1903-05-13 (170lbs) George Gardner w rtd 12 (20) Marvin Hart, The Auditorium, Louisville, Kentucky, USA
1903-05-13 (170lbs) George Gardner w rtd 12 (20) Marvin Hart, The Auditorium, Louisville, Kentucky, USA. Referee: Tim Hurst. Following his win in another billed championship bout, this time at 170lbs, Gardner was matched with Jack Root to effectively decide the vacant world title. For the record, the Chicago Tribune stated that Hart, who was unable to get below 170lbs, had no realistic ‘claim’ to the title when scaling 176lbs to Gardner’s 168. It was certainly a fierce contest, with Hart carrying a punch like a mule and as strong as an ox, while Gardner had the edge in speed and landed more often. Both men had their chances to win despite a lack of knockdowns, but by the 12th round they were so badly worn out from their exertions that it was impossible to call at that point. Although the 12th saw Gardner hitting Hart almost as he liked, it was still a major surprise when the latter was pulled out by his corner at the end of the session, claiming a broken right hand.