Name: FITZSIMMONS, ROBERT STONE LITHO POSTER (AS MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPION)
History: Robert James "Bob" Fitzsimmons (May 26, 1863 – October 22, 1917), was a British professional boxer who made boxing history as the sport's first three-division world champion. He also achieved fame for beating Gentleman Jim Corbett, the man who beat John L. Sullivan and is in The Guinness Book of World Records as the lightest Heavyweight Champion. Nicknamed Ruby Robert and The Freckled Wonder, he took pride in his lack of scars and appeared in the ring wearing heavy woollen underwear to conceal the disparity between his trunk and leg-development. Fitzsimmons is ranked as #8 on Ring Magazine's list of 100 greatest punchers of all time. On January 14, 1891, in New Orleans, he won his first world title from Jack (Nonpareil) Dempsey. Fitzsimmons knocked out Dempsey (from whom the later Jack Dempsey would take his name) in the 13th round to become the World Middleweight Champion. Fitzsimmons knocked Dempsey down at least 13 times and by the finish left him in such a pitiable condition that he begged him to quit. Dempsey would not do so, so Fitzsimmons knocked him out and then carried him to his corner. In 1896, Fitzsimmons won a disputed version of the World Heavyweight Championship in a fight in Langtry, Texas, against the Irish native fighter Peter Maher. On March 17, 1897, in Carson City, Nevada, he knocked out American Jim Corbett, generally recognized as the legitimate World Heavyweight Champion (having won the title from John L. Sullivan in 1892) in round 14. This constituted a remarkable achievement, as Jim 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. September 1903 proved a tragic month for Fitzsimmons, as his rival, Con Coughlin, died the day after suffering a one-round knockout at the hands of Fitzsimmons. But less than two months later, Fitzsimmons made history by defeating World Light Heavyweight Champion George Gardiner by a decision in 20 rounds, thus becoming the first boxer to win titles in three weight-divisions. Fitzsimmons had a final professional record of 66 wins with 59 by knockout, 8 losses, 4 draws, 19 no contests and 2 no decisions (Newspaper Decisions: 2-0-0). Fitzsimmons's exact record remains unknown, as the boxing world often kept records poorly during his era, but Fitzsimmons said he had had more than 350 fights (which could have involved exaggeration on his part). The statue Peace on the Dewey Arch was modelled on Fitsimmons by the sculptor Daniel Chester French. He died in Chicago of pneumonia in 1917, survived by his fourth wife. His grave lies in the Graceland Cemetery, Chicago. Having four wives, a gambling habit and a susceptibility to confidence tricksters, he did not hold on to the money he made. The International Boxing Hall of Fame has made Bob Fitzsimmons a member in its "Old Timer" category. In 2003 Ring Magazine named Fitzsimmons number eight of all time among boxing's best punchers. Offered here is an incredibly rare stone lithograph poster of Robert Fitzsimmons done in the early 1890's when he was world middleweight champion under the management of Otto Floto.
Full description: This is an original stone litho poster picturing Fitzsimmons in full fight pose. Has been linen backed. Poster is complete although some added advertising at the bottom, not part of the poster has been partially removed. Bold color and print. Not creased or torn. Bold, clear image. There is some paper bubbling from the application to the linen otherwise fine. Minor surface wear at lower right. Incredibly rare, the only example we have seen for this great early champion and particularly rare from this era of his career. 23 1/2" x 40."
Size: 23 1/2 x 40
Categories: Posters & Broadsides & Lobby Cards - Fitzsimmons, Robert -
Condition: very good
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