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The Cyber Boxing Zone Encyclopedia -- Old Timer

George Rooke

BORN   December 25 1839; Dundalk, Ireland
(Reports vary - 1836 - 1842 - 1843 - 1844)
DIED November 1 1904; Newark, New Jersey
HEIGHT 5-11 1/2
WEIGHT 144-170 lbs

Rooke was a capable fighter, schooled in boxing fundamentals; He could be very cagey and clever at times and was a hard, straight hitter; He was exceptionally well-developed about the arms, back, loins and legs and was said to have very strong hands
 
He was also described as a very quiet, inoffensive man who once worked as a special detective at Brighton Beach Hotel, Coney Island; He was a brother of Jack Rooke

He defeated such men as William McClellan, Joe Denning and Bill England

The old reports are very contradictory

Undated
       Professor Dole             New Haven, Ct                     W   

1866
Oct  3 Tim Hussey                 Boston, Ma                       KO 14

1867
Apr  9 Charles Collins            Fisher's Island, NY              LF 16
         -Rooke lost by disqualification;
          Many observers thought this was an unfair verdict;
          Collins was battered; Rooke challenged Collins to 
          another bout; Collins refused

         -Rooke challenged Tommy Chandler, middleweight champion,
          to a bout; Chandler declined, saying he was retired;
          Rooke was considered to be champion by most followers
          of boxing

Oct  2 Matthew "Rocky" Moore      Smutty Nose Island, Me           LK 25
         -Some sources report Middleweight Championship of America;
          Moore retired shortly afterwards;
          Rooke claimed the title after Moore retired

1868
Oct 17 Tim Hussey                 New York, NY                      D 18
         -Some sources report Middleweight Championship of America;
          Police intervened; Some sources report "W 18"

1867-1872
       Jack Smith                                                   W  6
       Roger Colne                                                  W   

1872
Jul 17 -Rooke challenged Tommy Chandler who still claimed to be 
          middleweight champion although he was not active

          -Rooke retired; Thus, refusing to meet Jimmy Murray
           who was challenging him for the Middleweight Title

1874
       Jem Coyne                  near Wilkesboro (Harvey's Lake) WForf        
         -Rooke received forfeit

1875
Jul  1 Tom Allen                  near Detroit, Mi                 SCH   
         -This bout was scheduled; The outcome is not known

1876
Feb 11 Johnny Dwyer               New York, NY                      ND   
         -Police intervened
Apr 24 Steve Taylor               Brooklyn, NY                      EX   
         -The sparring became almost real fighting
Oct 27 Hugh Burns                 Newmarket, England                 D   

1878
Mar 12 Denny "Bulldog" Harrington London, England                   LK  6
         -Middleweight Championship of the World;
          Rooke was called the middleweight champion of America;
          Harrington was the middleweight champion of England

1872-1879
         -Rooke was inactive; Mike Donovan rose to the top and
          was considered middleweight champion by most people

1880
May 11 Mike Donovan               Long Point, ---, Canada          SCH   
         -Middleweight Championship of America;
          This bout was scheduled but not held;
          Authorities prevented the bout
May 24 Mike Donovan               Coney Island, NY                 SCH   
         -Middleweight Championship of America;
          This bout was scheduled but not held;
          Authorities prevented the bout
Jun 28 John L. Sullivan           Boston, Ma                        LK  3
         -Some sources report "LK 2"
Nov 29 Jack Stewart               New York, NY                      EX   

1881
Jan    John Laflin                New York, NY                      EX  3
Mar 18 Steve Taylor               New York, NY                     SCH   
         -This bout was scheduled but not held;
          Taylor refused to fight
Apr 25 Mike Donovan               New York, NY                      LT  2
         -Reports vary - "L 2" - "LT 3" -"EX 3";
          Police intervened
Sep    Mike Donovan               New York, NY                       L  3
         -Some sources report "George Burke";
          Some sources report "L 4"
Oct    Mike Donovan               New York, NY                      EX   
Dec  1 William C. McClellan       Hunters Point, NY                 TK  3
         -Some sources report "KO 4"
Dec 26 Mike Donovan               New York, NY                      ND  4

1878-1882
       Alf Greenfield                                                L   

1882
Jan 23 Mike Donovan               Chicago, Il                      SCH   
         -This bout was scheduled; The outcome is not known
Apr 24 Mike Donovan               New York, NY                      EX   
Jun  7 Joe Denning                New York, NY                      KO  4
Oct 18 Mike Cleary                New York, NY                      LK  3
         -Rooke offered to beat Cleary inside of four
          rounds; Cleary knocked him down five times;
          Some sources report 10/18/79;
          Reports vary - "KO" - "LK 1"
Nov 27 Tom Allen                  New York, NY                      EX  3

1883
Feb  8 Gus Lambert                New York, NY                       D  4
Mar 15 Steve Taylor               New York, NY                      EX   
         -Some sources report "L"
Apr 28 Pete McCoy                 New York, NY                      EX  3
May  7 Mike Donovan               Newburgh, NY                      EX   

1884
Jun 30 Bill England               New York, NY                       W  4
         -Some sources report "KO 4"
Aug 18 Bill England               New York, NY                      KO  3
         -Reports vary - "TK 4" - "W 4"
Sep 23 William Bennett            New York, NY                      LT  3
         -Rooke sprained his ankle during this fight
Nov 13 Dominick McCaffrey         Pittsburgh, Pa                    EX   
Nov 19 Dominick McCaffrey         East Liverpool, Oh                EX   
Nov 22 Jack King                  McKeesport, Pa                    KO  3
         -Police intervened

1885
Feb 22 Charles Lange              New Orleans, La                   TK  2
Mar 11 George Fryer               New Orleans, La                   LK  1
Apr 28 Pete McCoy                 New York, NY                      EX  3
         -This bout was hotly contested
May 11 William Springhall         New York, NY                      LT  3
Nov 13 Jim Fell                   Cincinnati, Oh                    ND  1
         -Gloves were used; Police intervened

1886
Mar  5 Patsy Cardiff              Minneapolis, Mn                    L  6
         -Some sources report "New York, NY"
May    Robert Barnes              Minneapolis, Mn                   KO   
Jul    -Rooke was sentenced to jail for four months in
          Orange County, NY for assaulting his wife
Oct 23 -Rooke challenged Dominick McCaffrey to a bout;
          McCaffrey refused
       John Fay                                                      L   
       Tom Allen                  New York, NY                     SCH   
         -This bout was scheduled but not held;
          Allen appeared but no fight occurred

1896
Dec 14 John Donaldson             New York, NY                      EX  3

Undated
       William Miller             New York, NY                       L   
         -This bout was probably held between 1884-1887;
          Some sources report 1888
Apr 10 Jack Welch                 Philadelphia, Pa                   D 76

Review courtesy of Tracy Callis, Historian, International Boxing Research Organization
 
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