1888-05-14 (126lbs) Bill Reader drew 10 (finish) Dave Burke, Haymarket, London, England
1888-05-14 (126lbs) Bill Reader drew 10 (finish) Dave Burke, Haymarket, London, England. Referee: George Dunning. Held on a private show, and articled at 126lbs, it was an exciting fight right from the start with Burke using the left hand to advantage while Reader concentrated on driving in body shots. At the halfway stage the noise was so loud that the proprietor announced that he would be turning down the gas if order was not established. In the fifth Reader drove Burke all over the ring despite the latter still popping out the jab, and that was continued right through to the tenth. Just before the end of the tenth Burke was floored and looked a beaten man, only for the ropes to be cut. Having left the building due to a free-for-all breaking out, the referee gave his decision of a draw at the Sportsman office the next day.
Following this there was a flurry of 126lbs English championship competition winners such as Hippy Homer (who outpointed Fred Atkinson over three rounds at The Lyceum Theatre, Liverpool on 11 July), Fred Johnson (who outpointed Homer over four rounds at The Lyceum Theatre on 8 November), Bill Whatley (who outpointed Harry Mead at the Royal Aquarium Theatre, Westminster, London on 23 February 1889) and Mead (who outpointed Bill Baxter over six rounds at the Royal Aquarium Theatre on 1 March 1889).