Did this boxing match actually happen?
February 13, 2020 9:52 AM   Subscribe

My dad told me a story about a Black boxer fighting a White one outside of the US. The Black boxer took a dive after a while because he was told/was under the impression that he would not be allowed back in the US if he won. Memory details inside.

He was supposedly knocked out, but covered his eyes to protect against the sun/bright lights. This was supposedly so people knew he had thrown the fight because of outside pressure.

Googling is finding me nothing. It's a great story, but the Great White Hope fight was won by Johnson and was in Reno. (I was listening to a podcast that mentioned the riots afterwards, with the accompanied lynchings and it reminded me of this) Also, he told me this story when I was a kid, so there's undoubtedly a great deal of memory change there. Was there any boxing match like this?
posted by Hactar to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (4 answers total)
From Jack Johnson's Wikipedia page:
On April 5, 1915, Johnson lost his title to Jess Willard, a working cowboy from Kansas who started boxing when he was twenty-seven years old. With a crowd of 25,000 at Oriental Park Racetrack in Havana, Cuba, Johnson was knocked out in the 26th round of the scheduled 45 round fight.
Maybe that's what your dad meant.
posted by kingless at 10:53 AM on February 13 [3 favorites]

It seems Johnson later claimed to have thrown that fight, but in 1967 a film of the fight was found and most don't think he took a dive. (source: the wikipedia pages for both Johnson & Williard). He did have Mann Act charges against him at the time (for dating a white woman).
posted by at at 1:15 PM on February 13 [2 favorites]

I'm sure that's it. And the Mann act charges make sense and are probably what my dad meant. Thanks for helping me nail down that memory as best I can.
posted by Hactar at 1:34 PM on February 13

45 rounds?!?!
posted by hydra77 at 2:36 PM on February 13 [6 favorites]

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