jack johnson 1915


John Arthur Johnson was born in Texas in 1878 . He trained as a boxer . He was called the Galveston Giant .

fighters marty cutler and jack johnson

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 .

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