History | Dec 26 2018

On This Day: Jack Johnson dominates Tommy Burns to win the world heavyweight title

Jack Johnson becoming the first black world heavyweight champion triggered some disgusting events

THE myth that Tommy Burns was avoiding Jack Johnson should be replaced by the fact the world heavyweight champion was holding out for a worthwhile purse. It came his way in 1908, when he was guaranteed a whopping $30,000 from promoter, Hugh “Huge Deal” McIntosh to defend against the black challenger on December 26 in Sydney.

BURNS – making the 12th defence of his title – gave away 24 pounds, seven inches, and was outclassed from the opening bell. At one point the cocky Johnson exposed his body and invited his opponent to hit him as hard as he could. Burns did just that, and Johnson barely flinched. The challenger seemed to be enjoying himself, and suspended Burns’ suffering as a result.

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