Bob Fitzsimmons - World champion heavyweight boxer

false

Born in Helston in 1863 Bob "Ruby Robert" Fitzimmons went on to become the first man and only European born boxer ever to hold world titles at three different weights

At the age of 9 Fitzimmons and his family emigrated 12,000 miles to Timaru in the South Island of New Zealand. Upon leaving school Robert went to work at his brother Jarrett's forge and became a blacksmith. No doubt the strength gained from his profession helped with his boxing.

Once established as a serous boxer Fitzsimmons moved to Sydney, Australia where he spent several years. But for the recognition and money that Bob desired there was only one place, the United States.
It didn't take him long to make his mark in America and on the 14th Januray 1891, aged 28 years old he won the World Middleweight title by knocking out Jack Dempsey in thirteen rounds in New Orleans.

However, it was in 1897 that Fitzimmons made his place in the annals of sport by beating 'Gentleman' Jim Corbett at Carson City, Nevada and taking the World Heavyweight Championship by knockout. Fitzsimmons acknowledged his own success and said he had done pretty well for a boxer who was only really a middleweight.

Fitz lost his title 2 and a half years later to James J Jefferies when he was knocked out in the 11th round. Jefferies was 13 years his junior and went on to dominate the sport for nearly a decade.

Despite losing his title Fitzsimmons continued to fight and in 1903 went 20 rounds in San Fransisco to win the new World Light Heavyweight Championship.

In 1914, at the age of fifty one Bob Fitsimmons retired. He died three years later of influenza in Chicago.