1897-02-19 George Chrisp w disq 5 (8) Jem Smith, Ginnett’s Circus, Newcastle, England

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1897-02-19 George Chrisp w disq 5 (8) Jem Smith, Ginnett’s Circus, Newcastle, England. Referee: Ed Plummer. On undertaking to stop Chrisp (164) inside the distance, Smith (188) had great difficulty in catching the fleet-footed northerner, who showed that he was able to keep on the move and keep his distance in the early stages. Having had little success, Smith completely lost his head in the fifth round when after cornering and cutting up Chrisp with rough tactics he continually paid no attention to the referee’s call to break and paid the consequences when being disqualified.

Although there was no title billing and it was not contested over a championship distance, this did not stop Chrisp from claiming the English title despite not having much support.

Following exhibition bouts against Chrisp and Jack Scales in London on successive nights in August 1899, James J. Jeffries, the new world champion, claimed that Scales was, in his opinion, the best heavyweight in England. Following that, Scales challenged all England, Chrisp preferred, and when the latter failed to sign for an English championship contest against him on 5 December of that year, he claimed the title by forfeit.