John L Sullivan ( 1883 ) vs. Bob Fitzsimmons ( 1897 )

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Mendoza, Mar 25, 2020.


John L Sullivan ( 1883 ) vs. Bob Fitzsimmons ( 1897 )

  1. Sullivan TKO/KO

    64.7%
  2. Sullivan points

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Fitz TKO/KO

    35.3%
  4. Fitz points

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Draw

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Mendoza

    Mendoza Hrgovic = Next Heavyweight champion of the world. Full Member

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    John L Sullivan vs. Bob Fitzsimmons

    20 rounds
    22 x 22 ring.
    Marquess of Queensberry Rule
    1890's style officiating

    Breaking it down, this would be a really good fight.

    Size - Edge Sullivan. Fitz was taller. Sully had more reach and 15-20 pounds

    Power - Slight edge Fitzsimons, though it's difficult to say for sure.

    Boxing ability on offense - Fitzsimmons

    Boxing Ability on defense - Fitzsimmons

    Quality of opposition beat - Large edge for Fitzsimmons

    Chin - Hard to say. I'll call it even. Fitz went 15 years, and many fights in-between with only Jeffries stopping him fighting known punchers like Sharkey, Maher, and Choynski along the way. Sullivan wasn't tested vs. any punchers in that class. He was hurt in some matches and floored by a middleweight. Sullivan wasn't stopped until meeting Corbett.

    Stamina - Even

    Ring IQ - Fitz

    Hand speed - Even

    Foot speed - Edge Sullivan


    So who takes it? Heres how I see it:

    Early rounds 1-4, Sullivan catches Fitz and knocks him down.

    Mid early Rounds 5-9, Fitz's superior skills begin to show, and Sullivan takes a pounding. Remember those who saw Sullivan said ring science and defense was not his thing.

    By round 12, Sullivan is hurt and out of the fight, but gamely continues, and the match ends in round 14 with Sullivan going a few times and referee stepping in to stop it.
     
  2. 70sFan865

    70sFan865 Well-Known Member Full Member

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    I am a huge Fitz believer and I'm not sure if Sullivan had good enough chin to take his power. Fitzsimmons destroyed every single pressure fighter he fought. He also beat very strong hitter Peter Maher twice.

    Sullivan is enigma to me, really intersting to read about but I think that Fitz fought in better era and beat better fighters.
     
  3. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    I think that Sullivan would be too big and destructive.
     
  4. 70sFan865

    70sFan865 Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Sullivan definitely wasn't too big for Fitz.
     
  5. mr. magoo

    mr. magoo Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    I think Fitz was the better fighter
     
  6. Bummy Davis

    Bummy Davis Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    I am weak on the era - I heard much about Fitz but John L. Sullivan was supposedly a beast in his day so I will go with Sully
     
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  7. Mendoza

    Mendoza Hrgovic = Next Heavyweight champion of the world. Full Member

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    You could argue either way. That's the beauty of this thread. Fitz in my opinion not only clearly beat better fighters, but proved his durability far beyond what Sullivan had to show. Fitz also showed he could go 20 rounds under Marquess of Queensberry Rules. Sullivan's fights were often short and IMO he took almost all the name guys I recognize the distance.

    The only guy I see at Box Rec with more than one win on his resume from 1883-1879 is Charlie Mitchell. That's it. Mitchell was a middle weigh also blown out by Corbett in three rounds.

    From 1884-1887 ( Sullivan was 28 in 1887 ) Sullivan did fight better name competition the trouble is he drew or took a points victory too often. His supporters will say he was past his prime, maybe so but does power disappear that quickly? The arm he broke was his left ( I think not his right ) and being shot at age 26 would be very rare at heavyweight.

    If you think Sullivan wins, I think it would have to be early before Fitz's unloaded his own bombs which could happen.
     
  8. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Not if he was a contender, but he was an all time great in his own right.

    He was probably a much more dangerous finisher than Jeffries was.
     
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  9. FrankinDallas

    FrankinDallas Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Ruby Robert demolishes Sullivan in the 18th round with a vicious uppercut after punishing him with fast combos and hard right hands. Sullivan is heard to say while laying prone on the canvas " well I guess I CAN'T lick every ******* in the house".
     
  10. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Of course we would have seen Sullivan fight Fitzsimmons, if the police had not stopped it.

    That of course would have been a prime Fitzsimmons fighting a shot Sullivan, and it is probably best that it never happened.
     
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  11. he grant

    he grant Historian/Film Maker Full Member

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    I’d give Sullivan a clear edge on power. I know fits could crack but Sullivan had monster power
     
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  12. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    This.

    Fitzsimmons was a devastating finisher, but Sullivan seems to have been the kind of puncher, where people tasted his power once, then recalculated everything!

    Even Joe Choynski said that his power had nothing on Sullivan's!
     
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  13. 70sFan865

    70sFan865 Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Who were the biggest hitters Sullivan fought? I wonder because Fitz faced Maher, Sharkey, Choynski, Slavin and of course Jeffries. He also faced very good pressure KO artist Creedon at lower weight. His durability is proven at the highest level, even if Sully was more powerful puncher than all of them.

    Let's be honest, Sullivan would go right at Fitz and I have questions about his durability here. I'm sure that he was extremely tough man, but did he face good enough punchers to take heavy arsenal from Fitz? Only Jeffries did that and we all know how durable Jeffries was.
     
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  14. 70sFan865

    70sFan865 Well-Known Member Full Member

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    I don't doubt that he was better puncher and finisher than Jeffries, but did he have similar durability? Maher was also devastating puncher and finisher, but he couldn't finish Fitz in their first fight.
     
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  15. he grant

    he grant Historian/Film Maker Full Member

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    I feel the fight would have a classic pattern. For Sullivan to win he’d have to catch Fitzsimmons fast which is not out of the question as Fitzsimmons was hurt multiple times early at heavyweight. Otherwise Fitz, the far , far more schooled and experienced M of Q fighter would time him, catch him and take him out. Given what we know of Sullivan’s style and both men’s power this would be a short fight. This is my most likely guesstimate since we really are clueless to a degree w Sullivan other than a murderous punching, very fast machine. How he could adjust under fire is a guess.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020
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