1892-09-07 James J. Corbett w co 21 (finish) John L. Sullivan, Olympic Club, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA - WORLD

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1892-09-07 James J. Corbett w co 21 (finish) John L. Sullivan, Olympic Club, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA - WORLD. Referee: John Duffy. As the world bare-knuckle champion since 1882, Sullivan had also been claiming to be the Queensberry Rules champion and although many accepted this fight as settling the world-gloved title, outside of America Peter Jackson also had a fair bit of recognition.

Forcing the fight from the opening bell, Sullivan (212) found Corbett (178) a difficult target and by the 15th round he seemed to be all in, having been unable to dislodge the much younger man. At the age of 44, it was all getting too much for Sullivan and although Corbett had boxed a defensive, if not negative, fight he began to open up and in the 21st session the older man was dropped four times, the last time seeing him counted out. The fight was contested in regulation five-ounce gloves.

Having signed for a return bout with Jackson, to take place early in 1893, the contest fell through due to the latter’s poor health and Corbett went on tour with the stage play, ‘Gentleman Jack’ and was out of the ring for over a year.

Meantime, the middleweight champion, Bob Fitzsimmons, was also making waves in 1892, having already beaten Peter Maher (w co 12 at the Olympic Club on 2 March), who was considered in some parts of America as a future champion.