1863 – Born in Cornwall – UK
1880 – He was a blacksmith
1897 – Fitzsimmons challenged for the world’s Heavyweight title. On March 17 of that year he became
World Heavyweight champion, knocking out Jim Corbett in round 14. This constituted a remarkable achievement, as Corbett, a skilled boxer, weighed a stone (14 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.
Fitzsimmons spent the rest of 1897 doing exhibitions.
1897-1899 – Cornish (Celtic) Heavyweight Boxer
1899 – Fitzsimmons and James J. Jeffries succeeded in boxing in New York without the police intervening, probably at an underground club. Most people gave Jeffries little chance, even though at 15 st (95 kg) he massively outweighed his opponent, but Jeffries lifted the world Heavyweight crown from Fitzsimmons with an 11th-round knockout.
1901 – Fitzsimmons took part in a wrestling match against Gus Ruhlin. He lost, and went back to boxing. He then enjoyed legitimate (boxing) knock-outs of both Ruhlin and Sharkey.
1902 – he and Jeffries had a rematch, once again with the world Heavyweight crown at stake. Attempting to become the first boxer ever to regain the world’s Heavyweight crown, Fitzsimmons battered Jefferies who suffered horrible punishment. With his nose and cheek-bones broken, most would have sympathised with Jeffries had he quit, but he kept going until his enormous weight advantage told and Bob suffered a knockout in round eight.
2003 – Ring Magazine named Fitzsimmons number eight of all time among boxing’s best punchers.