Boxing Career

Defying odds.

Throughout his career as a boxer, Johnson saw many highlights. He left his home in Galveston in 1899 and headed out of Texas to attempt to break into the boxing industry.

And, the winner takes all.

Johnson vs. Burns, 1908.

He fought against a white boxer for the first time in 1900. On this day, Johnson knocked out Australian athlete Jim Scanlon in the seventh round of the match; and, by early 1902, to all of America, he was a rising heavyweight boxing star.

In 1903, he won the unofficial “Negro Heavyweight Boxing Championship,” and in 1908, Johnson became the first black heavyweight boxing world champion when he defeated Tommy Burns.

Watch Johnson vs. Burns below: