The operation against Yankee Sullivan was even more inept. Barging into the second building, the police found themselves facing Sullivan and Tom O'Donnell, his sparring partner, without the faintest idea who was who. After a moment of shock, Sullivan suddenly put his hand on O'Donnell's shoulder, shoved and yelled, "Run, Sullivan! Run like hell!"
O'Donnell ran and, incredibly, every last one of the police officers took off in hot pursuit. Sullivan calmly strolled out of the building and waded to a nearby schooner.
It was not until an hour later that the police discovered they had made a couple of significant errors. In the meantime the two schooners and the steamer Cumberland had scattered. The question was on which vessel were the real pugilists? Predictably, the police decided they must be on the Cumberland and headed south after her. Under a heavy press of steam, they overhauled her near Baltimore, brought her to and thoroughly searched the ship for the fighters. Of course they were not aboard. Reboarding the Boston, Captain Gifford sailed back in the direction of the schooners, but just as the Boston reached a point nearly abreast of the Pool's Island lighthouse, it ran aground on a sandbar. And there it remained until evening when another police boat was sent to the rescue.
One Baltimore newspaper tried to salvage a modicum of state pride from the announcement that the fight was to be transferred to Dover, Del. " Maryland," it wrote, had "prevented her soil from being desecrated by so foul and brutal an exhibition." But it hadn't.
Pulling ashore at Maryland's Kent County on the eastern side of the bay, the fighters performed before a meager audience. Hyer won in the 16th round, earning a $10,000 purse; Sullivan suffered a "slightly fractured skull." By all accounts, it was an anticlimax.