1900-01-29 (106lbs) Matt Precious w rtd 10 (20) Mike Riley, NSC, Covent Garden, London, England

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1900-01-29 (106lbs) Matt Precious w rtd 10 (20) Mike Riley, NSC, Covent Garden, London, England. Billed for the English 106lbs title, the 19-year-old Riley (104) started well when showing a great left jab but as the fight got underway Precious (105½) came more and more into it, being decidedly the stronger of the pair. In the eighth round Riley came under severe attack and was twice dropped. Despite being groggy, Riley continued to show good generalship when thwarting Precious’ drives but was eventually put down and saved when the call of time came to his assistance. When Riley was unable to answer the bell for the tenth round, having lapsed into unconsciousness, the referee handed the decision to Precious.

Unfortunately, Riley passed away the following day, thus following Walter Croot and Tom Turner in becoming the third man to die following a contest at the NSC in just over two years. At the inquest a few days later the jury concluded that it was a case of accidental death and that the NSC took every precaution in its power to prevent this regrettable accident from taking place. In a further hearing at the Bow Street Police Court in February the NSC and all ten defendants were again exonerated.

Following the contest, Precious challenged the world, which he repeated throughout the year with no acceptances. When it was rumoured that Precious could no longer make the weight, Charlie Smirke challenged all England in November.