1897-07-01 (92lbs) Joe Williams w co 16 (20) Michael Kerwin, Olympic Club, Birmingham, England
1897-07-01 (92lbs) Joe Williams w co 16 (20) Michael Kerwin, Olympic Club, Birmingham, England. Referee: John S. Barnes. Billed for the English 92lbs title, the contest took several rounds before it took off, but by the eighth it was clear that Williams carried the heavier punch while Kerwin was good on his feet despite looking to hold on too often. From thereon, Williams followed Kerwin incessantly, sending in as many blows as he could before he was claimed. The end came after two minutes of wild fighting in the 16th when Kerwin was dropped by a hard right to the jaw. On getting up Kerwin was decked again from a similar blow, his head hitting the ring post as he fell. Having been counted out, the unfortunate Kerwin had to be removed to the hospital where he died two days later. Bizarrely, Kerwin was wearing the trunks and shoes of the late Chappie Moran, whose widow had given them to him on the condition that he only wore them in sparring and not in a contest.
On 28 August, Williams challenged Curly Wood to decide the championship, but by November of that year he had moved up in weight.