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Bob Fitzsimmons


Fitzsimmons, the first heavyweight champ born outside the U.S., was also boxing's first three-division world champion. Born in Cornwall, England, "Ruby Robert" was small for the division but thrived on his movement in the ring and some of the finest punching power in boxing history.

In 1897, Fitzsimmons challenged Jim Corbett for the heavyweight title, rallying after taking early punishment to break down and finish Corbett with devastating body blows. In his only defense, Fitzsimmons, although favored, fell to James J. Jeffries by 11th-round knockout in 1899. He got another crack at Jeffries -- and the title -- in 1902, but Fitzsimmons, despite brutalizing the much larger man for most of the fight, suffered another KO loss.