1896-02-21 Bob Fitzsimmons w co 1 (finish) Peter Maher, Nr Langtry, Texas, USA

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1896-02-21 Bob Fitzsimmons w co 1 (finish) Peter Maher, Nr Langtry, Texas, USA. Referee: George Siler. This one took place near Langtry, opposite El Paso across the Rio Grande River. The first proper fight intended to be filmed, once Fitzsimmons (165) knew he was not in on the deal he knocked Maher (180) out in 95 seconds, the finishing blow being a short right to the jaw. Having stepped inside Maher’s swinging right to deliver the kayo Fitzsimmons was made up when he found that the Kinetoscope operators had been unable to set the machine up in time to film any of the action whatsoever. A lot of people still thought a champion should lose his title in the ring and with the public refusing to fully recognise Fitzsimmons after his defeat of Maher, Corbett eventually regained his taste for boxing and was matched to meet Tom Sharkey over four rounds at the Mechanics’ Pavilion, San Francisco, California on 24 June. Not at his best, Corbett had a tough time controlling the rushing tactics of Sharkey and was in a bad way after being twice bundled to the floor before being rescued by a police intervention. The decision to stop matters in the final session was taken by the authority when it was felt that the contest had turned into a brawl and was inciting the crowd. Although he had come close to being beaten Corbett agreed to give Sharkey a return with the title at stake, but after protracted negotiations with nothing signed it was announced on 13 September that the champion had signed articles to meet Fitzsimmons prior to 1 March 1897. Meantime, Fitzsimmons was matched to fight Sharkey in a warm-up. On 7 November at The Amphitheatre, Johannesburg, South Africa, Australia’s Joe Goddard knocked out Denver Ed Smith inside four rounds of a scheduled 20. Billed for the South African open title, with some reports mistakenly giving it world championship status, it was nothing of the kind and Goddard, despite regularly challenging the world, was unable to build on that performance.

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