Jack Johnson Biography

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Early Years

Jack Johnson was born on March 31st, 1878 in Galveston, Texas. Both of his parents were former slaves. Jack Johnson learned to box at the age of fifteen, he later on joined the professional boxing circuit at the age of twenty. Through his professional boxing career he loved his success and rewards that he gained.

But racial segregation was still alive in America, through the early 1900s, he would have to wait ten years, until he would finally have a title shot for the world heavyweight title, he taunted the current heavyweight champion, the Canadian Tommy Burns into accepting the title fight. That Jack Johnson so badly wanted.

The tile heavyweight title fight bout had to be held in Sydney, Australia to get around the racial segregation laws. The title fight bout took place on Boxing Day (December 26) in 1908. Johnson destroyed Tommy Burns so badly that the title fight had to be interrupted and stopped by the police. This was the day that Jack Johnson made history and became the first African American to win the heavyweight title of the world.

His heavyweight title win against Tommy Burns certainly dismissed the assumption, made by white men who controlled boxing to that time period, that black boxers were mentally and physically much inferior to a white man.

Fight of the Century

Everyone in America and especially the boxing authorities where at awe that Jack Johnson an African American boxer had become the heavyweight champion of the world. Boxing authorities because of this put immense pressure on former heavyweight champion of the world Jim Jeffries to come out of retirement and face Jack Johnson. Jim Jeffries role was to reclaim the title from Johnson to prove the dominance of his race.

But Jeffr...

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