Boxing Betting: Top Five Canadian Boxers Of All Time

Canada boxing betting

The dust has barely settled on Oleksandr Usyk’s split decision victory over Anthony Joshua, and the big fights continue to roll in with Bodog’s boxing betting never looking so stacked.

What next for Joshua? Only time will tell. But with Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin renewing their rivalry once more in September. Now seems the ideal opportunity to take a look at some of the best fighters that Canada has produced over the years.


Those of you with an interest in boxing odds and betting with a Canadian slant, this one’s for you.

5. Arturo Gatti (1972 – 2009)

Arturo Gatti may have been born in Cassino, Italy, but since he moved to Canada when he was still a kid, we’ll remain insistent in our claim to the rights of his sporting greatness.

Throughout his career from 1991 to 2007, Gatti claimed the IBF Junior Lightweight Title from 1995-1998 and the WBC Super Lightweight Title from 2004-2005.

Although he was undeniably a strong fighter in the ring, the reason fans loved “Thunder Blood”, as he was affectionately called, wasn’t for his technical abilities, speed, or defence. Gatti was a bloodthirsty fighter with the spirit of a warrior, and his entertaining fighting style had fans drooling at the sidelines to see him fight.

When he retired in 2007, Gatti had a record of 40-9, but two years later he died suddenly and his wife was accused of homicide. Later, an autopsy ruled Gatti’s death a suicide, but either way, the world lost a champion way too young at the age of 37.

4. Tommy Burns (1881 – 1955)

Tommy Burns was born outside of Hanover, Ontario in Normanby Township in 1881.

Despite a diminutive stature of 5’7 (170 cm) and weighing in at 175 lbs (79 kg), Burns became the only Canadian-born boxer in history to be a World Heavyweight title holder, which he won after fighting Marvin Hart in 1906 despite being deemed the 2-1 underdog.

Perhaps what Burns is most well-known for, however, was his forward-thinking and courageous behaviour in a time of severe racial segregation. He was the first-ever white fighter who was willing to take on a fighter of colour, and he took the stance that if he wanted to be considered the best in the world, that he needed to be willing to face anyone put in front of him.

Not all heartwarming stories end in smiles, however, and the Stock Market Crash of 1929 drained Tommy Burns of all of his wealth from boxing, and he had to earn a living as an insurance salesman and security guard until 1955 when he died suddenly of a heart attack.

3. Jimmy McLarnin (1907 – 2004)

Two-time welterweight world champion Jimmy McLarnin was born in Ireland and moved to Canada at the age of three.

He was called the “Baby-faced Assassin” thanks to his famously youthful appearance, but that didn’t stop him from being feared in the ring for his powerful right hand.


In May of 1928 in New York, McLarnin had the opportunity to get the Lightweight title against then-champion Sammy Mandell. He lost that fight, but it wasn’t the first rendezvous the two fighters had together, and McLarnin went on to beat him twice in the two years that followed.

Five years later, McLarnin finally got another shot at the title, and Young Corbett III felt the full force of McLarnin’s famous right hand as he tumbled to the ground after just 2 minutes and 37 seconds in the ring.

2. Samuel Langford (1883 – 1956)

Sometimes the greatest talent in the world was simply born at the wrong time in history, and that is true for Samual Langford from Weymouth Falls in Nova Scotia.

Langford started his professional career in Boston and went by many names including the Boston Tar Baby, Boston Terror, and Boston Bonecrusher, but most notably he was known as “The Greatest Fighter Nobody Knows.” But only because of those who didn’t want to know.

His skills belied his stature. At just 5’6 ½ (1.69 m) and 185 lbs (84kg), Langford was a devastating puncher who would later – much later – be compared to the likes of Mike Tyson. He accrued tremendous success in his career, fighting in 313 fights, winning 211 of them with 126 via KO, but Langford never won a world title for one simple reason; he had the temerity to be born with a skin colour that, in his time, would take him only so far until he encountered a locked door.

World Heavyweight Champion Jack Johnson refused to fight Langford after their first match presumably because he knew he’d lose.

1. Lennox Lewis (1965 – present)

Lennox Lewis was a machine in the ring, and we say that with misty-eyed nostalgia and pure reverence. The legendary tenacious fighter was known in his prime for his raw strength and his punching style, which he executed with clinical precision. Lennox is the last heavyweight to hold the undisputed title, making him the #1 Canada boxing GOAT.

Lennox moved to Canada at the age of 12 from his birthplace of London, England, and started his professional boxing career in 1989. Before he went full pro, Lewis won gold for Canada in the Super Heavyweight division at the Olympics in 1988 against Riddick Bowe, who later dropped out of a fight against Lewis to defend his title in 1992.

Lewis took the compliment, of sorts, and ran with it, defending his title three times before Oliver McCall defeated him in an upset by knocking him out in 1994. But that wasn’t where the story ended. In 1997, Lewis came back with fists blazing and reclaimed his WBC title from McCall, finally becoming a three-time world heavyweight champion and a two-time lineal champion.

Nowadays, Lewis enjoys a lucrative career as a boxing analyst and commentator for FOX sports, but we’ll always get our biggest patriotic kick when we reminisce over those glory days.


Do you agree with our top five? Or have we missed someone out? Let us know on our Twitter page over at @BodogCA.