1891-11-30 (140lbs) Harry Nickless w co 9 (20) Bill Hatcher, Bolingbroke Club, Clapham, London, England

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1891-11-30 (140lbs) Harry Nickless w co 9 (20) Bill Hatcher, Bolingbroke Club, Clapham, London, England. Referee: Robert Watson. Billed for the English 142lbs championship, in his rush to win early Nickless (139¾) was cut over the right eye. As if that was not enough, by the sixth round both eyes were closing fast. In between, having hammered away at Hatcher (140), although he had not forced a knockdown he was certainly getting through, especially to the body. For his part Hatcher had also had some success, and when they came up for the ninth he was as confident as was Nickless. Again both men got down to work quickly, but following some particularly vicious fighting it was Hatcher who came off worse when a tremendous left to the body followed by a right across the jaw smashed him to the floor for the full count.

Immediately after the fight Nickless claimed the English 140 and 142lbs titles to go with his 144lbs belt. Despite the Sporting Life advertising Alf Suffolk (10 February 1892) as being the English 140lbs champion, with Nickless recognised by most as the better man strenuous efforts were made to match him with Dick Burge. Due to meet Australia’s Tom Williams at 140lbs on 14 June 1892, Nickless claimed the Imperial British Empire title at the weight after the former had forfeited due to illness. On 24 October 1892, Nickless withdrew the £100 deposit held by the Sporting Life to bind a match with Burge or anyone else as it had never been covered.

Meanwhile, Joe Wilson, who had knocked out Frank Howson inside 16 rounds at the Edmund Road Drill Hall, Sheffield on 8 September 1890, having been restricted to 140lbs, was also challenged to no avail.

A month or so later, Williams, who was still claiming the world title, said he was surprised that Nickless ignored his challenge at the weight as he would be prepared to fight him anytime.