1901-10-28 (104lbs) James Freeman w co 1 (20) Dido Vardy, Standard Theatre, Gateshead, England
1901-10-28 (104lbs) James Freeman w co 1 (20) Dido Vardy, Standard Theatre, Gateshead, England. Referee: Jack Gibson. Starting with a straight left lead, Wimbledon’s Freeman (101½) controlled centre ring before smashing in a left hook to the wind that left Vardy (103½) in a heap on the floor where he was counted out after just 90 seconds.
While not billed as a championship contest, the former amateur titleholder staked his claim to the English 104lbs title on his victory.
Later, on 25 November at the Beresford Street Drill Hall, Woolwich, London, Johnny Hughes kayoed Bill Pincombe inside 50 seconds of a 104lbs world championship competition to put in a claim and was joined by Jim Venton in December 1902, while Harry Saxton challenged all England in July 1903. Other men to claim the title were Jack Hibbert (September 1904) and Young Bill Smith (November 1904), who were then challenged by Jack Wise (November 1904).
Meanwhile, Freeman continued to see himself as the English 104lbs champion, but by early 1904 he appeared to be a spent force.