1904-10-13 (124lbs) Tommy Sullivan w co 5 (20) Abe Attell, West End Coliseum, St Louis, Missouri, USA
1904-10-13 (124lbs) Tommy Sullivan w co 5 (20) Abe Attell, West End Coliseum, St Louis, Missouri, USA. Referee: Harry Sharpe. Made at 124lbs, there was no championship billing as such but that did not stop Sullivan claiming the American title at the weight on winning. Prior to the finish both men had given a fine exhibition of scientific boxing with neither receiving much punishment. That all changed in the fifth round. After jumping to avoid a blow to the ribs, Attell was dropped writhing on the canvas by a left uppercut in the region of the belt and was counted out. The decision of the referee was withheld for about five minutes to allow three doctors to determine whether there had been a foul committed, but unable to find any signs of an illegal blow Sullivan was declared the winner.
For Attell, not only angry at losing following what he considered a low blow, he was also certain that Sullivan had actually come to the ring scaling 127lbs to his 122 and he continued to claim the title at the latter weight.
Meanwhile, Sullivan’s claim went nowhere as he concentrated on his job as the boxing instructor at the Missouri AC in St Louis for the next couple of years. He later stated that although he took on the odd fight here and there it was always in excess of 130lbs in order for him not to have to make weight and thus become stale. Sullivan and Attell would eventually meet again, in April 1908.