On March 17, 1897, at an arena located on this site, Carson City played host to Nevada’s first World Championship prizefight, a fourteen-round thriller in which the reigning heavyweight titlist, James J. “Gentleman Jim” Corbett, was dethroned by Robert Fitzsimmons.  The Nevada Legislature had only recently legalized prizefighting and the match became the object of scathing criticism from the press and pulpit of other states, but fight fans arrived by the thousands. Promoter Dan Stuart put on a clean show and demonstrated that boxing need not be brutal or crooked.  Other states were soon to liberalize their own prizefight laws and the sport began to assume a degree of respectability it had not enjoyed in the past.  In later years, Nevada was to be the scene of several other World Championship fights.