Bob Fitzsimmons, World Champion Boxer. Born Helston, Cornwall, May 26, 1863.
He was the youngest of 12 children.
His father James Fitzsimmons (born 1810, d 29 Aug 1898 ) was a borough constable or policeman in Helston. James Fitzsimmons had been born 1810 in Omagh Co.Tyrone. Little more seems to be known about him, as to why he emigrated to Cornwall, or moved on to New Zealand some years later. The 12 children were born between 1839 and 1863.
His mother was Jane Strongman b 1818, d April 1906. She was apparently born in Truro Cornwall .
In total very little is known of his family, some genealogical information on the fan Bob Fitzsimmons web site
Fitzsimmons and his family emigrated to New Zealand and arrived at Lyttleton, NZ on October 17, 1873. They brought with them only the five youngest children on the Adamant and settled in Timaru, NZ.
James Fitzsimmons set up a blacksmith's forge in Timaru. Bob went to school in the Timaru Main School, then joined his father and his brother Jarrett to learn the the blacksmith's trade. His work at the forge developed his physique.
Bob took part in an amateur boxing tournament that had been arranged by a visiting English boxing promoter. He knocked out four men in succession. He went to Australia as a professional boxer and on to America.
Bob Fitzsimmons was a man of many nicknames: “Ruby Robert,” “Rock Cod,” “Speckled Bob,” and “the Freckled Wonder.” He held three world titles, Middleweight (1881-1897), Heavyweight (1897-99) and Light Heavyweight (1903-1905). His exact boxing records is not known, as records were just not kept at that time. Fitzsimmons was quoted as saying he had more than 350 fights.
Died October 22, 1917, Chicago, Illinois of pneumonia in 1917 and was buried there in the Graceland Cemetery.
In 2003, Fitzsimmons was named number eight of all time among boxing's best punchers by Ring Magazine.
Prize Fighter - the life and times of Bob Fitzsimmons
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