atm-logoWas Bat Masterson as handy with his fists as he was with a gun?

Jim Gaines
Orangevale, California

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

Related Articles

  • bat-masterson-blog

    Bat Masterson was the real deal. He came west in the 1870s and was at…

  • bat-masterson-blog

    Bat Masterson met his maker on October 25, 1921—not in a gunfight, but at a…

  • Bat Masterson True West Magazine

    The old TV show said “he wore a cane and derby hat.”  There’s plenty of…