James J. Corbett vs. Bob Fitzsimmons

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Fitzsimmons.Corbett.1897.jpg

1897-03-17 : James J. Corbett 184 lbs lost to Bob Fitzsimmons 167 lbs by KO in round 14 of 0

  • Location: The Race Track Arena, Carson City, Nevada, USA
  • Referee: George Siler

World Heavyweight Title
Photo #2, Image #3

Notes

  • Nevada passed a law to legalize boxing in order to permit this bout.
  • It was a Saint Patrick's Day program.
  • Wyatt Earp and four other men with six-shooters were in Corbett's corner; an equal number of gunmen were in Fitzsimmons's corner to ensure "fair play."
  • This fight was marred by a "long count" when Fitzsimmons, weakened by body blows, wrapped his arms around Corbett and slid to the floor, resting on his right knee and keeping his balance by clinging to the champion's leg. Corbett dared not break the grip of his rival for fear of fouling in the eyes of Fitzsimmons's seconds. So he called for Referee George Siler to break Fitzsimmons from his knee. Siler politely asked Fitzsimmons to let go, which the boxer finally did after a few more seconds. Then Siler started the count. It was estimated this all took about 15 seconds or so.
  • Both men demanded and received 15 percent of the gross revenue from the Kinetiscope moving pictures. (Fight film: [1])

Source: June 9, 1932 New York Times

See Steven Frederick's free on-line e-book The Last Great Prizefight at pp. 19-22 for the history surrounding this bout. Download here: [2]
See also Corbett's reflection on his knockdown of Fitzsimmons: [3]