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    Circa 1900 James J. Jeffries Championship Sash Belt. Jim Jeffries was born on April 15, 1875 at Carroll, Ohio, one of eight children of a man who split time between farming and ministering at the local church. As a youth Jeffries became involved in both wrestling and boxing, but put off his boxing career at the request of his mother. He was a strapping man standing over six feet two inches tall and weighing over 200 pounds. Jeffries was a great outdoorsman and spent much of his spare time hunting. He turned professional boxer in 1895. By 1897 he was already fighting good competition and engaged in several exhibitions with notables like Jim Corbett and Joe Choynski. In 1898 he defeated an aging Peter Jackson, and then went on to score a big win over Tom Sharkey. On June 9, 1899 Jeffries challenged Robert Fitzsimmons for the World Heavyweight Title at Brooklyn's Coney Island. Jeffries ability to absorb punishment and his incredible stamina proved to much for Fitz who he stopped in the eleventh round to win the title. Jeff went on to defend the title seven times beating such notables as Corbett, Sharkey, Fitzsimmons (in the rematch) and Choynski. He retired undefeated in 1905 and moved to a farm in California where his weight ballooned up to 300 pounds.

    When Jack Johnson became Champion, Jeffries was coaxed out of retirement to challenge him in one of the biggest fights of the century. They met in Reno, Nevada on July 4, 1910. The five-year layoff and the year it took to get in shape (Jeffries lost eighty pounds) took its toll on Jeffries and he was stopped by Johnson in a one sided affair. Johnson, the first African American to win the title, dominated from the outset. To his credit, after the fight, the always humble Jeffries, admitted he could not have beaten Johnson on the best day of his life. In his later years Jeffries trained several fighters and promoted some fights at the famous Jeffries Barn in California.

    Presented here is a Championship sash belt which formally was presented to James J. Jeffries. This cloth sash belt is red and white with leather straps at each end. It has a total of thirty stars, although a number are now missing. The belt is thirty-five inches long and four inches high and is in good condition. There's just a slight amount of bleeding to the red and one leather strap is broken. The belt comes with an original antique cabinet photograph by Baker Art Gallery which shows Jeffries wearing it. It is a perfect match right down to the barest of details. Each star or previous star location matches perfectly. Also included is a period newspaper picturing Jeffries wearing the belt. this item also comes with a full letter of authenticity from Craig Hamilton of JO Sports, Inc. who researched this belt specifically for this sale. The belt was once part of the famous Duke Hott Collection. Heritage is proud to offer this extremely rare Championship sash of the great Jim Jeffries, in its initial offering to the public. LOA from Craig Hamilton/ JO Sports.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2005
    14th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 11
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,003

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