1891-12-21 (158lbs) John O’Brien w co 8 (20) Alf Mitchell, NSC, Covent Garden, London, England
1891-12-21 (158lbs) John O’Brien w co 8 (20) Alf Mitchell, NSC, Covent Garden, London, England. Referee: Bernard J. Angle. Given billing for the English 158lbs title and championship belt, at the end of the second round it already looked to be a good thing for O’Brien (157) as he had not only knocked Mitchell (158) down with a solid right to the head in that session but was also in control. Driven around the ring thereafter, Mitchell was repeatedly floored in the fifth, six times in all, but still managed to last out until the call of time. Somewhat strangely O’Brien took his foot off the pedal in the next two rounds, but in the eighth, obviously ready to bring the contest to a conclusion, he laid into Mitchell with a vengeance. After dropping Mitchell with a cracking right to the jaw, when the latter finally made it to his feet he was set about before falling flat on his back where he was counted out.
Following this there was much talk of O’Brien meeting Ted Pritchard to decide the English title at the weight, but as the Welshman would only box at the NSC and their purse offer was lower than elsewhere the proposed match fell through. Not to be messed about, Pritchard quite rightly took over O’Brien’s claim at this juncture. There was also talk of Pritchard meeting Bob Fitzsimmons in America, but that also fell through.
In 1892, George Chrisp won a 158lbs championship competition when knocking out Jack Hart inside two rounds at the Central Hall, Holborn, London on 4 June. He was followed in 1893 by Ted White (who outpointed Alf Bowman over four rounds at the NSC on 6 March) and Arthur Akers (who outpointed Chrisp over four rounds at The Coliseum, Leeds on 7 October).
By December, Akers was claiming the 158lbs English title, while Pritchard challenged the world at 158lbs.
On 21 April 1894, Chrisp came back strongly to win a championship competition when knocking out Ted Rich in the first round at the St Andrew’s Hall, Westminster, London.