Following the fall of Jack Broughton, the founder of the science, at the hands of Jack Slack in 1750, the title was bandied around among a number of boxers, none of whom was qualified to hold the honor. Not until the rise of Tom Johnson did a man appear worthy to be counted a successor to the first great master. “It will be Birmingham against London. Isaac Perrins will engage Tom Johnson and the championship will be ours”. Banging of tankards and shouts of approval interrupted Mister David Seth, a merchant, who was explaining to a company of enthusiastic associates the plans then perfecting for a clash between the best men to be placed in the ring by London and Birmingham. After the den had died down the merchant continued; following them Jacobs will be paired with Big Ben Brain, Pickard with George Ingleston, the brewer, Fualkner with Watson, and Thornhill with Hooper. Such will be the tournament the greatest ever held in England and one that will demonstrate where is bred the best of brawn. The history of pugilism has little to say about the result of this matching of men except as to the outcome of the battle between Perrins and Johnson, a battle such as seldom has been seen in any country. All England was wrought to a fever pitch and men discussed the approaching contest as today is discussed the contest between Jeffries and Johnson. The methods of producing fighters today are vastly different from those known a century and a quarter ago. Now the question is asked can Jeffries at the age of thirty four hold his own in the ring with a younger man. Age with him is considered a handicap and yet in “the good old days” men were not thought well hardened for the ring before they had turned thirty. Tom Johnnson was born in 1750, the same year that saw the downfall of Broughton and the accession of Slack. His real name was Jackling. His greatest battle, that with Perrins, was fought when he was well into his fortieth year and at that period he was entering the zenith of his fame. Perrins, a few months younger than Johnson, had been even slower than the champion in his development, but the two at the time of their clash represented the two greatest schools that have existed in pugilism since men first met in the squared arena. Johnson by no means a pigmy, even amongst men of muscle, depended fully as much on science as he did upon his well recognised ability to land a crushing blow. Some regarded him as the inferior of Broughton in science, others maintained that in Johnson the prize ring had found its master of science. His height was two inches under six feet and his fighting weight was 14 stone. Quickness, courage and a knack of throwing himself behind a decisive blow were the main characteristics that had brought him his laurels. The Giant Perrins All these characteristics of the champion were explained by Mr. David Seth, as he ran over the possibilities of the battle. "But," he continued, "there are other fighters besides Johnson who may rightly lay claim to the championship. Our own Isaac Perrins a rugged mountain of a man, six feet two inches in height and weighing seventeen stone when stripped for action. Yet you have seen him know that he carries his ponderous figure with all the ease of a stripling. I have seen him lift eight hundred weight of iron into a wagon and perform other feats of strength almost beyond human credibility. So despite the reputation with which Tom Johnson will come from London we will take little risk in laying the odds on Perrins. Of Isaac Perrins a historian of his time wrote “ His tremendous breadth of chest and cleanly muscled limbs tell of perfect condition. His countenance open and expressive, is lighted by a mild and friendly glance. No one has ever had cause to say that Isaac Perrins makes ill use of his powers. He is gentle and considerate and above all things seeks to avoid offence to those weaker than himself". And so the plans and the arrangements set for the meeting between Johnson and Perrins. Mr. Seth received in person from Johnson a reply to a letter showing clearly enough the champions readiness to accept any offer so well backed as that of Perrins. After some further correspondence it was agreed that meeting should take place at Newmarket on the turf, for 250 guineas a side, two-thirds of the gate money to go to the winner and the rest to the loser. The first arrangement was for October 1, 1789, but Interference by the authorities resulted in a postponement, and the men finally clashed at Banbury In Oxfordshire, October 22. 1789. Some five thousand persons were gathered In and about the Oxfordshire town when the day came on which the champion was to defend his title against the Birmingham giant. The spot chosen was an open field that sloped down slightly toward the centre. Here a stage was erected, twenty-four feet square and five feet above the ground. In accordance with general custom it was carefully covered with strips of turf packed and pounded solidly. The Birmingham followers of Perrins had come down well supplied with money for the betting.They felt no doubt in the superiority of their favorite And were prepared to give two and even three to one on him. Notwithstanding the fact that Johnson's success had been almost phenomenal, these enthusiasts could see no way by which he could stand against their mighty challenger. Johnson, more than any of his contemporaries, "fought with his head." Observant followers of the sport began to point him out at an early stage of his career as a man who had a future. On entering the arena it was his custom to study his adversary with caution while remaining on the defensive, seeking to oppose tactics that would be most effective against the methods employed by the adversary. He played, usually, a waiting game, in which his remarkable coolness, judgment and control of temper gave him great advantage. It was never Johnson's way to risk anything that could be better gained by tiring an opponent. Repeatedly critics of the day had observed that he came through a grueling fight almost unscathed and fresh in body and wind. Avoiding with scrupulous care the least unfairness, he adopted every legitimate means to foil and baffle his enemy in such a way as to greatly try his confidence and self command. The man who allowed anger to master him while he fought with Tom Johnson was lost. Johnson himself never grew angry or vindictive or hurried. He held off, calm, alert, nursing his reserve against the crucial moment. Fought All Comers He had found no flowery path to the championship. Entering the ranks of the boxers at the age of twenty three, without friends or record, he had forced his way up by a series of difficult battles against men superior to him in weight, strength, and experience. He had never been able to rush and overwhelm an opponent and even a second class competitor could stay in the ring with him for round after round owing to the slow method he was compelled to follow. Some of his hardest fights had been with Jack Jarvis, Stephen “Death” Oliver, The Croydon Drover, Fry "Bill" Warr, and Michael Ryan, whom he met twice. He now stood the acknowledged head of the sport without a single defeat back of him.