Canadian boxerDied when: 73 years 327 days (886 months)
Star Sign: Gemini
Tommy Burns (June 17, 1881 – May 10, 1955), born Noah Brusso, was a Canadian professional boxer.He is the only Canadian-born World Heavyweight Boxing Champion.
The first to travel the globe in defending his title, Tommy made 13 title defences against 11 different boxers, despite often being the underdog due to his size.
Burns famously challenged all comers as Heavyweight Champion, leading to a celebrated bout with the American Jack Johnson.According to his biographer, Burns insisted, "I will defend my title against all comers, 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 am not the best man in the heavyweight division, I don't want the title." Burns was the first heavyweight champion to fight with a Jewish challenger, defeating Joseph "Jewey" Smith in a fight staged in Paris.
He also fought a bout with a Native American on his way to the Championship.According to one biography, he had two black sparring partners and was married for a brief time to a black woman.
At a time when most white American fighters adhered to the so-called "colour line", refusing to fight African Americans, Burns had half a dozen contests with black boxers before his clash with the legendary Jack Johnson.