Professional Boxer. He was the Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the World from 1892 to 1897. Known as “Gentleman Jim”, he was born in San Francisco, California. He attended college and even worked as a bank clerk, and learned his boxing not on the street like many young fighters but in sparring clubs like San Francisco's Olympic Club under the tutelage of Walter Watson. He turned professional at age 18 and achieved several impressive victories over Joe Choynski, Peter Jackson and Jake Kilrain. On September 7, 1892 he got his shot at Heavyweight Champion John L. Sullivan in the very first Heavyweight Championship in which both participants wore gloves. Jim Corbett boxed masterfully, sidestepping Sullivan’s onrushes and countering hard. After 21 rounds Sullivan was completely exhausted and Jim Corbett opened up with combinations and knocked him out with a right hand. As Champion, he defended his title only once in 3 years against Charley Mitchell in which he scored a third round knockout. He would lose the title in his next defense against Bob Fitzsimmons in 1897 suffering a 14th round knockout. Jim Corbett would box for several more years getting 2 more title shots against James Jeffries in 1900 and 1903 but was knocked out in the 23rd and 10th rounds. He retired after the 1903 Jeffries fight with a record of 11-4-2 with 7 knockouts. He went into stage performing and even boxed a few 3 round exhibitions against Jack Dillon and Gene Tunney. In 1990, 57 years after his death, “Gentleman Jim” Corbett was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Flora Corbett Diamond