I am delighted to hear that the idea of erecting a statue in Helston to honour boxer Bob Fitzsimmons is under discussion.
Although the estimated cost of a bronze casted statue is £70,000, it would be privately funded with the group involved in the project asking the council for an area of land for it to stand.
Bob Fitzsimmons is considered a boxing legend having been the first to win world titles in three different weight divisions, at a time when there were only eight weight classes with one champion per weight. Compare this to today where there are 17 weight classes with four men at each weight proclaiming themselves as champion.
Bob won the heavyweight championship of the world in 1897, the same title that was later won by Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson, as well as the fictional Rocky Balboa. He was also the last British boxer to hold the title until Lennox Lewis almost 100 years later.
He lived in Helston until he was nine years old, when the family emigrated to New Zealand. ‘Ruby Rob’ became an international superstar and held the most prestigious sporting title in the world.
In his former town in New Zealand the boxer is remembered with a statue, yet in Helston where he was born, almost no-one mentions his name.
I am a huge boxing fan and fought several times myself for local and London clubs so have a clear bias, yet do feel we should support this cause. Along with Henry Trengrouse and Flora Day, we also have a legendary sporting icon and should be proud of our connection. Do you agree?