Monday, December 2, 2013

December 2, 1907: Tommy Burns Pummels Gunner Moir

On December 2, 1907, Canadian born boxer Tommy Burns was crowned Heavyweight Champion of the World after beating British champ Gunner Moir with a ten round knockout in London. Burns had taken the American title in February of 1906 and would defend it successfully a total of thirteen times before losing to the legendary Jack Johnson in 1908. He was not a man who showed prejudice. In a time that most white fighters would only fight other white fighters he would say " I will defend my titles on all corners, none barred. By this I mean white, black, Mexican, Indian, or any other nationality. I propose to be the champion of the world, not the white, or the Canadian, or the American. If I'm not the best man in the heavyweight division, I do not want the title." His stance was very different at the time and it earned the respect of the men he faced along the way. Burns came into the fight against Moir an odds on favorite and he would prove that was well deserved by beating Moir mercilessly. Before the fight began Moir was nervous he could barely shake the hands of the man who was about to beat his ass. Most of the punches Moir landed early on were described as weak and the one blow that ended up with blood running from the nose of Burns was described as lucky as he caught Burns with a right as he charged him in the third round. After that it was all Burns., he landed blow after blow until Moir was battered and bruised then he finally landed a right to the jaw that left Moir knocked out for more than 5 minutes. The next day if you looked at Burns you would not have known he had been in a battle. On the other hand, Moir looked like he might have been hit by a truck and I would bet he felt like he had as well. To date, Tommy Burns is the only Canadian born boxer to hold the heavyweight title.

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