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Literary diversions

July 1, 2007 |  7:15 am

On the Fourth of July, 1910, in Reno, Jack Johnson defeated James J. Jeffries to become the first African American heavyweight champion of the world. In 1931, at the age of 53, he was working out every day and spending his evenings at the Maxime,  Central Avenue at 41st Street.

Rex Beach wrote of Johnson's victory: "He who had never been knocked down, was knocked down repeatedly. He who had never been knocked out, was knocked out."

Here's Johnson's version of the fight:

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