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James J. Corbett: Wikis


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James J. Corbett
James corbett 1890.jpg
Real name James John Corbett
Nickname(s) Gentleman Jim
Rated at Heavyweight
Nationality United States American
Birth date September 1, 1866
Birth place San Francisco, California
Death date February 18, 1933 (aged 66)
Death place Bayside, New York City
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 25
Wins 16
Wins by KO 4
Losses 4
Draws 3
No contests 2

James John "Gentleman Jim" Corbett (September 1, 1866 – February 18, 1933) was a heavyweight boxing champion, best known as the man who defeated the great John L. Sullivan. He also coached boxing at the Olympic Club in San Francisco. He stood at 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m), with a reach of 73 inches (190 cm).


Boxing career

Dubbed by the media as "Gentleman Jim Corbett," he was rumored to have a college education. He also pursued a career in acting, performing at a variety of theatres. He has been called the "Father of Modern Boxing" because of his scientific approach and innovations in technique. Some think that he changed prizefighting from a brawl to an art form.

1891 Corbett vs Jackson

On May 21, 1891, Corbett fought Peter "Black Prince" Jackson, a much-heralded bout between cross-town rivals, since Corbett and Jackson were boxing instructors at San Francisco's two most prestigious athletic clubs. They fought to a draw after 61 rounds.

On September 7, 1892 at the Olympic Club in New Orleans, Louisiana, Corbett won the World Heavyweight Boxing Championship by knocking out John L. Sullivan in the 21st round. Corbett's new scientific boxing technique enabled him to dodge Sullivan's rushing attacks, and wear him down with jabs.

James J Corbett 1894.ogv
1894 boxing match vs Peter Courtney

In his only successful title defense, January 25, 1894 Corbett knocked out Charley Mitchell of Great Britain in three rounds. On September 7, 1894 he took part in the production of one of the first recorded boxing events, a fight with Peter Courtney. This was filmed at the Black Maria studio at West Orange, New Jersey, in the USA and was produced by William K.L. Dickson. It was only the second boxing match to be recorded.

Jim Corbett lost his championship to the English boxer Bob Fitzsimmons in Carson City, Nevada. Corbett was dominant for most of the fight and Fitzsimmons was badly cut, when Mrs Fitzsimmons called out, "Hit him in the slats, Bob!" where "slats" meant the abdominal area. Fitzsimmons then winded Corbett with a hard punch to the solar plexus, and Corbett could not continue within the count.

James J. Corbett applying acting makeup.

Following his retirement from boxing, Corbett returned to acting, appearing in low-budget films and in minstrel shows, wearing blackface in skits and giving talks about pugilism. He authored his autobiography under the title "The Roar of the Crowd"; the story was serialized by The Saturday Evening Post in six weekly installments during October/November 1894. The following year, G.P. Putnam's Sons, published it in book form, marketing it as the "True Tale of the Rise and Fall of a Champion." In 1942, the story was made into a Hollywood motion picture titled, Gentleman Jim, starring Errol Flynn as Corbett.

From 1903 until his death, Corbett lived in a three-story home in the Bayside neighborhood of Queens in New York City.[1]

On his passing in 1933, Corbett was interred in the Cypress Hills Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York. On its creation, he was elected posthumously to the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Corbett's brother, Joe Corbett, was a Major League Baseball pitcher. Corbett was married to Olive Lake Morris from 1886 to 1895.

Corbett's great, great, great nephew, Dan Corbett, was a professional heavyweight boxer from San Antonio, Texas, who won the United States Boxing Federation and International Boxing Organization's intercontinental heavyweight titles before retiring.


  • Corbett and Courtney before the Kinetograph, 1894 [2]
  • Actor's Fund Field Day, 1910
  • How Championships Are Won—And Lost, 1910
  • The Man from the Golden West, 1913
  • The Burglar and the Lade, 1915
  • The Other Girl, 1915
  • The Prince of Avenue A., 1920
  • The Midnight Man, 1920
  • The Beauty Shop, 1922
  • James J. Corbett and Neil O'Brien, 1929
  • At the Round Table, 1930


  1. ^ Rather, John. "A High Quality of Life Within the City", The New York Times, August 4, 1996. Accessed October 21, 2007. "James J. (Gentleman Jim) Corbett, the heavyweight boxing champion from 1892 to 1897, lived from 1902 to 1933 in a large three-story home on a street that bears his name."
  2. ^

External links

Preceded by
John L. Sullivan
World Heavyweight Champion
Succeeded by
Bob Fitzsimmons


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