Sharkey's manager Tim McGrath said that because the Sailor "was a fighter and not a boxer" he was very hard on his sparring partners.
"One of my hardest jobs was to get men to come to his training quarters to box with him," he stated. "I used to get a bunch of them, good and bad, and line them up like a lot of steers waiting to be killed.”
Tom would come out, remembered McGrath, and say, “How many you got?”
“Five or six.”
The “steers” would go in for a slaughter and after a little time, Sharkey would come out again. “How many’s left?”
If there were none to go in, that would be the end of the boxing part of the training and McGrath would go off to hire more sparring partners.
* From I FOUGHT THEM ALL: THE LIFE AND RING BATTLES OF SAILOR TOM SHARKEY