1888-12-21 (120lbs) Bill Baxter w rtd 42 (finish) Fred Johnson, Social Club, Kennington, London, England
1888-12-21 (120lbs) Bill Baxter w rtd 42 (finish) Fred Johnson, Social Club, Kennington, London, England. Billed for the English 120lbs title, Johnson (118) was the first to show before Baxter (119) rallied in the fourth round after his rival slipped down. The fight then went back and forth, with the tenth being the fastest session to date, and by the 14th Johnson’s left eye was beginning to show signs of Baxter’s accurate left-hand work. In round 20 the Shoreditch man was still making Johnson’s injured eye his target and by the 32nd it was still very much nip and tuck, as it was right through to the mid-30s although by now the action was slowing. By the 41st both mens’ left eyes were closing fast but it was Johnson doing the forcing, although the next round would prove to be the last. With Johnson’s eye now fully closed he took a heavy blow to the head before falling into the ropes where he supported himself and held out his hand as in recognition of defeat. It was only when Johnson tried to walk that it could be seen that his right knee had failed him and he had to be carried back to his corner, leaving Baxter as the winner. The papers reported that it had been an even and stubbornly contested bout, with both fighters showing tremendous pluck. On 23 February 1889 Johnson outpointed Baxter over four rounds in a championship competition at the Royal Aquarium Theatre, Westminster, London.