Bob Fitzsimmons vs. Tom Sharkey (1st meeting)

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1896-12-02 : Bob Fitzsimmons 173½ lbs lost to Tom Sharkey 182 lbs by DQ in round 8 of 10

  • Location: Mechanic's Pavilion, San Francisco, California, USA
  • Referee: Wyatt Earp

"Bob Fitzsimmons was Wednesday night robbed of a victory which he had clearly earned by punching Tom Sharkey into insensibility. No one in the audience saw the foul complained of, but all saw Sharkey strike the Australian in clinches and wrestle him all over the ring a score of times. The call of time saved the sailor at the end of four rounds and the referee finally saved him in the 8th after Fitzsimmons had laid him low with a couple of left hooks, both of which struck the jaw. Fitzsimmons finished without a mark on his body and did not receive a single fair punch from the sailor in the entire contest. As Sharkey rolled over on his back, Wyatt Earp, the referee, announced that Fitzsimmons had struck him foul with his knee, and that the decision should go to Sharkey. The decision was received with hoots and jeers, and Earp disappeared just in time to avoid rough handling. It was clearly an unfair decision, as the knockout blow was a fair punch on the jaw. The crowd became boisterous and cursed Earp loud and long. The unanimous sentiment was that Fitzsimmons had been robbed in the most cold-blooded manner." -Jeffersonville Evening Journal