Trump pardons boxer Jack Johnson, first black heavyweight champ

Jack Johnson looks on as Stan Ketchel is counted out in 1909. Johnson, who held the heavyweight title from 1908-15, was convicted by an all-white jury in 1913 of taking a woman across state lines for ‘immoral purposes.’ (Getty Images)
Updated 24 May 2018
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Trump pardons boxer Jack Johnson, first black heavyweight champ

  • Trump said Johnson, the ‘Galveston Giant,’ was the victim of what ‘many viewed as a racially motivated injustice.’
  • Johnson, whose consensual relationship with a white woman was seen then by many as taboo, fled to Europe but returned in 1920 and spent a year in prison.

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump on Thursday issued a posthumous pardon to Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight boxing champion, who was sent to prison a century ago in a racially charged case.
Trump said Johnson, the “Galveston Giant,” was the victim of what “many viewed as a racially motivated injustice.”
Johnson, who held the heavyweight title from 1908-15, was convicted by an all-white jury in 1913 of taking a woman across state lines for “immoral purposes.”
Johnson, whose consensual relationship with a white woman was seen then by many as taboo, fled to Europe but returned in 1920 and spent a year in prison.
Johnson died in a car crash in 1946 at the age of 68.
Trump signed the pardon at a ceremony in the Oval Office attended by “Rocky” actor Sylvester Stallone, current WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and former champion Lennox Lewis.
“Today as president, I’ve issued an executive grant of clemency, a full pardon, posthumously to John Arthur Jack Johnson,” Trump said. “The first African American heavyweight champion of the world, a truly great fighter.”
Trump said the conviction “occurred during a period of tremendous racial tension in the United States more than a century ago” and that Johnson had a “very tough life.”
Senator John McCain and other members of Congress and celebrities such as Stallone, who portrayed Rocky Balboa in the movie “Rocky,” have long fought for a pardon for Johnson.
“This was very important to Sylvester Stallone, my friend for a long time,” Trump said.
Linda Haywood, a great-great niece of Johnson, also attended the White House pardon ceremony.
McCain, who has been ailing as he battles brain cancer, welcomed the move.
“This action finally rights a historical wrong, restores a great athlete’s legacy & closes a shameful chapter in our history,” McCain said in a tweet.
During the ceremony, Trump could not resist taking a jab at former president Barack Obama, saying it was “very disappointing for a lot of people” that his predecessor had not pardoned Johnson.
The pardon came just hours after Trump said American football players who refuse to stand for the national anthem “maybe shouldn’t be in the country.”
Most of the National Football League players who have taken part in the kneeling protests against police brutality have been African Americans.
Johnson was born March 31, 1878, in Galveston, Texas, and went 78-8 with 12 draws and 45 knockouts.
He took the heavyweight title on December 26, 1908 in Sydney when police stopped his fight against Tommy Burns in the 14th round after Johnson had beaten the Canadian into submission.
Johnson defended his crown nine times, notably in 1910 over former champion James J. Jeffries, who came out of retirement as “The Great White Hope,” in what was billed as “The Fight of the Century.”
Johnson beat Jim Flynn in 1912 in the first Las Vegas title fight, twice defended the crown in Paris, and then lost it at Havana in 1915 when Jess Willard knocked him out in the 26th round of the longest heavyweight title fight ever.


Pakistan rides pacer Abbas to test series win over Australia

Updated 19 October 2018
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Pakistan rides pacer Abbas to test series win over Australia

  • Australia was bowled out for 164 after lunch on the fourth day after given an improbable winning target of 538
  • Right-arm seamer Mohammad Abbas grabbed a match haul of 10-95

ABU DHABI: Seamer Mohammad Abbas grabbed a match haul of 10-95 as Pakistan recorded an emphatic 373-run victory over Australia in the second test to clinch the series 1-0 on Friday.
Australia was bowled out for 164 after lunch on the fourth day after given an improbable winning target of 538.
Usman Khawaja, whose herculean century helped Australia salvage a draw in the first test, couldn’t bat in the second innings after tearing a left knee cartilage in the warmup on Thursday.
Australia sorely missed Khawaja-like grit from any of its batsmen on Friday.
Abbas, on a slow turning pitch, again jolted the top order with four quick wickets in the first hour on day four. The right-arm seamer then had top scorer Marnus Labuschagne caught behind for 43 after lunch to finish with 5-62 to go along with his first innings effort of 5-33.
Legspinner Yasir Shah ran through the tailenders with 3-45, finishing off the match by having Jon Holland caught in the slips on 3.
Looking to hold out for more than two days for a draw, Australia began the day on 47-1.
Travis Head (36) and Aaron Finch (31) stretched their second-wicket stand to 61 runs before Abbas struck four blows in a high-class exhibition of seam and swing bowling.
Head edged to substitute wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan, standing in after captain Sarfraz Ahmed went to hospital for precautionary scans when he woke up on Friday and complained of headaches.
Abbas then had Mitchell Marsh lbw on 5 when Pakistan successfully went for a video referral against umpire Richard Illingworth’s not out decision.
Pakistan stand-in captain Asad Shafiq outsmarted Finch’s tactic of standing well outside his crease while facing Abbas, by making Rizwan stand close to the stumps, forcing the batsman inside the crease. The switch paid off as Abbas trapped Finch lbw.
Two balls later, captain Tim Paine was out without scoring while trying to leave a ball that nipped back enough and knocked over the off stump.
Shah then had Mitchell Starc (28) and Peter Siddle (3) both leg before wicket. Siddle could have survived but chose not to go for a video referral as the replays suggested the ball pitched outside leg stump.
Labuschagne shared the best partnership of the innings by adding 67 runs with Starc for the sixth wicket before Abbas returned after lunch and had him caught behind off a short-pitched delivery.