Jimmy Bivins, the former heavyweight boxer from the 1940s and 1950s who defeated many of his greatest contemporaries, has died, aged 92.
Georgian native Jimmy passed away after suffering complications from pneumonia early Wednesday at an East Cleveland nursing home.
Although he never got to fight for a world title, Mr. Bivins beat four Hall of Famers (having fought seven) and eight world champions (having faced a total of 11).
His fight career ended with his retirement in 1955, by which time he had taken part in 114 professional fights, a number which makes today’s fighters look like a bunch of idle bums. He was once ranked as the No. 1 contender in both the light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions.
Amongst the world champions he beat were Archie Moore, Ezzard Charles, Gus Lesnevich, Melio Bettina, Anton Christoforidis and Teddy Yarosz. He also went fifteen rounds with Joe Louis, and fought Jersey Joe Walcott to a split-decision. He had 86 wins, 25 losses and one draw in his career. 31 of his wins were by knockout. Jimmy Bivins was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1999, aged 80.
His burgeoning boxing career was put on hold in March 1944, when he started service with the United States Army. He received an honorable discharge in November of the same year.
After retiring from boxing, Jimmy Bivins supervised kids in the sport, said Jerry Nelson, who is married to Mr. Bivins’ nephew.
Mr. Bivins is survived by a daughter, five grandchildren and several great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and the great ring in the sky has one more legend to hold. RIP, Jimmy.