Gunner Moir: Newspaper Articles, 1907 – 1922

Gunner Moir Wins World’s Championship

The Sphere, London: 2nd December 1907

By defeating Tommy Burns, six times world heavyweight title defender, the Englishman earned the right to style himself the champion of the world today, Dec. 2, 1907. He took the title at the National sporting Club in London, England’s. The Canadian had taken the title from Marvin Hart, who inherited the title from world famous James. J. Jeffries after his retirement.

Moir slashed, pounded and jabbed in an impersonal but scientifically sure way from early in the bout to the tenth round. At that stage, having crashed Burns to the canvas for a count of nine, the Englishman swung over a hard overhand right chop to the jaw and not wanting to see the result of the horror, hopped over the ropes and was halfway to the dressing room when the referee finished the long count. Burns was out for five minutes.

Moir won the toss for corners and as he walked over to his stoll winked laughingly at his seconds as he danced a few steps of a clog dance. The ringsiders quickly changed the odds in the Englishman’s favour after such a display of confidence.

Moir came out slowly at the bell in a crouch. Burns assumed a British attitude, straight up, with chin well exposed, both swapping styles of play. Gunner slowly pushed his left to the body and in an instant ripped up the same hand to the jaw,,, sending Burns back on his heels. Gunner bored in close, resting his head on Burn’s chest and began playing with the body with both hands. Burns was cautioned three times before the bell for holding.

The second and third rounds were all Moir’s. In the fourth Burns surprised everyone in the house by coming out with a rush and almost hanging Moir over the ropes with two wicked smashes to the jaw. Gunner dived into a clutch but Burns shook him off, ripping over a hard overhand right to the face as they broke. Moir covered well but he was on the defensive for the remainder of the round.

From then on to the tenth Moir fought carefully, slowly beating the defending Canadian champion into subjection. in the tenth round, Burns was tired when he answered the bell and Moir, quick to sense his weakened condition, began to fight faster. He jabbed Burns repeatedly with a fast left to the head, then switching his attack to the body with the same hand, brought Burns to the floor and for a count of nine. The American was game and staggered to his feet only to crash back again when Gunner swished over a hard right to the point of the jaw. It was all over.

World Champion Gunner Retires

London Illustrated News: 2nd September 1910

Gunner Moir, three-time defending world heavyweight champion, famous for defeating six times world champion, Canadian Tommy Burns, has announced his retirement from the sport.

Referencing his desire to settle down and to move away from the limelight, Gunner has handed his title to current number two world champion the ‘Galveston Giant, the American, John Arthur ‘Jack’ Johnson. Many of Gunner’s supporters are upset over his decision but we here at London Illustrated News, have heard speculation Gunner is looking to invest in a commercial property in the London area in near future. With the fortunes he has amassed during his career and his celebrity lifestyle, we look forward to seeing what he does.

Court Undecided In Gunner Moir Slander Case

Henson and Findley Times, London: 9th November 1921

In an action brought by Mr William Nelson, motor-lamp maker of Kennington, claiming damages for slander for Mr James Moir, known as Gunner Moir, the jury was left undecided on the first day. The sum of £500 is wanted by the plaintiff.

The complaint of the plaintiff was that the defendant had uttered an allegation concerning himself and the defendant’s son, James Charles Albert Moir, aged 11. Defendant has counterclaimed for damages, alleging that plaintiff had induced his tone to leave home and live with him.

The jury is undecided if plaintiff did or did not entice the boy away from home.

Nelson Settles Out Of Court With Gunner

Henson and Findley Times, London: 16th November 1921

In a shocking turn of events, the case of Nelson vs Moir has been settled out of court. In divisive action, Nelson has paid over the £500 asked by the plaintiff to Moir. During court proceedings, the jury favour was allying with the plaintiff and the defendant’s representation was, according to witnesses ‘all but broken’. There is no doubt that if the case had reached its conclusion, the judge would have found in favour of the plaintiff.

Rumours abound as to what was the cause of this, with some doubting Nelson’s truth. This revelation reaching the public so quickly will likely his fluctuating stock values fall. This coupled with the large sum will be a substantial hit to Nelson’s motor-lamp business.

The defendant was seen bright eyed this morning visiting a recent property purchase on Frith Street in Soho. It is believed that after spending time in America, particularly the southern states and New York with his family, Moir picked up a passion for jazz and is reportedly working with artists, designers and musicians at the boundaries of modern creativity to create a new music venue in the heart of London.

Retired World Heavyweight Champion Gunner Opens Duke’s In Soho

The Era Newspaper, London: 12th December 1922

Duke’s – a reference to Washington artist, Duke Ellington, currently a world-renowned jazz musician in new York – was officially opened by retired boxer James ‘Gunner’ Moir. With the addition of the settlement of money outside of the court by Nelson’s Motor-Lamps, the investment in this property has seemingly been put to good use in this new establishment on Frith Street, Soho.

The name Duke’s has been officially christened by the leader of The Cotton Club himself, who played here on the opening night. The pedigree of Duke’s does not stop at its musical endorsements. Figures from the art deco movement the world over have joined forces to create a convergence of style and elegance from both sides of the Atlantic.

American architect by William Van Allen, French furniture by Jacques Ruhlmann, sculptures by American Harriet Whitney Frishmuth, textiles by renowned French designer Coco Chanel, metalwork by Frenchman Edgar Brant. It will be forever known as the definition of the Art Deco movement with its entry being considered as a new world wonder, an artistic heritage site, and what seems to excite Gunner more, added to the Oxford Dictionary. The only name on the list of contributors that we do not recognise is that of a young M.C Escher, an unknown artist yet to make his mark on the world.

A Look Inside England’s Newest Artistic World Landmark

The Era Newspaper, London: 19th December 1922

Upon entering you pass what would appear to be an unassuming workman’s entrance to a storage unit. The door is newly replaced and foot thick of iron, similar to those seen on commercial bank vaults. This one seems to be a new mechanism by Bramah Locksmiths of London. The passageway is narrow and at first glance impossibly long. It soon becomes apparent by looking back that there is a slight slope to the hallway as its width opens out into what can only be described as the opulence of the modern age.

As you approach the end, the hallway widens into a large lounge area, flanked by wrought metalwork and frescos in the art-deco style. A mirrored bar sits to the left of the room, accompanied by lounge seating and intimate tables. There is the exotic smell of refined tobacco and eastern perfumes, aged malt and of English roast beef. Indeed it would seem Moir has thought of it all.

Although this place is filled with bright young things, there is a backlash from local residents about the ‘unnatural’ existence of this club in their midst. Residents have reported disturbances into the early hours of the morning, strange lights and music emanating from the building and supposed ‘dangerous and unsightly’ individuals. Soho is currently undergoing a series of redevelopments to make the area more profitable for local and new businesses and a petition by the residents has been turned over by the Borough Council.

Duke’s opened on the spring equinox, March 21st, of this year. There is currently a strict entry list into the establishment with famous clientele such those who contributed to its creation as well as explorer and diplomat, T.E. Lawrence, otherwise known as Lawrence of Arabia, actresses Aileen Pringle and Anna May Wong and boxer Jack Dempsy. The Cotton Club is said to be playing at Duke’s first New Years Eve Party.