1908 'The Fight of the Century' Down Under
I very rarely cover competitive sports in the Almanac, as they get plenty of coverage elsewhere and I don't believe them conducive to inter-communal harmony.
However, on this occasion (and it is Boxing Day, after all) I will mention a remarkable event: the 1908 World Heavyweight Boxing Championship fought a long way from home by two Americans -- one black, one white -- in a 10,000-seat stadium especially constructed for the bout. The building was meant to be torn down afterwards, but lasted another 62 years and even Bob Dylan, The Who and the Beatles played it.
The stadium was more than packed full for its premiere function. Twenty thousand boxing fans watched the Jack Johnson/Tommy Burns fight at The Stadium, Rushcutters Bay, Sydney, Australia (the first time ever in boxing history a black man -- in this case Johnson -- had been allowed to fight for the World Heavyweight Championship, boxing's most prestigious prize).
The fight was covered by telegraph for the New York Herald by American author Jack London (The Call of the Wild), who was recuperating in Sydney from a double fistula operation, which interrupted his South Pacific wanderings ...Tagged: trivia, boxing, sport, australia