Tommy Burns

Canada's Unknown World Heavyweight Champion

by Dan McCaffery

This is the story of a heroic Canadian who beat the odds, defied world opinion, and came out swinging.

"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."

In an era of pervasive racism, Tommy Burns had the courage to embrace bouts with African-Americans, including the great Jack Johnson. When Johnson won, the American South exploded with racial violence and Burns' reputation was widely smeared. But Burns was a terrific fighter who still holds many records after almost a century: he's the only World Heavyweight Champion to have defended his title twice in one night; his eight consecutive knockouts while champ have never been bettered; and at 5'7" he was the shortest  titleholder in history.

Award-winning journalist Dan McCaffery at last tells Burns' astonishing story: his humble beginnings and hard-won success, as well as his personal tragedies and virtually unmourned death. Here is a heroic Canadian who beat the odds, defied world opinion, and came out swinging.

About the Author

Dan McCaffery

DAN McCAFFERY is one of Canada's most successful military aviation history writers. He was born in Sarnia, Ontario, where he graduated from the the Journalism Program at Lambton College of Applied Arts and Technology. He worked for the Sarnia Gazette, a weekly newspaper, from 1974 to 1989 as a reporter and later as editor. Since 1989 he has worked at the daily newspaper the Sarnia Observer where he is currently the assignment editor. He has won three Canadian News Awards, two Ontario News Awards and a Western Ontario News Award. He is the author of Hell Island: Canadian Pilots and the 1942 Air Battle for Malta, Billy Bishop: Canadian Hero, Air Aces, Battlefields in the Air, Canadian Warplanes and Bush Planes and Bush Pilots. McCaffery and his wife Val have been married for 28 years.(more)

Subjects (BISAC)

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