1898-12-05 (126lbs) Tom Ireland w disq 3 (10) George Johnson, The Baths, Paddington, Queens Road, Bayswater, London, England

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1898-12-05 (126lbs) Tom Ireland w disq 3 (10) George Johnson, The Baths, Paddington, Queens Road, Bayswater, London, England. Although this was at catchweights with no weights mentioned or title billing attached, the press report stated that Ireland was as close to being the English 126lbs champion that you could get, while Johnson was referred to as the 124lbs champion. Clearly in far better condition than his rival, Ireland took the fight to Johnson from the opening bell. In the second round, according to the Sporting Life, Johnson was down again and again before making it to his stool. It clearly could not last, especially with Johnson on ‘Queer Street’, and after twice pulling Ireland to the floor and cross-buttocking him he was disqualified.

On 19 December, at catchweights, Ireland outpointed Darkey Wallace, another title claimant at 126lbs, over ten rounds at the same venue before being matched with Ted Marlow a day later to decide the championship.