Strange But True: The Bigger They Come…

The boxing record book states that Robert Fitzsimmons was the heavyweight boxing champion of the world. “Ruby Robert,” as he was called, won the title from James J. Corbett in 1897 and lost it to James J. Jeffries in 1899. Yet, Fitzsimmons was not a real heavyweight (175 pounds or more). His usual weight was about 165 pounds.

On April 30, 1900, Fitzsimmons fought a man named Ed Dunkhorst in Brooklyn, New York. By then Fitzsimmons was 37 years old. His opponent weight 305 pounds.

Fitzsimmons decided that he had to wear this man down. He made up his mind to dart in, throw a few punches, then back away. But he needn’t have worried.

In the second round Fitzsimmons got in close and nailed Dunkhorst flush on the chin. The big man dropped like a sack of potatoes and failed to get up. Fitzsimmons had knocked out a man who weighed 140 pounds more than he did.

From The Giant Book of More Strange But True Sports Stories by Howard Liss. Illustrations by Joe Mathieu.

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  1. Before reading the Esquire article I was going to comment that I always root for the underdog. But Fitzsimmons was no underdog, sounds like he was a hell of a fighter.

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