Ten-Count for Jimmy Bivins

By Robert Ecksel on July 4, 2012
Ten-Count for Jimmy Bivins
The Cleveland Spider-Man was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1999

Former heavyweight contender Jimmy Bivins died this morning at a nursing home in East Cleveland. He was 92…

“He writes his own rules.”—Opponent Dan Malley

Former heavyweight contender Jimmy Bivins died this morning at a nursing home in East Cleveland. He was 92.

James Louis Bivins was born December 6, 1919, in Dry Branch, Georgia. His family left Dry Branch and settled in Cleveland, which he called home and where he had the majority of his fights.

His pro debut was on January 15, 1940, a KO1 in Cleveland over Emory Morgan. Bivins had 19 more fights that year alone, including a win over veteran Charley Burley. His first loss was in December to the always tough Anton Christoforidis, who he had beaten three weeks earlier.

Although he never fought for a world title—such were the boxing politics of the day—he was ranked number one contender in both the light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions and fought a veritable Who’s Who of great boxers on an undeniable great era.

He fought Teddy Yarosz (105-14-3) and Melio Bettina (57-11-2) in 1941; Billy Soose (34-5-1), Gus Lesnevich (52-6-5), Bob Pastor twice (51-6-4), young Joe Maxim (14-3), Tami Mauriello (41-3-1) and Lee Savold (77-29-3) in 1942; and Ezzard Charles (28-2-1) and Lloyd Marshall (41-6-2) in 1943.

Those were just the highlights of Bivins’ first three years of active duty.

Bivins continued to fight the best of the best: Archie Moore in 1945, 1947, 1948, 1949 and 1951, Jersey Joe Walcott in 1946, Ezzard Charles again in 1946, 1947, 1948 and 1952, Harold Johnson in 1949, and Joe Louis in 1951.

Bivins defeated eight of the eleven world champions he faced. He retired in 1955 with an 86-25-1 record. The Cleveland Spider-Man was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1999.

They don’t make them like they used to. Not even close.

Rest in peace, champ.

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Archie Moore vs Jimmy Bivins V



Ezzard Charles vs Jimmy Bivins IV



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  1. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo 03:39pm, 07/04/2012

    Bivins knocked Ezzard Charles down seven times in a decision win and put Archie Moore on the canvas six times before stopping him! Neither guy was ever accused of being chinny!

  2. Matt McGrain 12:59pm, 07/04/2012

    One of the very, very best fighters in history.

  3. mikecasey 11:16am, 07/04/2012

    One of the truly great professionals of the golden age. Rest in peace, Jimmy!

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