The objective of this project is to replay the professional boxing career of Sailor Tom Sharkey. To simulate the bouts, I will be using the computer boxing game called Title Bout Championship Boxing, a very accurate simulation of the sport of boxing. In order to avoid the introduction of any personal biases, I will use only the "official" fighter ratings of Sharkey and his opponents as they appear in the Title Bout Championship Boxing game. Some of Sharkey's earliest opponents are not "officially" rated, and for these fighters I will use the ratings of Title Bout Championship Boxing forum member Dean (djday45). (These fighter ratings appeared in a "Tom Sharkey Career Replay" pack that Dean created and made available for download a few years ago. I am very confident in the accuracy of these ratings as Dean is a respected member of the Title Bout Championship Boxing community and recognized by forum members as being very skilled in rating fighters for the game.) This will not necessarily be a "strict" replay, since Sharkey's career may branch out in other directions based on his performance in this project. Due to a limitation in the game design, no bouts will be scheduled for more than 15 rounds. All bouts will be scored only by the referee using the rounds system of scoring, unless otherwise noted. I hope you enjoy.... and here we go!
While stationed in Honolulu, Tom Sharkey completes his stint with the U.S. Navy and decides, based on prior success in Navy exhibitions, street fights and bar room brawls, to try to make his mark in the world of professional prize fighting. Not much is known of his first opponent except that he was a local fighter. There is record of only one significant bout in Jack Gardner's career, and that was his bout with Tom Sharkey. This bout is scheduled for 4 rounds.
It was obvious from the outset that Jack Gardner's lone goal for this fight was to survive. Sharkey was determined to deny him this goal and chased Gardner around the ring for the first two rounds, scoring frequently with hard shots to the body and occassionally to the head. During the third round, apparently tired from his constant running, Gardner decided to trade with Sharkey and actually had some success, perhaps even winning the round. However, just 23 seconds into the fourth round, Sharkey landed a huge right cross and Gardner crumpled to the canvas. He was able to regain his feet at the 7 count, but was obviously out on his feet. Sharkey chased Gardner into the corner and pummeled away with wild swings until finally, at the 1:45 mark of the round, Tom landed a wicked right hook that dropped Gardner to the floor for the 10 count. Sharkey showed no signs of real boxing skill in this contest, but made up for it with his sheer strength and aggression. The referee had Sharkey up 3 rounds to none at the time of the KO. Tom Sharkey KO Jack Garder at 2 minutes of round 4 (Real-life result: Sharkey KO 4 Gardner) Tom Sharkey professional record: 1-0-0, 1 KO
Tom Sharkey KO Jack Garder at 2 minutes of round 4
(Real-life result: Sharkey KO 4 Gardner)
Tom Sharkey professional record: 1-0-0, 1 KO
Tom Sharkey faces another unknown commodity in J. Pickett, a local pug who has found little success inside the squared circle. The crowd gathered for this contest is a bit larger than the one that witnessed Sharkey's debut, due to word of mouth concerning Tom's exciting style of fighting. This bout is scheduled for 4 rounds.
This one was a real donnybrook! Both men came to fight and, at the clanging of the cow bell to signal the start of round one, Sharkey and Pickett rushed to ring center and proceeded to swing wildly at each other. It was Pickett who drew first blood with a perfect short cross to Sharkey's chin, forcing Tom to back away. But Sharkey ended the round strong with a nice right cross to the jaw. Pickett's knee nearly touched the canvas as a result of the blow. At the 41 second mark of round two, Sharkey connected with a violent hook which sent Pickett reeling about the ring. Sharkey chased Pickett into the corner and landed a beautiful combination of punches which sent Pickett down for a 4 count. Sharkey was immediately upon his man and dropped him again. Somehow Pickett regained his feet at the count of 8, but Sharkey finished things with a flush right hook just 10 seconds later at the 2:11 mark. Pickett was out cold as the referee tolled the fatal 10. The contest didn't even last two full rounds, but the crowd left feeling fully satisfied.
Tom Sharkey KO J. Pickett at 2:21 of round 2
(Real-life result: Sharkey KO 2 Pickett)
Tom Sharkey professional record: 2-0-0, 2 KOs
With his popularity growing along with knowledge of his past, Sharkey fans have taken to calling him "Sailor" Tom...a nickname that he will proudly carry with him for the rest of his life. Like Gardner and Pickett, not much is known about Jack Langley, except that he possesses a decent punch and a glass jaw...not a good trait to carry into the ring against a hard puncher like Tom Sharkey. This bout is scheduled for 6 rounds.
For the first minute of the first round, Langley gave as good as he took. But a powerful right hand to Langley's midsection changed all of that and the fight was as good as over. Langley clutched at his side for the remainder of the round while absorbing terrible punishment. Somehow Langley managed to leave his corner for the second round and was immediately met with a barrage of punches that dropped him for a 4 count. Langley got up and retreated to the ropes where he was pounded with devastating lefts and rights until a right hook dropped him again. Langley gamely tried to get back to his feet, but was unsuccessful as the referee completed the 10 count at 2:58 of the round.
Tom Sharkey KO Jack Langley at 2:58 of round 2
(Real-life result: Sharkey KO 4 Langley)
Tom Sharkey professional record: 3-0-0, 3 KOs
Jim Harvey's claim to fame is that he achieved a draw against Bostonian Joe Lannon, who went on to have a moderately successful career in the ring. While this achievement definitetly doesn't translate into an outstanding resume, Jim Harvey does represent a substantial step-up in quality of opposition for Sailor Tom Sharkey. Harvey is actually a pretty good defensive fighter and possesses a better chin than any man Sharkey has faced to date. This bout is scheduled for 6 rounds.
Jim Harvey came out for round one with a very confident look on his face. It looked like he came in with a good game plan and, for awhile, it appearded as if it was going to work. Sharkey, as is his custom, immediately began to chase Harvey; but when he got close enough to unleash some punches of his own, Harvey would side-step and stick a good jab right in Sailor Tom's face. This pattern repeated itself over and over again for about the first minute and a half of the round and Sharkey was growing visibly frustrated. However, at the 1:43 mark, Tom was able to corner Harvey and landed a powerful left cross right in the breadbasket and down he went. Jim was able to get to one knee at the 5 count, but it looked unlikely that he would be able to make it back to his feet. But, somehow he did regain his feet at the count of 8 and was able to survive the remainder of the round by clinching until the bell sounded. Harvey, with the cobwebs apparently cleared from his head, came out for round two and proceeded to box very effectively and once again Sharkey got frustrated. This time, Sailor Tom acted upon his frustration by nailing Harvey squarely with a very blatant headbutt. The referee stopped the action and warned Sharkey. Tom responded by immediately hitting Harvey with another very blatant headbutt. Again, the referee admonished Sharkey, but took no further action. The round ended with Jim Harvey smiling and Tom Sharkey seething with anger. The second round definitely belonged to Harvey. Round three was more of the same, with Harvey moving around the ring nicely and landing frequently with with a solid left jab. Another round for Harvey and it looked like Tom Sharkey was in trouble. Harvey came out for round four with the same game plan, but Sharkey was able to back him into a corner and connect with a staggering right cross. Harvey was clearly hurt, and while attempting to cover up his face, Sailor Tom landed another powerful right hand, this time to the body, that sent Harvey staggering all the way across to the other side of the ring. Sharkey pursued him to the ropes and unleased a series of nasty lefts and rights. Harvey was able to block most of them, but it was the left hook that found it's way thru that separated him from his senses. He didn't go down, but the referee, having seen enough, stepped in and stopped the fight with just 3 seconds to go in the round. Although victorious, this was certainly a learning experience for Sailor Tom Sharkey.
Tom Sharkey TKO Jim Harvey at 2:57 of round 4
(Real-life result: Sharkey KO 2 Harvey)
Tom Sharkey professional record: 4-0-0, 4 KOs
Sailor Tom Sharkey re-enters the ring after an almost three month layoff to face Jack Welsh. Welsh comes in with solid experience, having already faced some good fighters in Mervine Thompson, Jack Burke and Mike Donovan, who had fought for the middleweight championship. While it is true that Welsh lost to all three of these fighters, the experience he gained in those battles has transformed him into a seasoned veteran of the ring. The Sharkey-Welsh contest is scheduled for 6 rounds.
Tom Sharkey looked to be in excellent physical condition as he entered the ring. Jack Welsh, a nine year veteran of the fight game, appeared to be a little soft in the belly. Apparently Tom noticed this and seemed to target only the body in the first round, constantly plodding after his retreating opponent. The tactic paid off when Sharkey buried a right hook into Welsh's ribs at the 2:13 mark that had him gasping for air. Welsh immediately took to trying to tie his man up. He did, however, land a nice short uppercut that briefly dazed Sharkey just as time expired to end the round. Round 2 was fairly even until Sharkey landed a tremendous hook to the liver at 2:17 that dropped Welsh to his knees gasping for air. Welsh climbed to his feet at the count of 8 and ran until the round ended. In round 3, Sharkey continued to stalk his opponent until Welsh threw a wild left hook that barely missed it's target. Sharkey countered with a left hook to the body, followed by a perfect right cross to the jaw. Welsh slumped to the canvas and was counted out at the 1:47 mark of the round. While Sharkey still shows very little in the way of boxing skills, he did seem to display a little more control this time around.
Tom Sharkey KO Jack Welsh at 1:47 of round 3
(Real-life result: Sharkey KO 2 Welsh)
Tom Sharkey professional record: 5-0-0, 5 KOs
This one was a complete and absolute mugging! As the bell sounded to signal the start of the contest, Sharkey immediately pushed Barrington across the ring and up against the ropes unleashing a wild flurry of punches. Barrington did his best to cover up, but at the 49 second mark, Sailor Tom landed a terrifying shot to the body and immediately followed up with a vicious uppercut that dropped Barrington as if he'd been shot. Barrington courageously regained his feet at the count of six, but was obviously on queer street. The only thing that prevented Sharkey from ending it then and there was his own impatience as he flailed wildly with both hands, failing to land the finishing shot. Barrington survived the round. He should have counted his blessings and stayed in his corner, but instead, Barrington wandered out for round two and was immediately met with a terrific combination of punches that rocked him all the way down to his heels. Then, just 42 seconds into the round, Sharkey connected with a thunderous cross that again dropped Barrington to the canvas and onto his back. It's a miracle that he got back to his feet at the count of nine. Sharkey rushed at Barrington and landed a ripping quick left hook to the body that doubled Jim up, and the referee immediately wrapped his arms around him and stopped the fight, taking an errant blow to the back of his head for his trouble. Perhaps Jim Barrington had one strength...courage... but that couldn't save him from total and complete annihilation at the hands of Tom Sharkey. Not only did Barrington fail to land a single blow in this contest...he didn't even throw a single punch.
Tom Sharkey TKO Jim Barrington at 1:09 of round 2
(Real-life result: Sharkey KO 1 Barrington)
Tom Sharkey professional record: 6-0-0, 6 KOs
The first five rounds of this fight were controlled by Tom Sharkey due to his aggression. However, Langley was able to keep it competitive by landing a few good shots. But Sharkey landed three to every one landed by Langley and commanded a big lead at this point. By lasting this long, Jack Langley had already carried out his promise to do bettter than the first time they met. It looked like Sharkey would finish things in the 6th round when he landed a right cross to the jaw that sent Langley stumbling backward and down to the canvas. But Langley gallantly regained his feet at the count of 5 and survived the round. Rounds seven and eight were all Sharkey, but Langley courageously refused to give up. Round nine was fairly even until Langley walked into another right cross and down he went again. Langley got back up to his feet at the 8 count and endured a tremendous beating until the round ended. At this point the swelling around Langley's left eye, which began in round six, was severely hampering his vision. Sharkey tried to finish Langley off in the tenth and final round, but while he took an amazing amount of punishment, Langley refused to quit and was standing when the final bell tolled to end the contest. The referee immediately raised Tom Sharkey's arm, awarding him the victory 8 rounds to 1 with one even. While Sailor Tom really wanted to knock out his opponent, this win showed that he has the stamina and endurance to go the distance if necessary. Said Sharkey after the fight, "I gotta give him cedit. He's got guts." Sharkey and Langley then went out to a local bar to have some drinks together.
Tom Sharkey W 10 Jack Langley
(Real-life result: Sharkey KO 8 Langley)
Tom Sharkey professional record: 7-0-0, 6 KOs