Jack Johnson vs. Battling Jim Johnson

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1913-12-19 : Jack Johnson 213¾ lbs drew with Battling Jim Johnson 222¾ lbs by PTS in round 10 of 10

  • Location: Premierland, Paris, Paris, France
  • Referee: Emile Maitrot
  • This was the first World Heavyweight Championship fight fought between two black fighters.
  • On November 6, 1913, the International Boxing Union met in Paris and voted to withdraw recognition of Johnson as world champion because he "persistently refused to meet his challengers and because of his conviction of white slavery." Johnson had come to Paris several months earlier from Chicago, where he had been convicted of violating the Mann Act.

"Jack Johnson, the heavyweight champion, and Battling Jim Johnson, another colored pugilist, of Galveston, Texas, met in a ten-round contest here tonight, which ended in a draw. The spectators loudly protested throughout that the men were not fighting, and demanded their money back. Many of them left the hall. The organizers of the fight explained the fiasco by asserting that Jack Johnson's left arm was broken in the third round. There is no confirmation of a report that Jack Johnson had been stabbed, and no evidence at the ringside of such an accident. During the first three rounds he was obviously playing with his opponent. After that it was observed that he was only using his right hand. When the fight was over he complained that his arm had been injured. Doctors who made an examination certified to a slight fracture of the radius of the left arm. The general opinion is that his arm was injured in a wrestling match early in the week, and that a blow tonight caused the fracture of the bone."

  • According to a cabled article printed in the NY Evening World, "Paris. Jack Johnson barely missed losing his heavyweight championship in a ten round bout here last night. Jeffries' conqueror met Battling Jim Johnson, a big negro from Memphis Tenn. and barely lasted through the final round. He was tottering and groggy at the finish. A few rounds more and he might have been knocked out." "In the last minute of the fight the Memphis negro rushed Johnson to the ropes and in a mixup both went to the floor, with Jack's arm around Jim's waist. Both were on their feet quickly but Jack looked exhausted just as the final bell rang. It is possible that Jack hurt his arm in the fall to the floor." Jim Johnson worked to the champion's body, and "In the seventh round the Memphis man succeeded in breaking down Jack's guard and three times after landing on the body grazed Jack's jaw with terrific uppercuts."


Johnson Shorn Of His Honors - November 6, 1913
Jack Johnson Fights A Draw - December 20, 1913