Burke fought in 150 bouts, both middleweight and heavyweight matches. From 1919 to 1926, he was a sparring partner for heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey. In 1921 and 1924, he lost celebrated fights against James Joseph "Gene" Tunney (May 25, 1897 – November 7, 1978), for the light-heavyweight championship of the world. In 1927, Dempsey lost to Tunney their "Long Count" fight at Soldier Field in Chicago. Some still contend that Dempsey and not Tunney should have been declared the rightful winner of the fight.
After retiring from the ring, Burke became a contractor, real estate agent, and bar owner in New Orleans In 1948, he moved to California. He was married and had two sons, Paul and Marty, Jr. He died in Palm Springs, California, at the age of eighty-two. He is interred at St. Patrick Cemetery III in New Orleans. Coincidentally Burke and Tunney died eleven days apart in 1978.
- Burke, Marty. A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography: Louisiana Historical Association. Retrieved on April 22, 2020.
- 'A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography uses articles from The New Orleans States-Item (since defunct and The New Orleans Times-Picayune, both articles dated September 19, 1978.
- Oscar Portillo (April 6, 2017). Dempsey v. Tunney: The Long Count Fight of 1927. STMU History Media. Retrieved on April 22, 2020.