Across the pond, Dec. 26 is known as Boxing Day, a holiday where servants would traditionally receive gifts from their employers.

In Galveston, a different type of boxing could be celebrated on same day. On Boxing Day 1908, Jack Johnson won the heavyweight championship of the world by defeating Canadian boxer Tommy Burns in Sydney, Australia. The fight went 14 rounds, after which Johnson was awarded the victory by judges’ decision.

Johnson would go on to hold the championship until April 5, 1917. In his career, Johnson tallied 73 wins (with 40 knockouts), 13 losses and five draws. He was inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame in 1954.

Earlier this year, the city dedicated a park to Johnson and erected a life-size bronze statue in his likeness.

Footage of the Boxing Day fight can be viewed here:

Locations

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