Enjoyed reading Dave Baggs' piece on the best Canadian heavyweights. I'd have to say that I would rate Tommy Burns' accomplishments over Chuvalo's or even Langford's. Winning THE world heavyweight title back then was the greatest achievement in professional sports. Burns was a pocket heavyweight, usually weighing no more than 175 at his best. He beat Marvin Hart for the heavyweight title and later beat Philadelphia Jack O'Brien for his light-heavyweight title. There was talk of a match with Langford, but Burns was his own manager and he didn't like the money being offered. He had no fear of Langford and openly admired the Nova Scotia lad's ring skills, but money came first. The same reason he put off fighting Jack Johnson. It was to be $30,000 dollars or no deal! Langford wanted the fight with Burns but couldn't find a backer to put up his share of the purse and so the opportunity passed. They actually signed articles to fight in 1910, but Tommy was injured in a streetcar accident and Langford moved on.
As for George. God love him! Great fighter with tremendous heart and under-rated defence. I would've loved to see him fight Rocky Marciano! A battle for the ages.
Apr 26, 2012 11:17 AM