1878-03-12 (154lbs) Denny Harrington w co 6 (finish) George Rooke, Royal Surrey Gardens, Camberwell, London, England

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1878-03-12 (154lbs) Denny Harrington w co 6 (finish) George Rooke, Royal Surrey Gardens, Camberwell, London, England. Referee: Charles Conquest. Billed for the world 154lbs title under MoQ Rules, and in ‘ordinary’ gloves, Bells Life gave Harrington at 153½lbs to Rooke’s 150½, while others reported Harrington to be 152lbs and Rooke 151½. Although both men were born in Ireland, the latter had been living in America for some 16 years before returning to Britain 18 months previously.

The fight started with what was described as hard slogging, and after Rooke was dropped flat and had got up both men went down together before the bell ended the opening session. The second through to the fifth round saw savage infighting, with each suffering from exhaustion. In the sixth after Rooke had bitten Harrington’s left wrist the latter asked for a disqualification but was denied. Ordered to fight on after spectators had been ejected from the ring, the two of them went hell for leather before Rooke fell down against the ropes to be counted out.

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