Tommy Burns

Tommy Burns, boxer (b Noah Brusso at Hanover, Ont 17 June 1881; d at Vancouver 10 May 1955). Starting as a welterweight in 1900, Burns became, 6 years later, the only Canadian to hold the world heavyweight championship when he beat Marvin Hart. Known as a tenacious boxer and strong hitter, the 170 cm, 79.4 kg French Canadian defended his title 10 times in 33 months before losing to Jack Johnson in Sydney, Australia, on 25 December 1908.

His defences included victories over the heavyweight champions of England and Australia. He knocked out the Irish champion, Jem Roche, in 1 min, 28 secs, the shortest title defence ever. The $30 000 he received for fighting Johnson was the beginning of "big" money for boxers.