1880-12-17 (152/154lbs) William Sherriff w rtd 11 (finish) Denny Harrington, Lapworth, near Solihull, England

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1880-12-17 (152/154lbs) William Sherriff w rtd 11 (finish) Denny Harrington, Marsden Green, Lapworth, Birmingham, England. Held in a meadow near the Boot Inn and recognised as a world title fight at either 152 or 154lbs, the contest went ahead under MoQ Rules, using ‘ordinary’ gloves. The battle commenced on high ground in a 24-foot ring and up until the eighth round Sherriff (152) had begun to get the better of it although the game Harrington (149) appeared to be still dangerous. However, from there onwards it was all downhill for Harrington and at the conclusion of the 11th, after being floored three times the police, who had been watching throughout, stopped proceedings. Later that evening the referee insisted that the fight should be renewed the next day, but Harrington’s backers, realising that their man had little chance, refused to let their man fight on and the stakes were awarded to Sherriff.

For whatever reason, Sherriff remained inactive for nearly three years before coming back as a heavyweight and retiring in 1884.

Following this, Leicester’s Tug Wilson claimed the English 154lbs title on 7 September 1881.

Men to win championship competitions at that weight were George Say (who knocked out George Cashley inside a round on 19 December 1881 at the Spread Eagle Public House, Shoreditch, London); Bill Springhall (who knocked out Jack Massey inside two rounds on 7 November 1882 at the St Andrew’s Hall, Westminster, London); Tom Longer (who outpointed Arthur Cooper over three rounds on 3 February 1883 at The Bell Public House, St Luke’s London) and Jack Burke (who outpointed Massey over four rounds on 14 February 1883 at the St Andrew’s Hall).

On 21 February 1883, Springhall who was now claiming the English 154lbs title, challenged all England and put down a deposit to bind a match with Burke. To further his aims at the weight, Springall took off for America and by July 1886 Toff Wall was reported in the Sporting Life as claiming the English 154lbs title, which was a surprise as he had previously fought at 148lbs.