1905-12-20 (175lbs) Philadelphia Jack O’Brien w rtd 13 (20) Bob Fitzsimmons, Mechanics’ Pavilion, San Francisco, California, USA
1905-12-20 (175lbs) Philadelphia Jack O'Brien w rtd 13 (20) Bob Fitzsimmons, Mechanics’ Pavilion, San Francisco, California, USA. Referee: Ed Graney. With both men well inside 175lbs, it appears that over a period of time historians have wrongly assumed the above contest to have been for the light-heavyweight title when, in fact, it was one of a series of eliminators to decide the heavyweight crown. However, the fact remains that Fitzsimmons (165) was the recognised light-heavyweight champion, despite there being little interest in the weight division at the time, and the title would have automatically passed to O’Brien (164), regardless of him continuing to concentrate his efforts among the heavier men.
Giving a remarkable exhibition of boxing, O’Brien ducked, dodged and moved to such a degree that Fitzsimmons was, at times, totally bamboozled. Although the champion vainly stuck to the task at hand he could not catch up with O’Brien, who would skip away before landing solid left hands that eventually took the steam out of the older man. After a solid exchange of body shots in the 13th, Fitzsimmons walked to his corner and instructed the referee that he could not take much more and was retiring himself. There were worrying scenes in the immediate aftermath when Fitzsimmons slumped forward on his stool and slipped to the floor in a collapsed state before being revived several minutes later and being able to leave the ring.