Galveston boxing legend honored

Historical marker placed for Jack Johnson

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1908: Jack Johnson becomes the first black world heavyweight boxing champion, defeating the reigning world champion, Canadian Tommy Burns, in Sydney, Australia. The fight lasted 14 rounds before being stopped by the police in front of more…

GALVESTON, Texas - A Galveston athlete who broke the color barrier in boxing was honored Saturday.

Jack Johnson was the first African American world heavyweight boxing champion.

Saturday's historical marker was unveiled at the park bearing his name. The community, dignitaries and politicians were there for ceremony.

After winning the world heavyweight title in 1908, Johnson was found guilty of accompanying a white woman across state lines in 1912. He was accused of a similar crime just a few weeks later and was sentenced to a year in prison.

The so-called "Galveston Giant" held the heavyweight title for seven years until he lost to Jess Willard in 1915.

Johnson died in a car accident in 1946. He was inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame in 1954.

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