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When Heavy Weight Boxing match came to Covent Garden

National Sporting Club Covent Garden
National Sporting Club Covent Garden

Tommy Burns vs Gunner Moir National Sporting Club, Covent Garden London, 2nd December 1907

Who was Tommy Burns?

Nationality: Canadian

Born 17th June 1881

Also known as (alias) The Little Giant of Hanover

Debut: 16th January 1902

Division: Heavy Weight

Stance: Orthodox

Height: 5ft 7 inches

bouts: 58

Rounds: 485

KO: 59%

Tommy Burns became the first boxer to travel the world defending his title, which he did 11 times. He barred no one from challenging his title, nationality, religion or race.

During the first world war, Tommy joined the Canadian Army as a physical fitness instructor for soldiers. in 1920 was to be the last ring match where he fought British Champion, Joe Beckett. The fight was stopped in the seventh round when his own corner threw in the towel. Tommy Burns was 38, Becket was ten years younger at 28.

During his retirement from Boxing, Tommy Burns worked as an Insurance salesman and even as a security guard before finally being ordained into the church.

Tommy died at the age of 73, buried at Ocean View Cemetary in Burnaby, British Columbia.

Picture: Linked

Tommy Burns Linked Image
Tommy Burns linked from BoxingMonthly


Who was Gunner Moir?

James Moir, Better known as Gunner Moir was an English Heavy Weight Boxer.

Nationality: British

Born 17th April 1879

Also known as (alias) Gunner Moir / Ex Gunner

Debut: 20th June 1903

height: 5ft 10

stance: Orthodox

Division: Heavy Weight

bouts: 25

KO: 10

Gunner Moir was born in Lambeth, London. He became a boxer whilst in the British Army where he became the Heavyweight champion of the British Army in India.

Success in the ring led to commercial success out of the ring, with the Gunner Moir boxing glove merchandise and advertising campaign for Phosferine tonic.

In Retirement Gunner Moir wrote the instructional book ‘The Complete Boxer’ published in 1930. He then entered the world of acting and starred in a few movies:

  • Third time lucky (1931)
  • Madame Guillotine (1931)
  • The Mystery of the Mary Celeste (1935)

Gunner Moire died on the 12th of June 1939 after a long illness, he was 60 years old.

Picture: Linked Box Rec:

Gunner Moir linked Boxing Rec
Gunner Moir linked Boxing Rec


What is the National Sporting Club (N.S.C), Covent Garden?

The club was founded in 1891 and did much to promote boxing as a sport in Great Britain. What were the rules of theNational Sporting Club Covent garden?

  1. Bouts take place after dinner
  2. match audience of approximately 1300 members and their guests
  3. Bouts were fought in silence (no talking)
  4. Winners in each weight category would win the Lonsdale Belt as a prize. These belts were made from Porcelain and twenty two carat gold.
  5. The club was a private members club but was forced in 1928 to open its doors to the public as the mass appeal of Boxing grew. Boxers were able to fight to bigger crowds than was possible at the N.S.C

The club moved Stadium Club Holborn and then moving to 21 Soho in January 1930.

In 1938 the club moved to Hotel Splendid, Piccadilly. It is here the story of the N.S.C ends, as the second world war began, the club went into voluntary liquidation.

What happened at the Heavy Weight boxing match held at the National Sporting Club, Covent Garden, between Tommy Burns and Gunner Moir?

Why not watch the match, courtesy of YouTube. Tommy Burns owns the film rights to the match and claimed in an interview afterward he extended the match to earn more from the film.

Enjoy the match: 2nd December 1907, Tommy Burns vs Gunner Moir at the National Sporting Club (N.S.C), Covent Garden London


Where is the old site of the National Sport Club, Covent Garden


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