1897-06-09 Tom Sharkey drew 7 (20) Peter Maher, Palace AC, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA
1897-06-09 Tom Sharkey drew 7 (20) Peter Maher, Palace AC, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA. Referee: Jimmy Colville. Following five tame rounds that had angered the fans, Sharkey got first blood when he dropped Maher in the sixth with a straight left to the face. Maher came back somewhat in the seventh when flooring Sharkey for a short count, but when the two men carried on after the bell had rung to end the session the fight was stopped by the police. Despite it being a thoroughly unsatisfactory ending the referee had no option other than giving a draw.
On 3 November, Maher challenged the world to decide the vacant title, Sharkey and Peter Jackson preferred, and two weeks later the Sporting Life reported that Maher, having been turned down by James J. Corbett, was being favoured by many as the next world heavyweight champion. Although Maher tried for matches against all the leading men he failed to get any of them in the ring, and while waiting he took on four six-round contests at The Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1898, knocking out Yank Kenney in the first on 21 January, C. C. Smith in the third on 15 February and stopping Steve O’Donnell in the second on 16 March before being knocked out by Joe Goddard after just 1.50 of the opening session on 12 May. Given the chance to fight Goddard again, this time over 25 rounds, Maher gained revenge on 8 July when forcing his opponent to retire himself in the eighth at the Lenox AC, Manhattan), but the damage had already been done.