Decade Rankings: 1890-1899

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 (1) Jim Jeffries  6’1”, 218- Jeffries came out of Ohio and came on strong during the decade and by the end had captured the title from Fitzsimmons in a 11-KO. His two draws were against Joe Choynski and Gus Ruhlin. His victories were over Joe Goddard, and over the hill Peter Jackson, Tom Sharkey(2) and. Bob Armstrong. Jeffries was a former sparring partner of Jim Corbett, (11-0-2)

(2)-Bob Fitzsimmons  5’11”, 167-  Fitzsimmons was from New Zealand and was one of the most dominate fighters of the decade eventually winning the heavyweight, light heavyweight and middleweight titles. His loses were to Jim Hall, Tom Sharkey and Jim Jeffries. Victories during the decade were against Nonpareil Jack Dempsey, Peter Maher(2), Jim Hall, Tom Sharkey and Jim Corbett. His draw was against Joe Choynski. (25-3-1) 2 NC

(3)- Jim Corbett 6’1”, 184- Corbett represented San Francisco and the west coast. He was considered a great fighter but was not real active during the decade. His wins were over Jake Kilrain, John L. Sullivan and Charley Mitchell. He lost to Fitzsimmons and Tom Sharkey on a disqualification. Probably his most memorable fight of his career was his 61 round draw and Australian, Peter Jackson.(5-2-1) 1 NC

(4) Peter Jackson  6’1 ½”, 200- Legendary heavyweight from Australia who John L. Sullivan refused to fight because of his color. Jackson fought a 61 round draw against Jim Corbett in 1892 in San Francisco. During the decade he defeated Denver Ed Smith, Joe Butler and Frank Slavin. He fought a draw against Joe Goddard and after his health failed late in the decade he lost to Jim Jeffries and Jim Jeffords. (10-2-1)

 (5) Tom Sharkey  5’8”, 183- Sharkey was most remembered for his 1899 battle against Jeffries for the heavyweight title that he lost in a 25 round fight. His first big victory was an 8-KO over Joe Choynski in 1896. His other big wins were over Bob Fitzsimmons(questionable), Joe Goddard, Gus Ruhlin, and Disqualification win against Corbett and Kid McCoy. Both losses were to Jeffries. He fought draws against Corbett, Peter Maher and Choynski.(33-2-5)  NC.

(6)  Peter Maher 5’11 ½”, 182- Maher was one of the top heavyweights of the decade and probably the most active. Maher hailed from Ireland he defeated George Godfrey, Joe Butler, Steve O’Donnell(4), Frank Slavin, Joe Choynski, Joe Goddard, Ed Dunkhurst(2) and Joe Kennedy. His losses  were to Bob Fitzsimmons twice and Joe Goddard twice. He fought a draw against Jim Hall, Tom Sharkey and Gus Ruhlin. (101-4-2)

 (7) Joe Choynski  5’10”, 167-  Choynski was another great fighter who hailed from San Francisco, and fought all the great fighters of the period. His losses were against all the top fighters of the decade, Joe Goddard(2)Tom Sharkey, Peter Maher, Gus Ruhlin and Kid McCoy. His victories were over George Godfrey, Denver Ed Smith and Goddard. He fought and unusually high number of draws probably because of gambling interest in the fight game. Draws were against Fitzsimmons, Jeffries, Tom Sharkey and Kid McCoy. (38-6-6) 3 NC

(8) Gus Ruhlin  6’0”,190 –Ruhlin was one of the lesser known heavyweights of the decade but his 20-draw against Jeffries definitely gets some attention even if he on his back when the final bell rang. He came out of the state of Ohio. Victories were over Joe Goddard and Joe Choynski, his were losses were to Kid McCoy, Tom Sharkey and Joe Kennedy.(14-4-2)

(9) Kid McCoy- 5’11”, 163- One of the top light heavyweights of the day McCoy also battled the top heavyweights. He defeated Peter Maher, Joe Choynski, Gus Ruhlin and “Twin” Sullivan.” Loses include Jim Corbett(Probably a fake fight), Kid Carter and Jack Root. He fought draws against Tommy Ryan and Philadelphia Jack O’Brien.(14-3-1)

(10) Jim Hall 6’0 ½”, 167- Another small fighter from Australia who held down victories over Bob Fitzsimmons, Tommy Ryan, Joe Choynski and Frank Slavin. Hall fought two fights that were fixed against Frank Slavin and Kid McCoy. Losses were to Owen Sullivan and Dan Creedon. He fought draws against Peter Maher and Ed Dunkhurst. (30-10-3)

 (11) Joe Goddard 6’0”, 180- Another of the long line of heavyweights from Australia during the period. He defeated Mick Dooley(2), Joe Choynski, Tom Lees, Joe McAuliffe, Peter Maher, Owen Sullivan and Denver Ed Smith. His losses were to Denver Ed Smith, Harry Laing, Tom Sharkey, Jim Jeffries, Peter Maher, Joe Choynski, Gus Ruhlin(2), and Kid McCoy. He had draws against Peter Jackson, Tom Lees, and Bob Armstrong. He was very strong during the early part of the decade with most of his losses coming during the later part of the decade. (28-13-9)

(12) Jake Kilrain 5’10 ½”, 195- One of the big names from the past was still competitive during the early part of the decade defeating George Godfrey. His losses included Jim Corbett, Frank Slavin, Steve O’Donnell(2), and Frank Slavin. He had one draw against Steve O’Donnell. (11-5-1)

(13) Steve O’Donnell 6’0 ½”, 182- In 1895 O’Donnell fought for the vacated heavyweight title against Peter Maher only to lose in a 1 round knockout. The Australian had a fine record during the decade defeating Owen Sullivan, Frank Slavin and Jake Kilrain. He lost to Peter Maher(4), Gus Ruhlin, Kid McCoy and Joe Choynski. He fought draws against George Godfrey and Jake Kilrain. (20-9-4)

 (14) Dan Creedon 5’8”, 165- Creedon was another tough smaller fighter from New Zealand. He held wins over Jim Hall and loses to Bob Fitzsimmons, Kid McCoy and Joe Walcott(4). He fought a draw against Joe Choynski. (32-8-8)

(15) Frank Paddy Slavin 6’1 ½”, 185- Another great heavyweight from down under, Slavin defeated Joe McAulifee, Jake Kilrain and Joe Butler. He lost to Peter Jackson and Jim Hall in a fake fight, Bob Armstrong(2), Peter Maher, Steve O’Donnell, Joe Butler, Jim Hall and Tommy Lees.(12-8-2)

 (16) George Godfrey 5’10 ½”, 175- Canadian Godfrey entered the decade well past his prime and 37 years old. He had wins over Patsy Cardiff and Denver Ed Smith. His losses were against Jake Kilrain, Joe Choynski and Peter Maher. He had two draws against Steve O’Donnell and Joe Butler.(5-3-3)

(17) Frank Childs 5’9 ½”, 173- Nicknamed the crafty Texan, Childs defeated Bob Armstrong(3), Joe Butler, Ed Dunkhorst and Mexican Pete Everett. He lost very seldom. Two of his loses were against  Dan Creedon and Joe Choynski. (26-4-4)

 (18) Joe Butler 6’0 ½”, - A middleweight from Philadelphia, Armstrong had a fine career defeating Bob Armstrong, Frank Slavin and Ed Dunkhurst. He lost to Peter Maher, Frank Slavin, and Bob Armstrong. He had a draw against George Godfrey. (31-11-3)

(19) Ed Dunkhurst 6’3”, 230-  A big heavyweight from Syracuse, New York. He had many losses to his credit losing to Gus Ruhlin, Peter Maher(2), Joe Choynski, Frank Childs and Joe Butler. He fought draws against Jim Hall and Bob Armstrong. He also had a win over Bob Armstrong.(13-8-5)

(20) Bob Armstrong 6’3”, 187- Armstrong was very competitive beating Frank Slavin(2), Joe Butler, Mexican Pete Everett, and Jim Jeffords. He lost to Joe Butler, Jim Jeffries, Mexican Pete Everett, Frank Childs(2) and Ed Dunkhorst. Armstrong fought draws against Joe Choynski, Ed Dunkhorst and Joe Goddard. (12-8-6)


Average Weight of Fighters 1890-1899  is 182

(Fighters Record During the Decade)


History of the Heavyweight Division 1890-1899
Top Three Heavyweights

1900-Champion, Jim Jeffries  
#1 Bob Fitzsimmons                
#2 Gus Ruhlin                         
Def. Jack Finnegan 1-KO
Def. Gus Ruhlin 6-KO  
Def. Tom Sharkey 2-KO
Def. Tom Sharkey 15-KO 
Loss Bob Fitzsimmons 6-KO
def. Peter Maher 6-D  

1901-Champion, Jim Jeffries     
#1 Bob Fitzsimmons
#2 Gus Ruhlin          
#3 Tom Sharkey      
( 0-2-0)

Def. Gus Ruhlin 5-KO


Loss Jim Jeffries 5-KO

1902-Champion, Jim Jeffries  
#1 Bob Fitzsimmons    
#2 Gus Ruhlin      
#3 Tom Sharkey                

Def. Bob Fitzsimmons 8-KO
Loss Jim Jeffries 8-KO 

Def. Tom Sharkey 11-KO
Loss Gus Ruhlin 11-KO

1903-Champion, Jim Jeffries  
#1  Bob Fitzsimmons      
#2 Jack Johnson     

#3 Phil. Jack O’Brien    

Def. Jim Corbett 10-KO
Def. George Gardner 20-D

Def. Denver Ed Martin 20-D
Def. Sam McVea 20-D
Def. Sam McVea 20-D       
Def. Joe Choynski 6-D
NC Marvin Hart 6-ND
Def. “Twin” Sullivan 6-D
Def. Mike Schreck 6-D
Def. “Twin” Sullivan 15-D

1904-Champion, Jim Jeffries  
#1 Bob Fitzsimmons         
#2 Phil. Jack O’Brien         
#3 Jack Johnson                  

Def. Jack Munroe 2-KO
Dr. Philadelphia Jack O’Brien 6-DRAW
Dr. Bob Fitzsimmons 6-DRAW. B
Def. Tommy Burns 6-D
Def. Black Bill 6-D
Def. Sam McVea 20-KO
Def. Denver Ed Martin 2-KO

1905-Champion, Marvin Hart  

#1 Phil. Jack O’Brien      

#2 Jack Johnson            
(8-2-0) 4ND         

Def. Jack Johnson 20-D
Def. Jack Root 12-KO
Def. Young Peter Jackson 10-D
Loss Hugo Kelly 10-D
DR “Twin” Sullivan 10-DRAW
Def. Al Kaufman 17-KO
Def. Bob Fitzsimmons 13-KO
Loss Marvin Hart 20-D
Def. Jim Jeffords 4-KO
Def. Black Bill 4-KO

1906-Champion,Tommy Burns
#1 Phil. Jack O’Brien         
  (3-0) 2 NC
  #2 Jack Johnson        

Def. Marvin Hart 20-D        
Def. Fireman Jim Flynn 15-KO
Dr.-Philadelphia Jack O’Brien 20-DRAW
Dr.-Tommy Burns20-DRAW 

Def. Joe Jeannette 3-D
Def. Joe Jeannette 15-D
Def. Black Bill 7-Ko
Sam Langford 15-D
Def. Joe Jeannette 6-D

1907-Champion, Tommy Burns     

#1 Phil. Jack O’Brien        
#2 Jack Johnson  

Def. Philadelphia Jack O’Brien 20-D
Def. Billy Squires 1-KO
Def. Gunner Moir 10-KO
Loss Tommy burns 20-D

Def. Bob Fitzsimmons 2-KO
Def. Fireman Jim Flynn 11-KO

1908-Champion,-Jack Johnson  
#1 Tommy Burns
#2 Phil. Jack O’Brien  
#3 Stanley Ketchell    

Def. Tommy Burns 14-KO 

Loss Jack Johnson 14-KO

Def. Jack Blackburn 6-D

Def. Billy Papke 10-D

Def. Hugo Kelly 3-KO
Loss Billy Papke 12-KO
Def. Billy Papke 11-KO

1909-Champion, Jack Johnson       

#1 Stanley Ketchell       

#2 Phil. Jack O’Brien         


Dr. Philadelphia Jack O’Brien 6-DRAW
Def. Tony Ross 6-D
  Def. Al Kaufman 10-D
Def. Stanley Ketchell 12-KO
Def. Philadelphia Jack O’Brien 10-D
Def. Philadelphia Jack O’Brien 3-KO
Def. Billy Papke 20-D
Loss Jack Johnson 12-KO
Dr. Jack Johnson 6-DRAW





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