1903-05-02 Jack Palmer w co 12 (20) Ben Taylor, Ginnett’s Circus, Newcastle, England

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1903-05-02 Jack Palmer w co 12 (20) Ben Taylor, Ginnett’s Circus, Newcastle, England. Referee: Sam Francis. Billed for the English title, with Palmer going for the body Taylor was down twice in the opening two sessions. Twice decked from body blows in the fourth, floored four times in the sixth and three times in the seventh, it was amazing that Taylor was able to fight back strongly in the eighth. His resurgence did not last long, however, and after being down again in the tenth and 11th Taylor was eventually put down for the full count in the 12th following lefts and rights to the jaw.

By his victory, Palmer had every right to see himself as the prime claimant to be called English champion.

Although Taylor came back to kayo Jack Mullen inside 16 rounds at Ginnett’s Circus on 30 May, whilst the result let him back into the title picture he was unable to take advantage of it.

On 25 March 1904, the Sporting Life reported that Gunner Hewitt of the Royal Marines was undoubtedly the best man in Britain, but he was another who was ultimately unable to make the transition.

Then, on 15 December 1904, Jack Scales drew over ten rounds with Canada’s Mike Shallow at the Artillery Barracks, Newport, Wales. Articled for two-minute rounds and advertised as involving the English title, although reported in some papers as an eight rounder not only was Shallow not eligible but without championship conditions being in place it was farcical.

Meanwhile, on 9 December 1905, Scales challenged all of the English title claimants, specifically naming Taylor, Charlie Wilson, Geoff Thorne, Harry Slounch Dixon, Palmer and Sergeant Sunshine - who had kayoed Dixon inside two rounds at the NSC, Covent Garden, London on 20 November - to decide the English championship once and for all. Strangely, at the time of his challenge to all England Scales had been out of the ring for eight months. It would be a further year before Scales got back into training, his English title aspirations all but dead and buried.