By the time the police arrived the Brooklyn brawlers were making their escape in a car.
The incident was symbolic of the challenge Mr Adams, 61, faces as the city’s 110th mayor.
He took office against a backdrop of a surge in crime in the city of just under nine million people.
There were 485 murders in New York last year, representing a 52 per cent increase on pre-pandemic levels.
Just as Mr Adams was preparing to take the reins, a New York City police officer was shot while sleeping in his car between shifts.
He underwent surgery after sustaining a fractured skull.
“We won’t start bringing in the new year by bringing in violence, it’s unacceptable,” Mr Adams said.
Despite pressure from the left to defund the police, amid allegations of brutality, Mr Adams insisted his priority was to tackle the crime wave.
He has pledged to increase the number of officers on the streets as well as reforming the police department.