John Arthur "Jack" Johnson remains one of the more colorful figures in
boxing history. He became the first Black world heavyweight
champion on December 26 1908, defeating Tommy Burns on the fourteenth
round. He would lose only five of ninety seven professional fights.
Success did not come easy for Johnson. Flamboyant and prone
to daliances with White women, his very presence was known to cause
White-driven race riots. He was considered one of the most hated
men in America during his career. Eventually, the Mann Act--which
made it illegal to transport a woman from one state to another for the
purposes of an "immoral" act--was used to chase him into exile and
away from boxing for a time.
It is worth noting that on April 18 1922 a John A Johnson received
patent #1418121 for the wrench. It appears that these are the same
men; however, I am not sure.
Years after his death, he would be elected in the Hall of Fame as a
charter member. He is considered by many to be the greatest boxer in
his weight class of all time.