Bob united all the qualities of a great boxer,
with the possible exception of a relatively moderate weight
and for literally years demonstrated that while being a
handicap was not a barrier to the highest pugilistic honours
of the time. His limitless courage and powers of
endurance were his outstanding traits.
Fitzsimmons almost invariably beat
his opponents with a six-inch punch. The punch that beat Peter
Maher in their second fight in Mexico early in 1896, did not
travel more than a foot. He beat both Corbett and Ruhlin with
a six-inch punch and the wallop which sent Sharkey to sleep in
their second fight at Coney Island certainly did not travel
much further. In fact Fitz practically made no use of his
abnormal reach, a trait in his pubgilistic character which was
especially noticeable when he was fighting a taller and
heavier man than himself.
When Fitz (167lbs) met Jeffries
(206lbs) at Coney Island in 1899 he sadley underrated his huge
opponent, giving away nearly 4 stone.
(Taken from the Mirror of
Fitzsimmons is a marvel in point of endurance.
He is accustomed to take a certain amount of exercise whether
he is matched to fight or not.
Fitz is a great walker. Twenty miles for an
appetizer is a daily event with him. This is at a gait which
verges upon a run. It was this sort of training which used to
surprise the early morning visitors to Central Park in New
York just prior to his departure to Carson City.
In company with Yaroum, his big canine pet, he
would start from the Bartholdi Hotel at Twenty-third Street
and Broadway, dash up Fifth Avenue, the most fashionable
thoroughfare of the metropolis with the Great Dane prancing
ahead him. Around Central Park he would go and then back to
the hotel for a rubdown and an hour with the punching bag.
The training which Fitz believes in differs from
training the training of the average fighter. First of all he
trains himself. He takes his own advice and regulates his own
work and diet.
"I'll do no more 18 or 20 mile runs" he said in
his initial week's work. "I'll start off and run six or eight
miles and then I'll walk back at a good nice gait. Next day
I'll walk out my distance and run back. Another day I'll run a
mile and walk a mile, alternating for 10 or 15 miles. Another
day I'll follow the telegraph poles. I'll run at a top speed
between two poles, then walk between the next two".
According to his friends, Fitzsimmons is the
possessor of no bad habits. Fitzsimmons has wisely remarked
that if he couldn't keep himself straight with the prospect of
a fortune before him no trainer could. Fitz had a visitor one
time who wanted to know all about his mode of training. All
Fitzsimmons did was to hand him the following schedule:
6.30am - Rises, bathes, dresses.
Sherry and egg
7.05 to 8.15 - Rides on bicycle (15
8.15 - Breakfast
9.30 - Goes 15 miles
11.30 - Has rubdown and rests
3.00 - Works in gymnasium
5.00 - Showerbath and
6.00 - Supper
8.00,9.00,10.00,11.00 - Bed
In the October 12 edition of the Dallas
Morning News, it was reported that Fitz, after an
ocean swim, a walk, a romp with Pat - his two hundred pound St
Bernard, and some wood splitting, settled down to a breakfast
table usually stocked with "oatmeal, muffins, steak, chops or
chicken. He does not believe in diet or special foods." After
exercising and a cold sponge bath there was a hearty dinner of
"every vegetable the markets far and near can produce. These
are flanked by generouis roasts of beef, mutton and pork."
A Poem by K.R. Thoms,
of Timaru, New Zealand.
This was written to mark the unveiling of the
Bob Fitzsimmons Memorial Statue
The Statue was commissioned by
Sir Robert Jones
and donated to the City of Timaru
It was sculptured by
Margriet Windhausen van den Bergh
and formally unveiled by the
Prime Minister of New Zealand
The Right Hon. David Lange
on the 5th September 1987.
He surely staked his claim
called Bob Fitzsimmons
To the halls of boxing
While sweating o'er his anvil
He gained the
strength and power
Soon carried into boxing
his finest hour.
He fought for fame and glory
New Zealand too
When he won his three world titles
man from Timaru.
Now he stands here everlasting
champion from the past
This son from our fair city
credit to his craft.
He leaves behind a legacy
the future to instil
The need to fight on boldly
With a courage and a will.
A True Story about Honest Bob
as told by Rowena Salter, Australia
In the early 1900's my great-grandfather was a night porter at the Hotel Windsor, in Melbourne, Australia.
One night, (very late), a large gentleman, who was staying at the Hotel, returned slightly inebriated and in very joyful spirits. He was singing and chatting rather loudly, forcing my great-grandfather to ask him several times to lower his voice. The second time my great-grandfather reminded him ladies were trying to sleep.
Apparently this gentleman made a rude remark regarding the ladies, and my great-grandfather laid him out his full length on the carpet, cold, with 1 punch.
The friends with this gentleman were horrified, asking, "Do you know who you've just knocked out ??"
My ancestor wasn't particularly interested, stating in reply,
"He should have lowered his voice, whoever he is"
The friends hastened to inform my great-grandfather (then in his early 40's) he had knocked out the world champion Bob "Ruby Robert" Fitzsimmons.
The following morning, Bob Fitzsimmons himself came and congratulated my great-grandfather on his actions the previous night, stating,
"You were well in the right, and what a right !!"
My great-grandfather's name was Charles Salter and we think it was roughly in the early 1900's this took place.
Rowena thought she would share this story of a bloke that sounded bloody nice and could admit when he'd been in the wrong.
Many Thanks Rowena - Editor
The Money Facts
On January 14, 1891, in the French Quarter of
New Orleans Bob fought Jack Dempsey in a former cotton press
yard for a purse of $12,000, then the biggest ever offered for
a ring contest.
The largest purse Fitzsimmons ever fought for
was on March 8, 1893, New Orleans, when he defeated Jim Hall
in 4 rds., purse $40,000. Bob received only part of the
His 1893 ring earning reached
$42,500, a handsome sum when one considers that the next
biggest prizewinner only took home $12,000. In
"the fight of the century" 1897
Fitzsimmons erned a purse of $15,000, took Corbett's stake
money of $10,000 and pocketed $13,000 from the Edison Picture
Company which filmed the fight.
The total expenditure in the United States
brought by "the fight of the
century " was, for 1897, the staggering amount
of $2,700,000. Of that $1,300,000 was paid to telegraph
companies for ticker and special wire service and for
newspaper and private dispatches. Betting on the bout had been
equally colossal. One bookmaker from San Francisco had to
employ four Pinkerton detectives to guard two bags of gold
worth $150,000 which he had to pay out the day after the
As an actor Fitz was quick to learn and in time
became a good performer, his plays always including ball
punching or black-smithing demonstrations. His income from the
stage sometimes reached a colosal $1000 a week. Big money for
those days (a person earning over $3,500 a year was considered
In 1899, Fitzsimmons was to sack Julian as manager,
the major reason being that Julian had been stealing from
him. In years to come Fitzsimmons claimed that he had lost
$125,000 from shady managers and promoters since arriving in
"Fitzsimmons" - Boxing's First Triple World Champion!
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