1887-03-31 (144lbs) Anthony Diamond w pts 10 Sam Baxter, St Andrew’s Hall, Westminster, London, England
1887-03-31 (144lbs) Anthony Diamond w pts 10 Sam Baxter, St Andrew’s Hall, Westminster, London, England. Referee: B. J. Angle. Although contested at catchweights, Diamond (144), the former ABA lightweight and heavyweight champion who was making his official pro debut, defeated Baxter (130) and within a week was already claiming the English 144lbs title. It was later reported to have been for the world 144lbs title as well as involving the English version. According to the papers of the day, Diamond won six rounds, Baxter two, with two even, Diamond using his extra weight to good advantage to take the verdict from the two judges at ringside. However, it was Baxter who was the closest to winning when he dropped Diamond with a right swing to the head in the sixth and then had his adversary saved by the bell after being stunned by another big right at the end of the seventh.
Earlier, there had only been championship competitions held at the weight, which are listed herewith. On 23 December 1882, Charlie Mitchell outpointed Dick Roberts at St George’s Hall, Westminster, London in the final of Billy Madden’s heavyweight competition. Mitchell (143) was deemed to have outscored Roberts (142) when receiving the referee’s casting vote. Strangely, Mitchell and Roberts were the two lightest men in a competition that included 21 entries.
In 1883 Bill Natty outpointed Jack Donoghue over three rounds on 23 January at the St Andrew’s Hall; George Wilson outpointed Ching Ghook over three rounds on 29 May at the Alexandra Rink, Nottingham and Jim Picton outpointed Ghook over three rounds on 26 November at the Blue Anchor Public House, Shoreditch, London.
Come 1884, Toff Wall outpointed Tom Picton over three rounds on 15 February at the Blue Anchor Public House; Arthur Cooper outpointed Jack McFarlane over three rounds on 29 February at the St Andrew’s Hall and then Jim Picton on 7 December at the Blue Anchor Public House.
On 26 February 1885, the Sporting Life reported Wall to be the English 144lbs champion and he went on to outpoint Ted Burchill over three rounds at the Blue Anchor Public House on 21 January 1886 to win an English championship competition at the weight.
Further activity in championship competitions at 144lbs came later in the year when Baxter outpointed Burchill over three rounds at the Blue Anchor Public House on 16 December and repeated that performance over the same opponent at the same venue on 19 January 1887.
In America, despite Ed Binney claiming the ‘black’ title another man in Harris Martin, known as ‘The Black Pearl’, also laid claim to it after knocking out Frank Taylor in 38 rounds of a finish fight held on the banks of the Mississippi River, Minneapolis, Minnesota on 2 May 1887.