Lost Souls: Found! Inspiring Stories About Boxers
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It's not only entertaining but also informative. It has inspired me to look more into working with boxer rescue organizations. As the keeper of a 14 month old Boxer dog I have a special place for them in my heart. This book made me cry but it also made me laugh till it hurt. Highly recommend to any Boxer FurParent or dog lover. Enjoyed reading about rescued boxers' journey from cast-off to charmed life.
In , Johnson opened a successful and luxurious "black and tan" desegregated restaurant and nightclub, which in part was run by his wife, a white woman. Major newspapers of the time soon claimed that Johnson was attacked by the government only after he became famous as a black man married to a white woman, and was linked to other white women. Sentenced to a year in prison, Johnson fled the country and fought boxing matches abroad for seven years until when he served his sentence at the federal penitentiary at Leavenworth. Johnson was posthumously pardoned by President Donald Trump in May , years after his conviction.
Johnson continued taking paying fights for many years, and operated several other businesses, including lucrative endorsement deals. Johnson died in a car crash on June 10, , at the age of Johnson was born the third child of nine, and the first son, of Henry and Tina Johnson, two former slaves who worked blue collar jobs as a janitor and a dishwasher.
His father Henry served as a civilian teamster of the Union's 38th Colored Infantry. Growing up in Galveston, Texas, Johnson attended five years of school. Although Johnson grew up in the South, he said that segregation was not an issue in the somewhat secluded city of Galveston, as everyone living in the 12th Ward was poor and went through the same struggles. Remembering his childhood, Johnson said: "As I grew up, the white boys were my friends and my pals.
I ate with them, played with them and slept at their homes. Their mothers gave me cookies, and I ate at their tables. No one ever taught me that white men were superior to me. After Johnson quit school, he began a job working at the local docks. He made several other attempts at working other jobs around town until one day he made his way to Dallas, finding work at the race track exercising horses. Jack stuck with this job until he found a new apprenticeship for a carriage painter by the name of Walter Lewis.
Lewis enjoyed watching friends spar, and Johnson began to learn how to box. On his return to Galveston, he soon found employment as a janitor at a gym owned by German-born heavyweight fighter Herman Bernau. Johnson eventually put away enough money to buy two pairs of boxing gloves, sparring every chance he got. After returning home, Johnson had a fight with one Davie Pearson. Johnson remembers Pearson as a "grown and toughened" man who accused Johnson of turning him in to the police over a game of craps.
When both of them were released from jail, they met at the docks and Johnson beat Pearson before a large crowd. Because prize fighting was illegal in Texas, the fight was broken up and moved to the beach where Johnson won his first fight and a prize of one dollar and fifty cents. Johnson made his debut as a professional boxer on November 1, , in Galveston, Texas, when he knocked out Charley Brooks in the second round of a round bout for what was billed as "The Texas State Middleweight Title". In his third pro fight on May 8, , he battled "Klondike" John W.
Klondike so called as he was considered a rarity, like the gold in the Klondike , who had declared himself the "Black Heavyweight Champ", won on a technical knockout TKO in the fifth round of a scheduled six-rounder. The two fighters met again in , with the first contest resulting in a draw as both fighters were on their feet at the end of 20 rounds. Johnson won the second fight by a TKO when Klondike refused to come out for the 14th round.
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Johnson did not claim Klondike's unrecognized title. Choynski, a popular and experienced heavyweight, knocked out Johnson in the third round. Prizefighting was illegal in Texas at the time and they were both arrested. The sheriff permitted both fighters to go home at night so long as they agreed to spar in the jail cell. Large crowds gathered to watch the sessions. After 23 days in jail, their bail was reduced to an affordable level and a grand jury refused to indict either man.
However, Johnson later stated that he learned his boxing skills during that jail time. The two would remain friends. Johnson attested that his success in boxing came from the coaching he received from Choynski. Throughout his career Johnson built a unique fighting style of his own, which was not customary to boxing during this time. Though Jack would typically strike first, he would fight defensively, waiting for his opponents to tire out, while becoming more aggressive as the rounds went on.
He often fought to punish his opponents through the rounds rather than knocking them out, and would continuously dodge their punches. He would then quickly strike back with a blow of his own. Jack often made his fights look effortless, and as if he had much more to offer, but when pushed he could also display some powerful moves and punches.
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There are films of his fights in which he can be seen holding up his opponent, who otherwise might have fallen, until he recovered. His style of playing with his opponents was very effective, but was criticized by the press as being a cowardly fighting approach. In contrast, world heavyweight champion "Gentleman" Jim Corbett , who was white, had used many of the same techniques a decade earlier, and was praised by the press as "the cleverest man in boxing". Johnson beat former black heavyweight champ Frank Childs on October 21, Childs had twice won the black heavyweight title and continued to claim himself the true black champ despite having lost his title in a bout with George Byers and then, after retaking the title from Byers, losing it again to Denver Ed Martin.
He still made pretence to being the black champ and claimed the unrecognized black heavyweight title as well.
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He claimed he had dislocated his elbow. The defeat by Johnson forever ended Childs's pretensions to the black heavyweight crown. By , though Johnson's official record showed him with nine wins against three losses, five draws and two no contests, he had won at least 50 fights against both white and black opponents. Johnson won his first title on February 3, , beating Denver Ed Martin on points in a round match for the World Colored Heavyweight Championship.
Johnson held the title until it was vacated when he won the world heavyweight title from Tommy Burns in Sydney, Australia on Boxing Day His reign of 2, days was the third longest in the year-long history of the colored heavyweight title. Only Harry Wills at 3, days and Peter Jackson at 3, days held the title longer. A three-time colored heavyweight champion, Wills held the title for a total of 3, days. Johnson defended the colored heavyweight title 17 times, which was second only to the 26 times Wills defended the title.
He beat Langford on points in a rounder and never gave him another shot at the title, either when he was colored champ or the world heavyweight champ. Johnson fought Joe Jeanette a total of seven times, all during his reign as colored champ before he became the world's heavyweight champion, winning four times and drawing twice three of the victories and one draw were newspaper decisions.
In their first match in , they had fought to a draw, but in their second match on November 25, , Johnson lost as he was disqualified in the second round of a scheduled six-round fight. Johnson continued to claim the title because of the disqualification. Sam Langford subsequently claimed the title during Jeanette's reign after Johnson refused to defend the World Heavyweight Championship against him.
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Eighteen months later, Jeanette lost the title to Langford. During his reign as world champ, Johnson never again fought Jeanette despite numerous challenges and avoided Langford, who won the colored title a record five times. In Jack Johnson fought Sam Langford. Langford took severe punishment and was knocked down 3 times; however, he lasted the 15 round distance. On November 27, , Johnson finally stepped back into the ring with Joe Jeanette.