1880-02-26 Alf Greenfield w disq 20 (finish) Jem Stewart, Kings Road Baths, Chelsea, London, England
1880-02-26 Alf Greenfield w disq 20 (finish) Jem Stewart, Kings Road Baths, Chelsea, London, England. Referee: Charles Bedford. Despite not being billed as a championship contest, following his victory Greenfield (157) was claiming the English heavyweight title. Although he slipped down in the opening session it quickly became noticeable that Greenfield was far too good for Stewart (166), and even when his right hand was disabled in the third he continued to outclass his rival. Apart from the tenth when Stewart made a bit of a showing Greenfield went further ahead using just one hand, the fight ending when he was deliberately thrown in the final session.
On 19 May 1881, Jack Burke outpointed William Coddy Middings over three rounds at the Griffin Public House, Shoreditch, London to win a championship competition, while Tug Wilson challenged all England and claimed the title on hearing that Greenfield had retired in April 1882.
Arriving in America, Wilson was signed up by Richard K. Fox to meet the bare-knuckle champion, John L. Sullivan, in a four-round exhibition with gloves at Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York on 17 July 1882. Having agreed to halt Wilson inside four rounds, Sullivan failed to get his hands on the $9,000 purse money after Wilson dropped to the floor 27 times in all to make it to the final bell. After Wilson, who was contracted to return to the States to fight Jimmy Elliott, Joe Goss and Sullivan, failed to honour the agreement with Fox it became extremely difficult for other British fighters to acquire American backers in the future.
In England, Charlie Mitchell won a championship competition when outpointing Dick Roberts over three rounds at St George’s Hall, Mayfair, London on 23 December 1882. Not long after he was reported to be the English champion by the Sporting Life before signing to fight Sullivan at Madison Square Garden on 14 May 1883. Scheduled for four rounds with gloves, the bout was stopped in the third when Mitchell was knocked off the stage, which coincided with the arrival of the police.
The following month, back in England, Greenfield won Jem Mace’s championship competition when outpointing Burke over three rounds at the Free Trade Hall, Manchester on 29 June, prior to meeting Sullivan in two losing four rounders with gloves in America.