Marvin Hart vs. Tommy Burns

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1906-02-23 : Marvin Hart 195 lbs lost to Tommy Burns 175 lbs by PTS in round 20 of 20

  • Location: Pacific A.C., Los Angeles, California, USA
  • Referee: Charles Eyton

Marvin Hart, through his manager Jack Curley, extended offers to Bob Fitzsimmons and Philadelphia Jack O'Brien to fight for the title. Both men declined. So a challenge from Tommy Burns accompanied by a $1000 forfeit bond was quickly accepted.

NOTE -- The following is at odds with the statement issued by Hart after the fight (he blamed continual fouling by Burns as the reason), nor did Jeffries referee the bout.

"As the fighters entered the ring Hart came over to Burns's corner to examine Tommy's hands. He complained that Burns had too much tape on his hands and ordered it removed. Burns just smiled and said, 'Why, Mr. Hart, I didn't think that a big champion like you would mind that a little man like me would wear a little tape.' Hart exploded and tried to punch Burns. Jeffries (acting as the referee) parted the men. He allowed the tape of Burns' hands. But the incident so upset Hart that he fought in a rage. Burns took advantage of this and easily outpointed Hart, winning 18 out of 20 rounds." The Tommy Burns Story by Billy Mahoney.

  • Hart was a 2-1 favourite the day of the fight, It was even money that Burns would stay 10 rounds.
  • According to the Los Angeles Herald, "..From the 4th round until the end Hart's face was covered with blood as a result of the constant left jabs Burns sent to his face and at the end Hart's left eye was closed, his right eye was dimmed, his nose was bruised, his mouth was bleeding and his lips so swollen he could scarcely talk..." "Burns was virtually unmarked by comparison."
  • In the 13th round the lights went out briefly.
  • In the 14th round Burns struck Hart eleven right hand blows to the head and only the bell saved Hart from a knockout.

San Francisco Call summary [1]; Los Angeles Herald [2]