1897-10-23 (158lbs) Dick O’Brien w rsc 2 (20) Frank Craig, Olympic Club, Birmingham, England

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1897-10-23 (158lbs) Dick O’Brien w rsc 2 (20) Frank Craig, Olympic Club, Birmingham, England. Referee: John S. Barnes. Billed for the world 158lbs title claim held by Craig (157¾), although both men made a reasonable start by the end of the first round it was noticeable that O’Brien (158) was scoring well and looking most dangerous with the left. Picking up where he left off, O’Brien hammered in a right that almost closed Craig’s left eye in the second, and before too long he had found the latter’s chin with a similar blow that sent him down heavily. Having made a tremendous effort to pull himself up it was clear that on getting to his feet Craig was finished. When he was put down again almost immediately the referee called off the count, stating that it would be foolish to allow the contest to proceed further.

While seen as a great win, O’Brien’s claim went nowhere, especially as he had been stopped by Charles Kid McCoy some six months earlier. And in his very next contest, weighing 160lbs, he was disqualified inside four rounds against Dick Burge (146) at the above venue on 21 December.

In America, on 9 December, George Byers was claiming to be the ‘black’ champion after beating Harry Peppers (w co 19 at the Jacques Auditorium, Waterbury, Connecticut) in a bout scheduled for 20 rounds. However, Byers seems to be fighting heavyweights from here on in despite Baltimore promoters trying to match him against Jim Janey for the ‘black’ title.