Last NameSportCountryYear Inducted

Sport: Boxing
Inducted: 1991
Country: United States
Born: November 8, 1868 in San Francisco, California
Died: January 1943

Although he was never given a chance to fight for the World Heavyweight Championship, Joe Choynski fought the great boxers of his time in non-title bouts. Unfortunately for Chrysanthemum
Joe, who often gave away 30 to 70 pounds to an opponent, the Light-Heavyweight Division was not created until 1903, a year before he retired.

In 1894, the 5'10", 170-pound Choynski knocked out future heavyweight champion Bob Fitzsimmons in the fifth round of their non-title match. Three years later, Joe fought heavy-weight champion-to-be James J. Jeffries to a 20-round draw. In 1901, Choynski stopped the great Jack Johnson (also before he wore a heavyweight crown) in three rounds. He also battled young Jim Corbett three times in 1889, three years before “Gentleman Jim” took John L. Sullivan’s heavyweight crown. The first fight was a no-contest battle, while the last two were won by Corbett. Each is described as a “non-title barn-burning bout.”

When Corbett, Fitzsimmons, Jeffries, and Johnson were World Champions, they refused to give Choynski a title

Both Fitzsimmons and Corbett were later to acknowledge that the
hardest blows they ever took in the ring were delivered by Joe Choynski. Said Corbett about their June 1889 battle in his 1925 autobiography, The Roar of the Crowd: “[Choynski] was to be the very toughest battle I had ever fought or was to fight; one in which I was to receive more punishment than I have ever had in all
my battles put together.”

Jeffries, commenting on his draw with Choynski, said, “In that fight, I received the hardest blow I ever took in my life.”

Choynski retired in 1904, after 20 years in the ring. As testimony to his regard in the boxing world, he was elected to the Boxing Hall of Fame in 1960, long before most World Champions were to be so honored.

His recorded professional record: 77 bouts—won 50 (25 KOs), lost 15, drew 6, nodecisions 6, and 1 no-contest.

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