1897-01-28 (144lbs) Dick Burge drew 10 (20) Eddie Connolly, Olympic Club, Birmingham, England
1897-01-28 (144lbs) Dick Burge drew 10 (20) Eddie Connolly, Olympic Club, Birmingham, England. Referee: George Dunning. Although made at catchweights it was advertised for the world 144lbs title and involved the Englishman’s Imperial British Empire championship claim. There had been much interest in the fight and at the opening bell Connolly (137) got away fast, showing lightning-like speed, before Burge (143) could settle. Dropped to his knees in the second round and cut over the left eye in the third, Connolly continued to force the action. In the sixth it looked as though the fight was over when Connolly was dropped heavily, but after making several vain attempts to rise he was eventually saved by the bell. Having been knocked down several times in the seventh, Connolly came back strongly in the eighth. However, during that session they both went down together striking their head on the floor and although both were dazed they continued apace. Again, in the ninth Connolly was dropped several times but at the end of the tenth the referee stepped into the ring to say that the management had ordered him to stop the bout and that he had no other choice than to declare a draw.
Burge was far more comfortable at this poundage than he had been at the lightweight limit and was virtually recognised by all and sundry as being the best man at the weight in England, if not the world. That was unless your name was Pat Daly, who disputed his right to any 144lb title a few days later.