The Judge and the Prizefight

roy bean true west magazine
Roy Bean.

Roy Bean is best known as the eccentric Texas judge.  But at least once, he was a promoter, putting together a championship boxing match between Peter Maher and Bob Fitzsimmons.  The bout was opposed by civic leaders in the U.S. and Mexico, and officials in both countries outlawed the fight.

So Bean held the match on a sandbar in the Rio Grande River on February 21, 1896.  Spectators (including Bat Masterson) were brought to the area by a special train. The fight went off without a hitch; Fitzsimmons knocked out Maher in the first round.

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