1903-11-25 (168lbs) Bob Fitzsimmons w pts 20 George Gardner, Mechanics’ Pavilion, San Francisco, California, USA
1903-11-25 (168lbs) Bob Fitzsimmons w pts 20 George Gardner, Mechanics’ Pavilion, San Francisco, California, USA. Referee: Ed Graney. Although the Articles of Agreement called for the men to make 168lbs, according to the San Francisco Chronicle Gardner came in at 170lbs while Fitzsimmons was spot on. Gardner was a good fighter, but had hardly set the world on fire, whereas the 40-year-old Fitzsimmons, who became the first man to win three titles at different weights, gave the light heavyweight division a certain air of respectability.
Despite conserving his energy Fitzsimmons outboxed and outfought Gardner throughout, while the latter was unable to catch him often enough with any real force. There was no doubting that Fitzsimmons still had punching ability, Gardner being dropped in the fourth (twice), fifth, tenth, 13th, 14th and 17th. Afterwards, Fitzsimmons stated that he had been unable to kayo Gardner, who finished with cuts and abrasions over both eyes and a broken nose, due to him breaking the knuckles on both hands early in the contest. The referee claimed that the fight was as poor as he had handled, but had given the fight to Fitzsimmons due to the knockdowns.
The following year Fitzsimmons retained his title claim after a six-round contest made at 165lbs against Philadelphia Jack O'Brien (nd-l pts 6 at the National League Baseball Ground, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on 23 July 1904).