In Mahoney's corner Quinn was close to having a fit. "Please, Mike, use your feet!" he implored. "All the boys are betting their pokes on you. You'll bust the whole damn town if you lose!"
Mike shook his head. "Nah, I can lick him with my fists. If I could only hit him square—just once!"
At that point, Rickard came over to add his entreaties to those of Jimmy the Goat. "Don't be a goddam fool, son," he told Mike. "This feller will cut you to pieces if you don't quit tryin' to fistfight him. Boxing's his game, not yours. Go out there in this round and kick hell out of him."
Mahoney grunted but said nothing. Burns moved out confidently for the second round. He jabbed Mike twice with his left, crossed a right hard to the big man's jaw. Mahoney wobbled but kept boring in, trying desperately to land a punch, while the sourdoughs urged him on with bellowed cries. The round ended as Mahoney stood still in the center of the ring, with Burns weaving before him, hitting him at will.
A few seconds later, as Mahoney rested, Quinn's pleas as well as his own dawning sense of defeat took sudden effect on the battered local champion. "All right, goddam it," he muttered, "I'll use me feet!"
Up to the closing 30 seconds the third round was practically a replay of the second. Then Burns missed an overhand right that threw him momentarily off balance. Instantly Mike's right foot lashed upward into Burns' stomach. Tommy's breath whooshed out in a great gasp and he dropped as if shot. The 10 count was a mere formality. Burns was paralyzed for three minutes, and Mike was once again secure in his mythical "championship."
"It has always been my honest opinion," said Burns many years later, "that Klondike Mike would have been a world heavyweight champion if he had followed the boxing game."