On This Date in Sports: December 26, 1908

johnsonburns1 On This Date in Sports: December 26, 1908

Jack Johnson battles Tommy Burns for the heavyweight title in Australia

Jack Johnson becomes the first black heavyweight champion, with a 14th round Technical knockout of Tommy Burns in Australia. The fight is held Rushcutter’s Bay, a suburb of Sydney, as nobody would sanction a fight for the title with a black fighter in the USA. Johnson dominated the fight and was well ahead when police stopped the fight as Burns is too badly beaten to continue. Jack Johnson’s title reign would be met with scorn as the though of a black man holding the championship belt was not popular at the time. His reign would last over six years before ending with a loss to Jess Willard on April 5, 1915.

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