1888-10-30 (144lbs) Paddy Duffy w disq 17 (finish) Billy McMillan, Virginia, USA

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1888-10-30 (144lbs) Paddy Duffy w rsc 17 (finish) Billy McMillan, Virginia, USA. Held in an old building on the shoreline near Fort Foote, 15 miles below Washington, the fight was given to Duffy in the 17th round after he had been fouled by McMillan. In bad shape at the time, it was felt that McMillan fouled himself out of it. Following the fight, Duffy stated that he had hurt his left hand early on, while McMillan’s friends were claiming that their man had been poisoned after taking water between rounds.

Contested inside an old building near Fort Foote on the shoreline and articled as a hard-glove fight at 144lbs under MoQ Rules, Duffy was recognised as the American welterweight champion after his victory. The fight itself saw McMillan knocked down in the 13th round and holding on desperately until he was too tired to continue before the fight was awarded to Duffy. The Washington Post reported Duffy to weigh 137lbs, while other reports claimed that Duffy scaled 140lbs to McMillan’s 143.

Although I found reference to Duffy claiming to be the American 140lbs champion earlier in the year, I could find nothing to support that claim. However, we do know that Duffy, weighing either 137 or 140lbs depending on what paper you read, was recognised as the American champion at all weights between 138 and 144lbs after his victory over McMillan (143lbs) in what was a hard-glove fight articled at 144lbs under MoQ Rules.

On 29 March 1889, Duffy beat Tom Meadows (w disq 45 at the Californian Athletic Club, San Francisco, California) to retain his welterweight claim at 142lbs. Although this one is shown in the welterweight division, for Duffy (139lbs), who again scaled under 140lbs, it would be his last fight as he tragically contracted tuberculosis, passing away at the early age of 26 on 19 July 1890.