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Sat, 12.26.1908

Jack Johnson Becomes America’s First Black Heavyweight Boxing Champion

Jack Johnson

On this date in 1908, Jack Johnson became the first Black man to win the world heavyweight boxing title.

Johnson knocked out Canadian Tommy Burns in the 14th round in a championship fight near Sydney, Australia.  Most white Americans hated Johnson, who held the heavyweight title until 1915, for his defiance of the "Jim Crow" racial segregation and oppression of early 20th-century America.

To become a Professional Athlete.


Boxing Album: An Illustrated History
by Peter Brooke Bell
Smithmark Publisher, 1995
ISBN 0831748109

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