John Arthur Johnson was born in Texas in 1878 . He trained as a boxer . He was called the Galveston Giant .
fighting Marty Cutler
A successful boxer , Jack Johnson became the Colored Heavyweight Champion in 1902 . He became the first African-American Heavyweight Champion of the World in December 1908 .
The World Heavyweight Champion , James Jeffries , refused to fight Jack Johnson for years , but he came out of retirement in 1910 to finally fight Johnson . The match was held in Reno , Nevada on July 4th and 20,000 people attended .
Jim Jeffries was knocked down twice during the fight , the first time Jeffries had ever been knocked down . In the 15th round , Jeffries threw in the towel so a knockout would not become part of his record . The ” Fight of the Century” resulted in Jack Johnson becoming World Heavyweight Champion of the World .
Jeffries , called the Great White Hope , had been defeated . Race riots immediatley erupted around the country .
Jack Johnson died in a car crash in 1946 on Highway 1 in North Carolina . He had raced away from a restaurant in Raleigh that had denied him entrance .