1903-03-31 (127/128lbs) Young Corbett w co 11 (20) Terry McGovern, Mechanics’ Pavilion, San Francisco, California, USA
1903-03-31 (127/128lbs) Young Corbett w co 11 (20) Terry McGovern, Mechanics’ Pavilion, San Francisco, California, USA. Referee: Ed Graney. Given American world title billing at 127lbs, with nobody expecting any pussy-footing around both boys went at it from the opening bell and McGovern (125½) was dropped in the first and second rounds before coming back to open Corbett’s left eye. From head to body they kept firing in the punches and McGovern was dropped for ‘nine’ in the seventh before rallying. As McGovern weakened he was warned to keep his punches up and on him weakening further Corbett (127) took his opportunity in the 11th, blasting in lefts and rights until a heavy right to the jaw dropped the former champion for the full count.
Four catchweight fights thought to involve Corbett’s 130lbs title claim came against Jack O’Keefe (w co 3 on 19 May at the West End Club, St Louis, Missouri), Hugh Murphy (w co 6 on 25 June at the Tammany AC, Boston, Massachusetts), Jimmy Briggs (w pts 10 on 29 June at the Criterion Club, Boston) and Sammy Smith (nd-w pts 6 at the National AC, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). The contracts allowed the men to make 130lbs, while Corbett was allowed to come in at least six pounds heavier in some cases.