney, NSW, Aus KOby 12 1914 Jan 29 Bob "K.O." Sweeney Williamsport, Pa ND 6 Feb 20 Jersey Bellew Bethlehem, Pa ND 6