On February 3, 1903, Jack Johnson won The World Colored Heavyweight Championship title. title. In 1904, Johnson challenged Jim Jeffries, the white American who held the world title at the time. Jeffries refused to fight Johnson because he was black. It was not until 1908 that Canadian fighter Tommy Burns agreed to give Johnson a shot at the more prestigious white heavyweight title.
In Sydney, Australia on December 26, 1908 Jack Johnson became the first African American to win the world heavyweight title after knocking out Tommy Burns in the 14th round in front of 20,000 spectators.
Jack Johnson is still remembered as the greatest defensive boxer in heavyweight history.