Born in San Francisco, California on November 8, 1868, Joe “Chrysanthemum Joe” Choynski was a boxer who never claimed a world championship title but fought and defeated many fighters who did. Weighing 170 pounds, Choynski often fought against opponents significantly above or below his weight class. The fitting weight class for Choynski, the light-heavyweight division, was not created until 1903.
Despite his challenges, Choynski was able to defeat Bob Fitzsimmons in 1894. He fought to a draw against James Jeffries in 1897, and he defeated Jack Johnson in 3 rounds 4 years later. None of his noted opponents would grant him title-bouts, but they did admit that Choynski delivered the strongest blows. After a 20-year career of 77 bouts, 50 victories, and 25 knockouts, Choynski left the ring in 1904. He passed away in 1943.