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Old 10-18-2004, 10:10 AM   #1
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Tommy Burns (010744)

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Old 12-12-2004, 05:22 PM   #2
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Tommy Burns was born Noah Brusso in the village of Hanover in central Ontario, Canada. His parents were from the Alsace-Lorraine region between France and Germany, and he spoke English, French and German in his youth. His ring nickname was The Little Giant of Hanover. While working in the Detroit area, he had a home in Windsor where one of his older brothers lived.

His best fighting weight was between 175 and 180. He managed his own business affairs from day one, and was one of the very first prize fighters to do so. Promoters disliked his tenacity when it came to getting himself paid what he thought he was worth. In this, he was a true trail blazer, and many modern athletes owe him a debt of gratitude. He had many different training assistants as he travelled around the globe, but one who stayed around the longest was Pat O'Keefe.

Tommy Burns was the quintessential road warrior, starting off in Detroit, then hitting Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, Dublin, London, Paris and Melbourne. He built a reputation in each as a clever inside fighter with a terrific punch in either mitt and the heart of a lion. Although only 5' 7" tall he feared no man alive, and proved it by giving Jack Johnson a chance at his heavyweight title in a day when he had no obligation to do so. In that fight, Burns, only recently recovered from illness, put up a game battle against a man six inches taller and almost 30 pounds heavier. Burns later claimed that at no time was he in danger of being knocked out, and had in fact broken at least one of Johnson's ribs. It was later reported that after the match Burns travelled by trolley car with some friends to the race track, while Johnson secretly paid a visit to a local infirmary to have his ribs taped.

Tommy Burns faced the best heavyweights available in North America and the British Empire and he whipped them all, except for Johnson, who many claim was the greatest defensive fighter of all time. Had he fought the men that Johnson defended against, there can be no doubt Burns would have wiped the floor with them, including Stanley Ketchel.

In shape, Burns was rarely landed on. He was fast on his feet, a tremendous puncher, and gifted with remarkable recuperative powers. Tommy's record of 8 straight KOs in heavyweight title defences still stands today. He was also the first man in ring history to hold both the heavyweight and light heavyweight titles simultaneously, and recorded the quickest knockout in a legitimate heavyweight title defence.
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