Was Bat Masterson as handy with his fists as he was with a gun?
Bat Masterson lived and worked in a rough-and-ready environment of gambling, so he likely was good with his fists. Wyatt Earp certainly was, as Masterson reported.
He did love the sport of manly fisticuffs, and he served as a promoter and fight referee for many years. Right up to his death, he witnessed nearly every important heavyweight bout—many of which he wrote about during his tenure as a newspaper sports reporter. He also bet on the fights, although his biographer Robert DeArment says Masterson usually lost money on those bets.
Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian. His latest book is Wyatt Earp: Showdown at Tombstone. If you have a question, write: Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org