1893-12-26 (130lbs) Tom Ireland w pts 12 Darkey Barton, Harewood Street Gym, Leeds, England
1893-12-26 (130lbs) Tom Ireland w pts 12 Darkey Barton, Harewood Street Gym, Leeds, England. Referee: George Drake. Made at 130lbs there was no English title billing as such, but Ireland would lay claim to the title on winning. As a contest it had been evenly fought with never much in it, but had it been a finish fight it would have favoured the hard-fighting Barton. Although Ireland’s right eye was badly marked in the third, and he was put down in both the seventh and eighth rounds, he was the better stylist of the pair, scoring well with the left jab throughout. Both men were fighting hard when time was called.
Men who won championship competitions were Jack Fitzgibbon (who outpointed Charlie Tilley over four rounds at the Central Hall, Holborn, London on 15 December 1894 and knocked out Tom Ireland in the first round at the same venue on 16 February 1895), Ted Ware (who outpointed Steve Smith over four rounds at the Central Hall on 2 February 1895) and Jerry Donaghue (who outscored Joe Anderson over four rounds at the Excelsior Baths, Bethnal Green, London on 27 November 1895). This activity was followed by Harry Brown challenging the world on 7 March 1896.