Tommy Burns vs. Jack Johnson
1908-12-26 : Jack Johnson 192 lbs beat Tommy Burns 168½ lbs by PTS in round 14 of 20
- Location: Sydney Stadium, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
- Referee: Hugh McIntosh
World Heavyweight Title
- Promoter: Hugh McIntosh
- Johnson's purse was $5,000 and Burns made $30,000, the largest amount ever earned by a boxer for a single fight up to that time. (Joe Bonds's article on this and other Australia purses at the time: )
- Johnson was a 3-to-1 favorite.
According to Burns, Referee McIntosh took hold of his right arm while forcing a break in the first round and Johnson struck him full in the face. The fight was stopped by the police. Burns always claimed he could have continued had the police not intervened. Rudy Unholz later admitted to Otto Floto that he and a pal had crawled under the ring prior to the 14th round and shouted for the police to stop the fight. Unholz worked Johnson's corner and had a sizeable sum on Jack winning.
Shortly after police stopped the one-sided bout in the 14th round, a disgusted Jack London, the famous novelist who was in Sydney covering the fight for the New York Herald, wrote:
- The fight! There was no fight. No Armenian massacre could compare with the hopeless slaughter that took place today. It was not a case of too much Johnson, but all Johnson. A golden smile was Johnson’s . . . Burns was a toy in his hands. For Johnson, it was a kindergarten romp. “Hit here, Tommy,” he would say, exposing the side of his unprotected stomach . . . then would receive the blow with a happy, carefree smile . . . But one thing now remains, Jeffries must emerge from his alfalfa farm and remove that golden smile from Johnson’s face. Jeff, it’s up to you!