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James J. Corbett
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Boxer
    (September 1, 1866-February 18, 1933)
    Born in San Francisco, California
    World Heavyweight Champion (1892-97)
    Pro record: 16 wins (4 by knockout), 4 losses, 3 draws
    Appeared in the films 'The Man from the Golden West' (1913), 'The Burglar and the Lady' (1914), 'The Midnight Man' (1919), 'The Prince of Avenue A' (1920), 'The Beauty Shop' (1922) and 'Happy Days' (1929)
    Nicknamed 'Gentleman Jim'
    During his five years as champ, he fought only two title bouts, losing the second.
    His father Patrick lost all his money betting on Corbett to defeat Bob Fitzsimmons. A year later, Patrick fatally shot his wife and himself.
    He was asked to join the Baltimore Orioles to boost attendance, but the move was blocked by the other Major League teams.
    He performed in blackface in vaudeville.
    He was called the 'Father of Modern Boxing' for studying his opponents' strengths and weaknesses to develop a fight strategy.
    His emphasis on quick jabs and fast footwork revolutionized the sport.
    He was the only top white heavyweight of the era to go up against a top black boxer, fighting Peter 'The Black Prince' Jackson to a 61-round draw (1891).

Credit: C. Fishel


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