The first triple titleholder in history, Bob Fitzsimmons won the world middleweight, heavyweight, and light heavyweight championships in a career that spanned 27 years. As a young man, Fitzsimmons worked as a blacksmith, and his punches held the power of an iron hammer hitting an anvil. He defied age, consistently fought larger men, and was crafty and resilient in the ring.
Born in England, Fitzsimmons moved to New Zealand with his family as a small boy. School was a luxury and, before long, Fitzsimmons went to work as a carriage painter and in a foundry. His interest in boxing heated up when he entered an amateur boxing tournament supervised by visiting Hall of Famer Jem Mace. Weighing just 140 pounds, Fitzsimmons knocked out four larger opponents and won the heavyweight division of the contest.
In 1883, Fitzsimmons moved to Australia, where his first recorded professional bouts took place. Over the next seven years, he posted a record of 15-5, with six no-decisions. In 1890, he travelled to America where three knockout bouts earned him a chance to fight world middleweight champion Jack Dempsey (The Nonpareil). Fitzsimmons proved to be more than Dempsey's equal and, after a vicious battle, he knocked the champion out in the thirteenth round.
Fitzsimmons defended his middleweight crown just once before aiming at the heavyweight title. He knocked out fellow contender Peter Maher in one round in 1896 and, later that year, delivered an eighth-round wallop that floored heavyweight Tom Sharkey. Referee Wyatt Earp, the former lawman, called the punch a low blow and disqualified Fitzsimmons, to the dismay of most observers, who thought the punch was fair.
In 1897, Fitzsimmons faced heavyweight champion James J. Corbett in Carson City, Nevada for the title. The balding, spindly-legged Fitzsimmons (John L. Sullivan called him "a fighting machine on stilts") did not look like a potential heavyweight champion. He was 34 years old, to Corbett's 30, and weighed sixteen pounds less. Corbett landed seriously damaging blows for most of the fight. Fitzsimmons was bleeding badly, but his blacksmith's arm won him the fight in the fourteenth round when he slammed a paralyzing blow into Corbett's solar plexis, the nerve center just below the breastbone. Corbett went down with a horrified gasp, and Fitzsimmons took the title. He wore the crown for two uncontested years before losing it to James J. Jeffries, who knocked him out in the eleventh round.
Fitzsimmons continued boxing and in 1903, at 40 years old, he knocked George Gardner down four times in twenty rounds to win the light heavyweight title. He lost the title to Philadelphia Jack O'Brien in 1905, but continued to fight on and off for the next nine years. He lost a two-round knockout to Jack Johnson in one of his last fights. In retirement, Fitzsimmons toured the vaudeville circuit before becoming an evangelist.
19 June 1910
That Solar Plexus Blow
Robert Fitzsimmons v James J Corbett
17 March 1897
articles for a fight for the championship of the world between the title holder James J. Corbett. and the middleweight champion, Robert Fitzsimmons, were signed a few days before Christmas, 1896. The promoter of this battle, which was fought in Carson City, Nev., was Dan Stuart, of Texas, who had demonstrated his ability in affairs of this sort. Stuart was known the country over as a square man, who always was anxious to make good his word, and with him at the head of affairs the followers of pugilism rested in full confidence that the contest would be in every way above suspicion.
One of Stuart's close friends was a man who for more than thirty years has been interested in all classes of amateur and professional sport and who today is known the country over as one without a blemish upon his reputation. To this man Stuart went one day early in January, 1897 and asked him if he would undertake to place $50,000 in wagers on the Corbett-Fitzsimmons battle, the money to be furnished by Stuart.
"That is too much money to bet on this fight, Dan," said his friend. "When two such men as Corbett, and Fitzsimmons get into the ring- either one is likely to be returned the winner. Fifty thousand dollars is a lot of money to risk on a contest of this kind."
"I will not risk the money," said Stuart, "unless I am able to make certain arrangements that I now have in contemplation."
"Fifty thousand dollars could not be bet," replied his friend, "without attracting much attention. I don't know what you mean, Dan, but, of course, the Inference is bad. I never have had a shade the best of it, and I don't want the best of it. If I bet $50,000 on this fight my friends would know it, and I would be suspected of employing methods that I do not like. Then if your connection with the wagers were established—and I don't see how it would be possible to keep It secret—It would look very bad for all of us. I wish you would get somebody else to place your money,"
Stuart replied that he knew of no other man who could place $50,000 without attracting a lot of attention that -would be harmful to the fight and distasteful to himself. "Why don't you try Pittsburg Phil (George E. Smith)," responded his friend. "I had thought of him," said Stuart, "but I am not acquainted with him. Of course, he is just the man to place this money if he could be persuaded to do so." "I will be very glad to see that you meet him," responded Stuart's friend. "If you will name the time and place I will bring you together." This was agreed upon, and Dan Stuart and Pittsburg Phil were brought together. What arrangement was made between them cannot now be told. Both men are dead, and what they knew of the Corbett-Fitzsimmons battle died with them.
Pittsburg Phil was In San Francisco a few days before Corbett and Fitzsimmons came together. That city was in a tumult of excitement, and betting on the result of the fight was free. In the poolrooms, which then flourished in an open manner, Pittsburg Phil took the Fitzsimmons end of the wagers at 1 to 2. So much did he bet that the odds gradually shortened, until two days before the fight 7 to 5 was the longest price that Corbett's adherents would offer. Phil then went to Carson City, where he repeated the methods he had employed in San Francisco. In a poolroom owned and managed by Corbett's brother, Phil wagered a large fortune on the chances of Fitzsimmons, and again he forced the prices to shorten materially.
The first six rounds of the battle were all in favor of Corbett. The sixth round found Fitzsimmons apparently a beaten man. Not once, however, did Pittsburg Phil falter. A the ringside, even at the moment when Fitzsimmons seemed about to sink to the mat helpless, he stood covering every dollar of Corbett money that was offered. The friends of the champion knew that all he had to do was to continue forcing the fight and Fitzsimmons must fall before his onslaught . To their surprise, Corbett betrayed bad judgment, and instead of going in to strike down his battered opponent, he stood away and gave Fitzsimmons time to recuperate his strength.
There was in Carson City the last few days that preceded the battle a man who was and continued up to the time of Stuart's death a close personal friend and business agent of the fight promoter. This man believed Fitzsimmons had no chance to whip Corbett. and wagered a large sum of money in accordance with his views. Two days before the battle he retreated from his position and bet so much money on Fitzsimmons that at the conclusion of the fight he was a heavy winner.
When Corbett went down to defeat In the fourteenth round he fell in such a manner as to take him almost out of focus of the picture making machine. Raising himself on his hands, he twisted around so that he faced the lens. His face then took on an appearance of intense pain. Apparently he was unable to gain his feet during the count of ten. As the fatal word "Out!" was spoken Corbett sprang to his feet with as much strength as he had shown at any time during the fight and declared an Intention of whipping all who were in
There had been bad blood between the heavyweight and middleweight champions for several years. More than one attempt to bring them together had failed. Corbett, it seemed, was more willing than was Fitzsimmons to test their relative merits. Finally, however, the two men agreed to fight to a finish under the Marquis of Queensbury rules for the heavyweight championship of the world and for a purse of $15,000. all of which went to the winner. George Siler of Chicago was agreed upon as referee.
Stuart picked Carson City as the scene of the fight, Nevada having enacted legislation favorable to glove contests. Corbett established his quarters at Shaw's Springs, having in his camp various celebrities of the prize ring, among others. James J. Jeffries, then known mealy as a husky young boilermaker but now as the one unbeaten champion of champions. Fitzsimmons began training in Cook's Grove, his brother-in-law, Martin Julian, being in charge. Both pugilists during their period of training displayed freaks of temper and peculiarities that were beyond the power of their friends to understand. At all1 times Corbett was sullen, fretful and disagreeable. Fitzsimmons acted like a crazy man. He was frequently seen tramping barefooted through the snow.
At times he would joke in a hysterical manner other times he would have moments of sullenness equal to those of Corbett. Previous to his battle with Jackson, Sullivan and Mitchell, Corbett had been pleasant and confident of success. In Carson City he seemed to dread the approach of the day of the fight. That he was afraid of Fitzsimmons no one believed. It may have been that he was afraid of the battle. Finally as the sun was mounting toward its zenith on March 17, the two men were brought together in the ring at the open air arena outside Carson City.
There were the usual preliminaries and introductions. One feature of the battle that marked a precedent was the presence at the ring side of Mrs.Fitzsimmons, wife of Corbett's antagonist. When the men were called to the center of the ring to receive final instructions from the referee Corbett advanced and held out his hand to shake with Fitzsimmons. The offer was refused, Fitzsimmons backing away, shaking his head and muttering "No." Then the ring was cleared, the gong sounded, and the two gladiators began one of the most remarkable battles the prize ring has known.
Corbett, as in his preceding fights, was a picture of muscular strength and agility. He was trained to the hour, his flesh hard and white as marble. The only bad feature of his appearance was to be found in his face, which was drawn and rather heavily lined. He showed evidences of worry. Fitzsimmons, never an object of beauty, shambled about the ring on his thin legs, which knocked together at the knees and spread apart like the prongs of a bent hairpin. His large lands dangled from his long arms far below his thighs. A sneering smile did nothing to improve his facial beauty.
As their hands came up Fitzsimmons made his attack. The only effect was to enthuse Corbett, so that the blood, forcing its way to his cheeks, gave to him an appearance of greater vitality. Corbett maneuvered so as to keep Fitzsimmons with his face to the sun. The Cornishman assumed the aggressive and swung violently with his right and left. Corbett dodged and the two men came Into their first clinch. They parted at a word from the referee, and Fitzsimmons took up his pace, following Corbett around the ring. Suddenly the champion halted, pushed his way forward and handed Fitzsimmons a hard right and left to the head and ribs. Fitzsimmons countered with a left, then landed without force over Corbett's heart. All that could be said of the first round was that the two men were feeling each other out, Corbett using the greater caution and showing the better judgment.
Corbett Seems Invincible.
Coming up for the second round Corbett immediately changed his tactics and demonstrated his willingness to exchange blows. He drew Fitzsimmons forward, brushed aside his left lead and then swung a heavy right blow to the temple and clinched. Fitzsimmons was angry. He endeavored to force Corbett away, and when they finally broke the Cornishman was in Corbett's corner, where he was kept for a full half minute by the champion, who landed half a dozen blows, none of which, however, was damaging.
Fitzsimmons finally fought his way out of the close corner, Corbett giving ground, but doing much the better work in the leads. Half a dozen times Corbett jabbed Fitzsimmons head back with a light left. Suddenly he shifted his methods, dipped his shoulders and shot in a heavy left to his opponent's stomach. Fitzsimmons, hurt, tried to clinch. Corbett pushed him off, repeated his tactics and drove a second hard left hand blow to Fitzsimmons stomach. Again Fitzsimmons fell into a clinch, and they were swaying together when the bell rang.
They met in the third round in the center of the ring. Corbett, standing straight, stepped in close and swung a damaging left to the stomach. Fitzsimmons drove his left for Corbett's head, but the blow was ducked and they came to a clinch, Corbett showing that he possessed the greater strength, pushing Fitzsimmons about with ease. Nevertheless the Cornishman was willing to force matters and he drove the champion back to the ropes, taking in payment a hard left hand blow to the face. Immediately after that Corbett came back with his right and caught Fitzsimmons under the jaw, and as the Cornishman raised his guard Corbett sent a hard left to the body.
Fitzsimmons was eager to clinch, and as they came together gave Corbett a short arm jolt to the head. No damage was done and Corbett more than evened matters up by letting his right fall heavily on his opponent's kidneys. The body blows were distressing Fitzsimmons, a fact that did not escape Corbett's attention. He started in to demonstrate his superiority over his opponent, and he had little difficulty in accomplishing his object. Corbett exchanged rights to the ribs and then sent two hard punches under the heart, getting away without a return. The round belonged to Corbett beyond a doubt. Those who predicted his victory were confident he could not be defeated.
Corbett took up his victorious march again in the fourth, which Fitzsimmons opened with an attempt to take the lead. He forced Corbett for a few seconds and received a smashing left in the face for his pains. There was a clinch and Fitzsimmons goaded Corbett in the ribs, to which the champion responded with a light right to the jaw. Fitzsimmons smiled but backed away, Corbett following rapidly after him. Corbett danced in and out and snapped a hard left to the chin. Fitzsimmons was angry and swung wild, falling out of position. Corbett took quick advantage and landed the heaviest blow of the fight up to this time on Fitzsimmons right ear. It was a distressing blow and Fitzsimmons did not steady himself for several econds. Then he led with his left and clinched.
Corbett was the master of the situation, and as he forced his opponent away he jolted one of his eyes with his right. Fitzsimmons made no attempt to conceal his distress. He rushed into a clinch and endeavored to best his opponent at infighting. But at this he found Corbett right at home with a knowledge of wrestling that was surprising. Corbett was playing with Fitzsimmons much as a cat plays with a mouse, and as they broke away he rapped his opponent with a hard right to the heart and, immediately stepped forward, whipped his right into the
ribs with all his force. Swinging Fitzsimmons half around, he drove his left to the jaw, and working his arms like piston rods, repeated the blow. Fitzsimmons staggered as he went back to his corner, while Corbett showed absolutely no sign of distress. Julian and his other seconds worked hard over Fitzsimmons during the minute's intermission and sent him out for the fifth round somewhat refreshed.
Fitzsimmons rushed and ran into a left jolt to the chin that caused him to clinch. Corbett drove a heavy right to the region of the heart and Fitzsimmons arms fell to his side. A second blow to Fitzsimmons body seemed to wake him up and he landed a heart punch that failed to do much damage.
The best that could be said of Fitzsimmons was that he took his punishment with great gameness. At every point of the game Corbett was demonstrating his superiority. In the clinches with his forearm against his opponent's throat he forced his head back, and then as soon as free, drove his fists through to the body or to the face. Fitzsimmons was bleeding freely, a fact that caused the spectators to clamor for a knockout. Twice Corbett jabbed Fitzsimmons on the nose with his left and the Cornishman was almost ready to take the final nap. Then came a sharp admonition from Corbett's corner. Delaney, grasping one of the ropes of the ring, leaned with his head far forward toward the two contestants.
"Jim, Jim," he shouted, "take your time! Don't let him fool you"
This cry from his corner for a moment seemed to anger Corbett. He stepped back, looked at Delaney, and then rushed forward and in quick succession landed two lefts and a right, jarring Fitzsimmons from the top of his head to his feet. Fitzsimmons, attempting to drive in a punch to the heart, fell into a clinch. His eyes were half dazed and he was so distressed that his breath was hissing through his teeth. Mrs. Fitzsimmons had sprung to her feet and was shouting instructions to the men who were seconding her husband. As the bell sounded and gave to Fitzsimmons another chance she sent a messenger to his corner and told him to change his method of fighting. Corbett stood in the middle of the ring, showing no distress. He walked to his corner without a mark on his face and without a red spot showing on his body.
Fltzsimmons came up for the sixth round still showing the effects of the punishment received in the earlier sessions. His first move looked as if he were willing to lose the fight on a foul. He rushed to a clinch, threw his forearm across Corbett's throat, and, exerting all his power, forced Corbett's head back until some at the ring side scared that his neck would be broken. The referee sprang forward and parted the two antagonists, while the cry of "Foul!" went up. Siler evidently thought no great damage had been done and motioned for the men to get into action.
Corbett was enraged, and with his first lead got Fitzsimmons with a heavy right to the chin. They clinched and as they broke away Corbett again sent his opponent's head back with a fearful right uppercut. Fitzsimmons was dazed and Corbett had no difficulty then in landing a second right full on the mouth, spattering Fitzsimmons blood all about the ring. Again Delaney sprang to his feet and again the warning cry was given:
"Take your time. Jim! Don't be in a hurry!"
As he shouted Corbett drove in a right and left to the face. Fitzsimmons was too weak to make a fair defense, and he was utterly unable to assume the offensive. All he could do was to save himself in the clinches. When he was forced to break he stood with his legs apart, assembling all his strength to keep his feet.
The Mysterious Warning.
Corbett landed a right to the chin and Fitzsimmons fell to the floor. He rested on his knee while again came the mysterious warning from his corner to take his time. These suggestions were beyond the power of the spectators to understand. Fitzsimmons, unable to protect himself, apparently could have been knocked out at my time Corbett wished to land the final punch. Instead of taking advantage of his long lead Corbett kept away. He drew back whenever an opening presented, landing only the lightest of punches. Fitzsimmons clinched and hugged and Corbett made little effort to force him off. When the round was nearly over Fitzsimmons again began to swing his fists, but was unable to give force or direction to his blows. Corbett laughed at him, but stood without malting an effort to do damage. Then the gong sounded and Corbett walked to his corner, apparently the most discouraged man in the" house. Those who saw victory ahead for him failed to understand his attitude.
Fitzsimmons came up for the seventh round, dazed and weak, and though it appeared certain that Corbett must win one of Fitzsimmons backers stood at the ring side taking every dollar of Corbett money that was offered, asking no longer odds than 10 to 6 for his wagers. When the men advanced for the seventh round a different Corbett was seen. Up to that moment he had been able to handle Fitzsimmons much as a man handles a boy. Yet in the seventh Fitzsimmons drove, him all around the ring. He was forced against the roped whenever they bumped together. His blows, that had been well timed and accurately placed, lacked power and precision. Just before the round, ended Corbett
apparently came to his senses and for a. moment showed a flash of his earlier ability and sent in some smashing blows.
The eighth round was a repetition of the seventh, except that Fitzsimmons came to the front much refreshed, Fitzsimmons fought as if the advantage were all his. Corbett contented himself with straightening his left and jabbing Fitzsimmons in the nose. On one occasion the two men exchanged words in the ring that were understood by no one but themselves. Corbett, apparently enraged, met his opponent with a right hand blow that flattened his nose. Then he forced matters and placed two lefts to the face and a hard right under the heart. Fitzsimmons weakened and clinched and then again assumed the aggressive, though he did little damage to his opponent. Corbett contented himself with a defensive attitude.
Just before the ninth round closed Fitzsimmons covered with blood and leg weary, received a hard blow on the chin. He tell against the ropes and Corbett drew back his right to send in. what might have been a decisive blow. Fitzsimmons hands hung by his sides and he was utterly unable to protect himself, when from Corbett's corner came the cry, "Look out for him, Jim. he's shamming! He isn't as weak as he looks!" Corbett smiled in derision at his opponent, but made no further move until the bell sent them to their corners.
Fitzsimmons opened the tenth round in a determined manner. Corbett dodged a heavy, left and Fitzsimmons stumbled to the ropes. As he turned Corbett stepped in and drove his right to the ear He had full swing for the blow, but there was no force behind it. Fitzsimmons clinched and they were in the middle of the ring when they broke. Corbett waited and Fitzsimmons swung a failure for the face. Corbett countered on the nose and Fitzsimmons again clinched. As they broke Fitzsimmons tried a left jab for the ribs, but Corbett stopped it with his glove and laughed.
Punches Are Stingless
In the meantime Fitzsimmons was not being punished severely and his strength was returning to him. Corbett showed no, desire or ability to distress his opponent. He landed at will, but there was no sting to his punches. Clinches were frequent in this round and Fitzsimmons made good use of his left, which reached Corbett's head repeatedly, but, so far as the spectators could see, did little damage. There were some who judged from Corbett's lack of force that he was tiring, but he went to his corner without a falter being noticed in his stride.
Fitzsimmons turned up for the eleventh round as if he realized that victory was assured. He drove Corbett about the ring, inflicting little punishment and taking a few left blows to the face and rights to the body. Once Fitzsimmons hooked Corbett on the chin. The champion seemed to become enraged, and, bracing himself, drove first his left and then his right to Fitzsimmons face, spattering the blood in every direction. This surprised Fitzsimmons and they clinched. In the break Corbett drove his right to the ribs absolutely without return Again Fitzsimmons seemed to be at the mercy of Corbett. and Delaney shouted: "Jim, look out for that right."
Corbett kept away until Fitzsimmons had recuperated. Then in the last ten seconds of the round he landed on Fitzsimmons face at will. They were In a clinch as the bell Sounded and Corbett apparently was the much the fresher of the two.Corbett opened the twelfth round by feinting. Fitzsimmons was ineffective in his leads and Corbett poked his left to the nose as he pleased. Fitzsimmons was bleeding. Corbett then drove a heavy left to the body and took a jolt on the chin In return. They clinched and Corbett landed two more right handers to the jaw as they separated, Fitzsimmons head rocking heavily. Corbett was again taking a long lead and his friends were confident he could end the fight when it pleased him. Corbett, who had missed hardly one of his blows, swung a terrific right uppercut just before the gong ended the round. The blow missed Fitzsimmons face by a full foot, and there were those in the arena who expressed the opinion that the blow had not been well intended.
Fitzsimmons always regarded the thirteenth as his lucky round, and he hustled out of his corner as if he expected to settle matters. Corbett drove a hard right to the heart and Fitzsimmons slowed up. That lasted only for a minute, however, and the Cornishman then began to drive Corbett before him around the ring. They sparred rather cautiously and then Corbett was forced against the ropes. Corbett scored repeatedly but with no force. A moment before the gong Corbett made a swing -that landed a right uppercut and two, lefts, all three blows reaching Fitzsimmons' face,covering him with blood.
As the men came to the middle of the ring for the fourteenth round Corbett placed a hard left on the mouth, shaking Fitzsimmons thoroughly. The Cornishman rushed and received a second blow of the same kind. These two blows seemed to damage the giver more than they did the receiver. Fitzsimmons passed an overhand right that caught Corbett on the ear. They clinched and Fitzsimmons worked Corbett clear across the ring. Fitzsimmons landed two heavy blows on the chin, neither of which distressed Corbett Then the champion stepped forward, crouching slightly. Fitzsimmons straightened up and drove his left to the body, catching Corbett hard directly under the heart. Few of those around the ring saw; this blow as it was actually delivered. Fitzsimmons fist after landing continued in a half swing and caught Corbett on the jaw. Corbett fell to his knees and as he did so Fitzsimmons landed another left to the jaw. There were cries of 'Foul!" of which the referee took no notice, Corbett gradually toppled over until his hands rested on the floor. Then with his left hand he grasped the
flesh over his heart. It was at this moment that Corbett. who was half out of focus of the camera, reached forward with his right hand and caught one of the ropes. Then he swung himself around directly facing the camera. He was in this position when counted out.
No sooner had the word been uttered taking the championship from him than Corbett was on his feet. He threw both hands in the air above its head, then rushed over to where Fitzsimmons was standing near the ropes. His brother, Joe, caught Corbett by the arm but Jim easily freed himself, and, dodging past others in the ring, struck Fitzsimmons, who was waving two small American flags. There was plenty of force in that blow. the blow that his-friends thought might have been delivered in any round after the fifth. Fitzsimmons
fell to the floor and his friends were compelled to carry him to his corner and place him in his chair.
Siler raised his voice above the din at the ring and shouted "Fitzsimmons wins!" Tears coursed down Corbett's checks. "I'm not licked," he said. "I am strong and full of fight. I am willing to fight on if he is willing. The championship is his. The bets have been won. Know I want to show which is the best man. This is a tough deal, boys." Deputy sheriffs cleared the ring and Corbett and Fitzsimmons were brought together to shake hands. Corbett then admitted that he had been whipped, but said he was sure he was the better man. He asked Fitzsimmons for a return fight, and Fitzsimmons responded: "I will never fight again."
W. A Brady, who had acted as Corbett's manager, issued an immediate challenge to Fitzsimmons for a return fight for $10,000. Fitzsimmons merely smiled and shook his head. In order to stop misunderstanding it should be said that the very great majority of those who saw the fight and the great majority of those who have discussed it in private and public have not doubted that the battle was honestly fought, honestly lost and honestly won. There are many, however, and among them some of the best judges of pugilism in America, who believe that Corbett could have won the fight in the fifth, sixth, seventh or eighth rounds. Although Fitzsimmons fought many battles after winning from Corbett he never would consent to give his old antagonist a return match.
Fitz v Jeffries
Newark Daily Advocate
1899 –10 June
'Fitzsimmons, is "dead." The "next door" to a Licking county boy, James Jeffries, who was born just over the Licking county line, has won in a contest for supremacy in pugilism of the world. Long live the newly arisen champion. When Fitz measured his length upon the platform and Referee Siler stood over him counting the seconds there was a subdued roar like the approach of a tidal wave. When the last second had been counted and "Lanky Bob" failed to arise, the roars developed into a mighty yell of mingled, triumph and "vexation. In that last blow delivered by Jim Jeffries, fortunes were won and lost. He made for himself fame and a name. When the referee announced that Jeffries had won 10,000 spectators became hysterical in the excitement. Men climbed up; jumped over the ropes and surrounded the fighters. Some with words of praise and others with expressions of condolence. I never saw such a scene of wild excitement as there was much betting and money seemed as plentiful as peanuts and was as little thought of.
THE NEW CHAMPION
Promised to Visit His Old Home
After the Big Fight.
The people of the little village of Carroll, Fairfield county, are overjoyed at the result of the Jeffries-Fitzsimmons fight in New York last night as it was three miles from that little village that Jeffries first saw the light It was there that he spent his early boyhood days and though he was a little shaver not more than six years old when he left with his parents for the west eighteen years ago, he is remembered by all the older residents of the town and vicinity.
Even at that early age Jeffries was interested in pugilistic affairs and was quite expert as a boxer for a little fellow. The relatives of the now champion of the world are among the most refined people of that vicinity, prominent among whom are the Kistlers, Mrs. A. B. Kistler being the big fellow's aunt. Upon a recent visit to Fairfield county Jeffries and his brother "Jack" promised to return to the boyhood home, providing Jim was successful in the contest with Fitz. Jeffries was inNewark about the same lime that he visited Fairfield county, having stopped off to visit his relatives here. Mr. Orren Ingman's wife was an aunt of Jeffries, while Mr. Enfield. the carpenter of North Fourth street, and Mr. Joseph Jeffries who lives midway between Newark and Hebron, are Jeffries'uncles.
Jeffries' father in California, is an itinerant preacher, and one of his beliefs is that no minister should accept compensation for his services. Fortunately the possession of a farm in the west enables him to carry out his theory and yet live comfortably.
Jeffries made many friends In Newark upon his recent visit by his quiet unassuming manner. There is none of the braggadocio so common among fighters, about him. He is a cordial and great big good fellow.
Says Jeffries Outfought and Outpointed
Fltz all Through.
Cincinnati, June 10.—Harry M.
Weldon -wired from New York:
" Jim Jeffries outfought and outpointed and finally knocked out Robert Fitzsimmons in the arena of the Coney Island Athletic Club tonight.The end of the mighty antipodean, who since his arrival in this country has been phenomenally successful, came in the eleventh round. It was a complete rout. Fitz was on his back unconscious when the fatal 10 was tolled off by Referee Siler. Indeed, he did not regain his full senses for 10 minutes after he sustained the blow that brought about his downfall.
Fitz's downfall came after 11 of the fastest rounds ever fought by heavyweights. Not only was it one of the greatest fights in the history of pugilism, but it occurred in the presence of the largest crowd that ever -witnessed a pugilistic event anywhere.
Fitzsimmons told the master of ceremonies that his weight was 157 pound. Jeffries said: "If he claimed he only weighs 157 pounds you can announce my weight at 148 pounds."
The men shook hands at 10:24, eastern time.
Story Telling How Fitz Was Put to
Sleep ln Big Fight.
New York, June 10.—At the arena of the Coney Island Athletic club James J. Jeffries, the young giant of the west, defeated Robert Fitzsimons, the world's champion in two classes, in eleven rounds of whirlwind fighting. He came to the ring a rank outsider, and left it the acknowledged master of the man he defeated. He was never at any time in serious danger, and after the size-up in the early rounds of the contest took the lead. He had the Australian whipped from the ninth round.
It was acknowledged that Jeffries would have an immense advantage in weight, height and age, but the thousands who tipped and backed his opponent to win were sure that he was slow, and that he would in that respect be absolutely at the mercy of the past master at the science of fighting that he was to meet. He proved, on the contrary, that he was just as fast as the man he met, and beat him down to unconscious defeat in a fair fight. He is a veritable giant in stature and marvelously speedy for his immense size.
Less than a year ago he appeared in New York, a great awkward, ungainly boy. Today he is the lithe, active, alert, trained athlete. The men who prepared him for his fight worked wonders with him. The transition since he appeared last has been little short of miraculous. At 24 he has defeated Robert Fitzsimmons, Tom Sharkey and Peter Jackson, and if he cares for himself he will probably be able to successfully defend the title for many years.
Both in Fine Fettle
The defeated man was just as good as when in Nevada he lowered the colors of the then peerless Corbett. He was just as active, just as clever, just as tricky and just as fearless of punishment. He went unfalteringly to his defeat He was the aggressor even at moments when he was bleeding and unsteady, and when stunned by the blows he received he reeled instinctively toward his opponent He was fighting all the time and punished his opponent, but found him a different opponent than any he had met and a difficult man to fight.
Jeffries fought from a crouching attitude that was hard to get at He held his head low, his back was bent down and his left arm was extended.He kept Jabbing away with the left and found no trouble in landing it. It was there that his superior reach told.That giant arm served as a sort of human fender to ward off danger.
The men fought before an orderly crowd of 9.009 persons, and stood up in a great beam of blinding white light It was like a thousand calciums, and It showed their great white bodies in strange relief. When the blood came it was of a more intense red than usual.There was not a suggestion of interference from the police and the contest was pulled off without a wrangle.
The great house filled very slowly, and it was after 9 o'clock before the police had to bestir themselves and clear the aisles. Fitzsimmons' entry into the ring at 10:95 o'clock was made the occasion of a rather theatrical demonstration. Julian was first and then came the fighter. Jeffries was next in the arena, and, like his opponent, got a demonstrative reception. Fitzsimmons looked lanky and thin, but his skin was clear. his eye bright and his step elastic.
Jeffries looked sturdy and massive and seemed a little nervous.He got the worst of the assignment corners for the great lights shone into his face and he blinked at them ina nervous sort of way. Referee Siler looked colorless and ill at ease.
There was no trying delay to the ring, and the big gong sounded out Just as soon as he men had been presented and gloved. When they squared of Jeffries looked 50 pounds to the Good. the opening round was a tryout pure and simple, and not a single blow of any effective nature was landed.
The second round began in a businesslike way, with Jeffries trying his left. Fitz then took a turn, but was short. Just as the round closed Jeffries downed Fitzsimmons with a hard straight left on the jaw. The champion came up slowly In a dazed sort of way and reeled toward his man. The crowd cheered Jeffries, but the gong ended the round. Fitzsimmons rallied in the rest and was aggressive again in the third. He was bleeding but fighting viciously. He made the pace, but it was the Californian's round. The fourth was fast, but not decisive.
BOB’S ONLY ROUND
Fitzsimmons made his best showing in the fifth. He began the round with a punch that opened Jeffries left eye and sent a little torrent of blood coursing down his cheek. He forced Jeffries against the ropes, but the Californian slipped away from him. He made Jeffries hug again, but when the round ended Jeffries was back and fighting viciously.
Fitzsimmons was the aggressor in the sixth, and that, too was his round. He tried all of his tricks with left and right, but was unable to place them right. He closed with a strong right uppercut, but that, too, was blocked.The seventh might be said to have been Fitzsimmons', but he did no particular damage with his punches.
The eighth saw the beginning of the end, for Fitzsimmons never regained his balance after that round. Jeffries began the round with a straight left on the face that again brought the blood out of his opponent's mouth. The Cornishman staggered against the ropes, but came back for another facer There was fear in fitzsimmons' corner and Julian yelled to Fitzsimmons to be careful. Fitzsimmons planted one of his lefts on Jeffries' jaw and staggered him against the ropes. Fitzsimmons looked like a beaten man.
The ninth was all Jeffries. He sent the Australian's head back with a series of lefts put his right on the body and avoided any serious punishment. Fitzsimmons kept pressing forward all the time, however, but was unable to find his opponent.
The tenth was in reality where the fight ended. Jeffries rushed his opponent and downed him with a left swing. Fitzsimmons seemed out and there was a moment of the wildest excitement. Julian ran along the side of the ring and sprinkled water on his fallen idol. At the end of seven seconds Fitzsimmons staggered to his feet, only to go down again. He was up again andJeffries poised himself for the finish. He shot his left to the body and tried for the head with his right He was calm and collected, but the time was too short.
A DRAMATIC SCENE
Again did the gong come to the aid of the man who was then going, staggering and dazed, to certain defeat. There was a frantic effort to revive the champion of champions, but he was clearly gone and his seconds could not restore him. The fate-like gong clanged again, and the old fighter wobbled out to meet the sturdy young Hercules who awaited him. It was as courageous and gritty as a dash up to the firing line in battle, but it was hopeless.They were together. It was a splendid moment and full of all that dramatic intensity that characterizes a tragedy. Jeffries was as fresh as at the start.
There was a moment of sparring and the giant arms of the Californian shot through the air. It was left and right and over. Fitzsimmons, limp and unconscious, dropped to the floor. Jeffries stepped back, for he knew the force he had put behind his terrible blows. The timers called off the seconds that counted out an old ring hero and heralded another, but nobody heard them. The crowd was on its feet howling. There was a rush for the ring; but scores of bluecoats barred the way.
Ten seconds are short, and when the tenth had come there was a new roar of excitement to welcome the victor. Julian, Hickey, Kenney and Everhardt gathered up the prostrate man. He was still in a trance. They carried him to his corner and a little blood oozed from his mouth as his head fell forward on his chest. The new hero crossed the ring and shook the hand of his rival, after which he was surrounded by his friends, who hustled him from the ring and into his dressing-room.
What the Principals Say.
Jeffries himself was surrounded by a host of friends, who congratulated
him on his well won honor. In response to several Inquiries the new
champion said: "Fitzsimmons fought a good and game battle and hit me
harder than any man whom I have been up against He can whip Sharkey
in two rounds. I would gain nothing by meeting Sharkey again, but am
willing to meet any man in the world in whom the public has confidence,
and there need be no fear of my quitting the ring for the stage."
Fitz had only partially recovered from the shock of defeat and
occasionally murmured, "How did I come to fight him?"