1906-11-28 Tommy Burns drew 20 Philadelphia Jack O’Brien, Naud Junction Pavilion, Los Angeles, California, USA
1906-11-28 Tommy Burns drew 20 Philadelphia Jack O’Brien, Naud Junction Pavilion, Los Angeles, California, USA. Referee: James J. Jeffries. Fighting like a bulldog from beginning to end, Burns (172) just about deserved to win the decision from O’Brien (163½), who was never far behind in the scoring. Despite there being no knockdowns the fight was unrelenting and there was plenty of hard hitting. Both men were damaged; O’Brien’s right eye being cut early on and Burns’ left optic closed shut at the final bell. According to O’Brien the fight was pre-arranged with Burns to be drawn. He explained: “The promoter, McCarey, had figured it out that if we fought a spirited draw he could bill the return match during fiesta week and make a small fortune by charging top prices”. Following the fight, C. B. Cochrane, the British promoter, deposited £100 with the Sporting Life to bind a match between O’Brien and Gunner Moir that would decide the vacant world heavyweight title.
On 26 December, the Sporting Life stated that there were just four men in the running to contest the vacant world title and named them as O’Brien, Burns, Moir and James Tiger Smith, the last named being seen as a six-round fighter with a good punch but a weak jaw. Before taking some time out, Burns met Joe Grim in a three-round exhibition bout at the Lyceum Theatre, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on 10 January 1907.