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Jim Corbett

An International Sensation

Corbett was celebrated around the world, and especially in his hometown of San Francisco, and immediately began to cash in; his stage career took off when Gentleman Jack opened in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and from there toured the country. Corbett held his own on the stage, regularly selling out houses. Exhibition matches and even product endorsements followed, making Corbett and his manager, now equal partners in the firm of Corbett and Brady, wealthy men. Corbett had by now moved with his wife to the New York City area, where they owned more than one home.

But in order to keep the money flowing, Corbett was obliged, sooner or later, to defend his championship title; it was, after all, his major draw. Corbett got his first chance to defend his title when he was challenged by Englishman Charley Mitchell. On January 25, 1894, in Jacksonville, Florida, Corbett knocked Mitchell out in three rounds.

More exhibition matches and stage appearances followed through the 1890s, including a European tour of Gentleman Jack. In the mid-1890s, Corbett left his wife, and married his mistress, Vera Stanwood. Not long after, Corbett had to accept a challenge of his heavyweight title from Bob Fitzsimmons, the reigning middleweight champion of the world. After unsuccessful attempts to stage the fight in Texas and, later, Arkansas (the governors in both states refused to allow boxing on moral grounds), the combatants finally squared off in Carson City, Nevada on March 17, 1897.

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Famous Sports StarsBoxingJim Corbett Biography - A Born Fighter, From Bank Teller To Professional Boxer, Rise Of A Champion, Chronology