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Young Victor Boxing

Last fight for boxing legend

 

Published:Apr 03, 2009

boxing
 Jack Johnson

ABOUT TIME: Dorothy Cross, the great-great niece of boxing legend Jack Johnson, meets Senator John McCain in Washington. The senator introduced legislation on Wednesday seeking a pardon for Johnson Pictures: AP

Plea for a pardon goes to Obama

THE fight for a pardon of Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight boxing champion, is being taken to Barack Obama, the first black US president.

Linda Haywood, a great-great niece of Johnson, said a pardon of the fighter from the early 1900s would mean more coming from Obama than it would have from a failed bid before former president George W Bush.

“I was hoping President Bush would do it,” said Haywood. “But it would mean so much more if Obama would do it.”

In 1913, Johnson was the first person convicted under the Mann Act, which forbids taking a woman across state lines for immoral purposes. Johnson’s consensual relationship with a white woman was seen then by many as taboo.

US Senator John McCain and representative Peter King introduced legislation on Wednesday seeking a pardon for Johnson over a conviction now seen as racially motivated.

“We want to reverse this injustice,” McCain said. “We need to erase this act of racism that sent an American citizen to prison on charges that were trumped up. ”

Johnson ruled the heavyweight realm in flamboyant fashion from 1908 until 1915.

He took the title on December 28 1908 in Sydney when Australian police stopped his fight against Tommy Burns in the 14th round after Johnson had beaten the Canadian into submission.

Johnson defended his crown nine times, most notably in 1910 against former champion James Jeffries, who came out of retirement as “The Great White Hope” .

Johnson beat Jim Flynn in 1912 in the first Las Vegas title fight, twice defended the crown in Paris, then lost it in Havana in 1915 when Jess Willard knocked him out in the 26th round of the longest heavyweight title fight ever.

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  As seen on http://www.thetimes.co.za/News/Article.aspx?id=973437 and Young Victor Boxing

 

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