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Through their countless matches, Barnes never knew how Sullivan really felt about him. Outside of the ring Sullivan could barely hold eye contact with his affable opponent. Barnes could not understand the personal animosity. The two were evenly matched and shared an equal number of wins. His conduct both inside and outside the ring had been nothing if not cordial. Yet, all of his overtures came to nothing.

All of that changed on a warm night in Hammersmith when the two fighters found themselves facing off against one another one more time. At the first ring of the bell, Barnes led with a right jab only to be met with a bouquet of carnations delivered in a great swinging roundhouse from Sullivan. Barnes staggered backward. He looked into the glaring, defensive eyes of his foe and at last understood. Countering with a left hook Barnes took the flowers and smiled. The steely contenence he had grown used in the face of his combatant gave way to a look of relief and joy. Soon thereafter, the bout was declared a draw. The fighters retired from the ring that night and moved out to the country where the only gloves they put on were for the purposes of gardening.