Fitzsimmons-Maher Prizeﬁght, Langtry Texas 1896
The fight took place within this makeshift arena on a sandbar near this historic marker which was dedicated in 2006.
To learn more about the history of boxing and the Progressive's campaign against the sport, consider this book from the University of Washington Press.
Backstory and Context
Bob Fitzimmons vowed to fight Maher and rightfully win the heavyweight championship but he needed to find a way around the boxing ban. The press and others suggested a number of outlandish venues, including fighting in the basket of a hot air balloon. Judge Roy Bean recognized the buzz as an opportunity to stage a fight the world would never forget. Bean told the press and spectators to meet him at the rail station in El Paso for a train to Langtry, Texas, a small town on the border of Mexico. The fight was to take place on a sandbar on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande. Workers constructed a makeshift bridge for the spectators along with an canvas arena. The spectacle did not last long. Bob Fitzsimmons knocked Maher out in 95 seconds, capturing the heavyweight championship of the world in one of the oddest boxing fights in history.
Braudaway, Doug. The Fitzsimmons-Maher Prizefight The World Heavyweight Championship Bout of 1896. Val Verde County Historical Commission. Accessed June 24, 2017. http://vvchc.net/marker/prizefight%20on%20rio%20grande.html. Overview of the prize fight
Rumble on the Rio Grande. The Sweet Science. January 8, 2013. Accessed June 24, 2017. http://www.thesweetscience.com/feature-articles/15930-rumble-on-the-rio-grande.