Jack Johnson’s victory over James Jeffries is a signature moment in American history.
On July 4, 1910, Jack Johnson, boxing’s first Black heavyweight champion fought in “The Fight of the Century” against James J. Jeffries. Jeffries was a former champion talked out of retirement and appointed to return the white race back to its pugilistic glory. Johnson pummeled Jeffries for 15 rounds before his corner had seen enough. Johnson retained his title, further silencing critics who belittled Johnson’s previous conquests as hollow victories.