Lawrence Samuel "Larry" Gains 1900 - 1983

Heavyweight Boxer Champion of the Dominion of Canada and the British Empire

Plaque located at: 404 Shuter St, Toronto, ON M5A 1X6, Canada

He could have been a contender for World Champion?

Lawrence Samuel “Larry” Gains was born on Sumach Street in the Cabbagetown area of Toronto. As a young twenty year old he boxed out of Toronto’s Praestamus Athletic Club, an organization for Black boxers. His amateur career was highly successful and in 1923 he went to England to pursue a professional career.

He was considered an excellent heavyweight at a time when there were many good heavyweight boxers. It has been written that he took London by storm. Before long he was the Canadian Heavyweight Champion.

The new fistic idol of Europe won every major title and knocked out heavyweight champion Max Schmeling. The historians now announce that he scored a two-round knockout over Max Schmeling. This would have made Larry Gains champion of the world by historic proxy.

Due to the times, he was not allowed to fight for the British Championship and the World Champion. There was a bar on black boxers and they could only compete for the “Coloured Heavyweight Champion of the World”, which he won in 1928 and 1935.

“For me, the world title was always the impossible dream, the unreachable star”, Gains said shortly before his death. “The politics of the day was against it. But I have no bitterness or regrets”.

In 1974 Larry Gains was inducted into the Canadian Boxing Hall of Fame.

Hear him talk:

Share Tweet