Peter Maher, a Galway born, and Dublin reared fighter, laid a strong claim on sport’s greatest prize, The Heavyweight Championship of the world, in the 1890’s. For over ten years he was a top contender and his popularity was such that he was arguably the most famous sportsman in America at the turn of the Twentieth century. This popularity stemmed from his prodigious punching power, good looks and affable, good-natured and easy-going manner.
He mixed with everybody from Presidents like Teddy Roosevelt and William McKinley to Wild West icons Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson and Judge Roy Bean and a multitude in between. Yet today he is virtually unknown except to the anoraks of the boxing world. This book attempts to address this situation. It traces his career from the amateur days in Dublin, deals with all his big fights in the United States and the famous contest for the World Title against Bob Fitzsimmons in Mexico. It charts his downward spiral until his death in 1940 in Baltimore. The book also contains a records section where the career records of some forty of his opponents are published, some for the first time and most at least revised with corrections and additions. The book also contains many photographs from the period and attempts by the use of contemporaneous newspaper reports to accurately portray the man and his times.