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Sunday, July 18, 2010

1908-06-10 Philadelphia Jack O'Brien ND6 Jack Blackburn (Philadelphia, PA, USA)

1908-06-11 Fairbanks Daily News (Fairbanks, AK) (page 1)
Shifty Jack Shows That He Is Still a Whirlwind a Game.
Was the Fastest Go Ever Seen in the City of Philadelphia.
(United Press Service.)

PHILADELPHIA, June 11. -- Jack O'Brien was given the decision over Jack Blackburn at the end of a six round boxing contest held at O'Brien's club rooms here last night, the bout being limited to six rounds by municipal laws on the subject,

O'Brien clearly demonstrated that he had lost none of his old time speed, and he was up against a worthy opponent in Blackburn. The bout was a whirlwind affair from start to finish, with O'Brien holding the edge over his opponent by a narrow margin all the way through.

He got the decision on a knock down blow delivered in the sixth, though Blackburn was far from being out.

1908-06-11 Rockford Daily Republic (Rockford, IL) (page 3)
Former Champion Went Six Rounds With Jack Blackburn at Philadelphia Last Night.
Philadelphia, June 11.--Jack Blackburn gave away fourteen and a half pounds last night in his fight with Jack O'Brien, who was also taller and had a longer reach than the colored man, and with all this handicap, after one of the fastest six-round bouts ever seen in this city, the best that O'Brien got was a draw in the opinion of the spectators.

O'Brien had the best of the first round, and after that he held the negro safe for the next two. In the fourth Blackburn took a brace and he began to jab and feint O'Brien out of his cautiousness and he landed many telling blows on the white fellow. In the fifth round O'Brien was tired out and he had to clinch and stall to save himself from the punishment that the mulatto was raining on him with both hands.

1908-06-11 The Evening Press (Grand Rapids, MI) (page 6)
Philadelphia Jack Had Slight Advantage Over Blackburn.

Philadelphia, June 11.--In a six round bout that was marked by fast and vicious fighting Jack O'Brien bested Jack Blackburn last night.

In the first round O'Brien knocked Blackburn down with a straight left. In the fourth and fifth rounds O'Brien seemed to tire, but came back strong in the sixth and had Blackburn clinching to avoid stomach punches. O'Brien had more steam than Blackburn, but the latter put up a game fight against odds in weight and made a splendid showing.

1908-06-11 The Evening Times (Pawtucket, RI) (page 2)
PHILADELPHIA, June 11.--"Philadelphia Jack" O'Brien, once claimant of the heavyweight championship, outpointed Jack Blackburn in their six-round fight at the National A. C. here last night. O'Brien was too big and strong for his clever opponent. He dropped Blackburn in the first round with a right hook to the chin but after that there were no knockdowns. Blackburn fought a game and clever battle and in the fourth and fifth rounds he held his own with the one-time "champion."

1908-06-11 The Evening World (New York, NY) (page 12)
(Special to The Evening World.)

PHILADELPHIA, June 11.--After six hard and fast rounds between Jack O'Brien and Jack Blackburn, the colored boxer, a draw would have been about the right decision. However, so close was the battle fought by the men, there were many who thought that O'Brien had earned the decision, and an equal number favored Blackburn.

O'Brien started off at a rapid clip. In the first round a straight left sent Blackburn to the floor. After that the colored man fought back gamely. In the third and fourth rounds he hit suspiciously low, but was forgiven, as the blows did no damage.

In the first three rounds O'Brien waded in with rights and lefts, but in the fourth and fifth he tired perceptibly and his blows lacked steam. It was in these rounds that Blackburn got busy and, assuming the aggressive, carried the fight to O'Brien. The sixth was a rapid affair, O'Brien, waking up, sailed into Blackburn, but the negro was right there and put up a game fight. In this round O'Brien's speed only lasted for the first minute, when he was forced on the defensive by Blackburn, who whipped in a number of clean blows, and in the grand mixup at the conclusion showed himself to be stronger than was O'Brien.

A sidelight feature of the bout was the fact that in O'Brien's corner Anthony Drexel Biddle, the society man, who is a devotee of the manly art. Mr. Biddle was in working garb, with sleeves rolled up. Society was well represented at the bout, and Mr. Biddle was declared quite a drawing card.

1908-06-11 The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, PA) (page 11)
Latter Has the Better of the First Two Rounds, But Weakens After the Third
Blackburn, Fourteen and One-Half Pounds Lighter, Makes Sensational Finish in Sixth
Jack Blackburn by great work in the fifth and sixth rounds evened up the advantage Jack O'Brien had secured in the earlier rounds of the six-round bout before the National Athletic Club last night, and was entitled to a draw of it when the bell ended the bout for the night. The negro's sensational rally in the last part of the bout was as surprising to O'Brien as it was to the spectators. During the fore part of the bout O'Brien's big advantage in height and weight had enabled him to get to Blackburn often, and with telling effect, but he seemed to let up considerably in the last two rounds, and the negro by coming on the aggressive got to Jack frequently with telling lefts to the face and many a hard wallop to the body. O'Brien also showed signs of wildness, and his overanxiety to get to Blackburn during those last six minutes gave the cool and collective negro just the opportunity he was seeking. He managed to get to O'Brien time after time with his left and right, and Jack was forced on the defensive during the majority of the last six minutes.

Everything favored O'Brien before the bout. At the weighing in O'Brien tipped the scales at 162 pounds, while Blackburn pulled down the scale to 147? pounds. He also towered over the negro in height and his advantage in reach looked to be entirely too long for the negro to get away from. And during the first three rounds of the bout O'Brien used his weight to big advantage. He repeatedly rushed Blackburn off his feet and while the negro went to the floor a few times the knockdowns were the direct results of O'Brien's rushes and not his punches. Jack, however, missed many blows in his eagerness to settle the bout quickly, and as the go progressed Blackburn had little trouble in getting out of the way of many of Jack's intended sleep producers. O'Brien also lost considerably of his speed in the remaining three rounds, while his judgment of distance went wrong repeatedly. This was due in a way to the clever guarding of Blackburn, who managed to block many of Jack's swings and side-step his jabs frequently during the time the tide was starting to turn.

1908-06-11 The Sun (Baltimore, MD) (page 1)
Millionaire Uses Sponge On Jack O'Brien, Who Outboxes Blackburn.
[Special Dispatch to the Baltimore Sun.]

Philadelphia, June 10--With his shirt sleeves rolled up and minus a collar and tie, Anthony J. Drexel-Biddle, a young Philadelphia millionaire and society man, acted as Jack O'Brien's second in the pugilistic six round bout with Jack Blackburn at the National Athletic Club tonight.

The young millionaire between each of the rounds sponged off the dripping back of O'Brien and appeared to be as much at home in the part he was playing as he is at an afternoon tea in Philadelphia's exclusive set. The young millionaire seemed to enjoy the role, and received quite a reception when he clambered over the ropes. In the audience were a number of society people, and Biddle nodded right and left to his friends.

O'Brien knocked Blackburn down in the opening round, and in the final round had the negro hanging on to avoid punishment. The bout was one of the fastest ever seen in this city.

1908-06-11 Trenton Evening Times (Trenton, NJ) (page 11)
PHILADELPHIA, June 11.--Philadelphia Jack O'Brien outpointed Jack Blackburn, the negro middleweight, in a six-round contest at the National Athletic Club last night. The men put up a fast fight, but both lacked the steam behind their blows to be real damage. O'Brien's blows were the cleaner, and for that reason he was entitled to the decision.

Each landed often enough to settle half a dozen battles. Their judgment of distance was superb, for they seldom missed. There was but one knockdown, O'Brien sending the negro to the mat in the first round. There was a long wrangle over a pair of kid gloves that O'Brien intended to wear beneath his fighting mitts. O'Brien finally agreed to take them off.

O'Brien started right in and landed hard with his left. The negro shot out rights and lefts and O'Brien slipped to the floor, but immediately jumped up. Jack danced around for a moment and then sent Blackburn to the floor with a terrific left swing. The negro arose and clinched. O'Brien continued to jab the left for the face and to swing the right to the body. At the bell O'Brien got in an uppercut.

The second round was lightning fast. O'Brien opened with a lot of jabs. They finally came to close quarters and exchanged heavy wallops to both body and head. A hard uppercut near the end of the round made Blackburn wince. O'Brien hurt the negro with body punches.

Philadelphia Jack had the better of the third round, which was also fast. He continually sent in hard blows to the stomach. Blackburn hit low once and apologized. A lot of vicious swings for the head were missed by both.

The fourth began with clinching. Blackburn frequently aimed for the stomach, but landed on the chest. O'Brien scored more uppercuts and Blackburn again fouled him with a low blow. It was an even round.

The negro was the aggressor in the fifth, although O'Brien landed often. Once Blackburn slipped to the floor after an exchange of blows on the head. He was up like a flash and held his own to the end.

The last round was exceedingly fast and both landed nearly every blow sent forth. Blackburn opened by landing three in a row on the head, but Jack came right back on the wind and nose. The exchanges were rapid to the gong, and both were dead tired when they went to their corners.

1908-06-21 The Sunday Oregonian (Portland, OR) (page D7)
Mulatto's Battle With O'Brien Brings Him Before Public.

From time to time the name of Jack Blackburn has attracted the attention of the fight fans. Blackburn's last fight was with Jack O'Brien and the Philadelphia Record has the following review of the fight, which will interest the fight fans, for there is a chance that this same negro will be heard from:

That six-round drawn fight with Jack O'Brien was a virtual victory for Jack Blackburn when the weight and reputation of the two men are taken into consideration. Very few thought the tall, thin mulatto had any chance with the clever O'Brien, and predicted that the men who twice boxed twenty rounds with Tommy Burns would win handily. This crowd felt doubly confident at the end of the first round in which O'Brien put it all over Blackburn, so to speak, but the farther the fight went the better the colored man seemed to grow, while the white boxed plainly showed signs of tiring. The final bell that ended the fight was much more welcome to O'Brien than it was to Blackburn, and all good critics agree that, had the fight gone to a finish that night, Philadelphia Jack would very likely have been defeated. At the beginning of the fight O'Brien seemed at his very best, but as the fight progressed it became evident that he was not as fast as he used to be, and also that he was not keyed up to the point of holding the fast gait set for any great length of time. Then, too, the jolts Blackburn gave O'Brien probably slowed him down some, whereas the punishment received by Blackburn only seemed to make him fight the faster. Should the men ever come together in a longer battle the negro will have backing, notwithstanding the 14 1/2 pounds difference in weight.

To the followers of boxing who have witnessed so many of O'Brien's frame-ups last Wednesday's contest was particularly interesting, for at last they were able to see what Jack could do in a genuine fight. To be sure the conditions were all in O'Brien's favor, for he was heavier and stronger, and more experienced than his opponent, and if he had been the man he has tried to make the public believe he is--good enough to hold the title of champion of the world--he should have proved an easy winner. But what was the result? Starting out with so great a lead in the first round as to make the fight seem all in his favor, O'Brien allowed Blackburn to so far outbox him in the closing rounds as to lead some to think that the negro deserved credit of a victory. For a fact, however, the contest was too even for a decision, particularly since neither man was able to do any particular damage to the other, so cleverly was every attack met by the defense. It was a rare sight, however, to see Jack O'Brien holding to save himself against the attack of an opponent weight 14? pounds less than himself. And this was the same Jack O'Brien who is credited with a victory over Bob Fitzsimmons, the best man of his weight with gloves who ever lived, but now known to be a faker. It was also the same O'Brien who fought Tommy Ryan, of unsavory reputation; Joe Walcott, the negro giant-killer, who is known to be susceptible to money inducements; Joe Berger, John Willie, Jack (Twin) Sullivan and Tommy Burns, who, after going through with one frame-up with Jack, exposed O'Brien's faking ways and practically ruined him. The last fight with Burns, which went 20 rounds, with the decision in favor of Burns, and last Wednesday's bout with Blackburn are two O'Brien's fights that were on the level, and in neither did Jack gain any glory. He is now considering Stanley Ketchell, the husky young Western middle-weight. If O'Brien fights Ketchell it should help his reputation for honesty, no matter what the outcome may be.

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