This Day in History: 2017-05-06
May 12, 1902 – “Joe Gans Becomes World’s First African-American Boxing Champion” Joe Gans defeated Frank Erne to become the world’s first African-American to win World Championship in any weight class. He became a world champion a full six years before famed boxer Jack Johnson. This is because Johnson’s attempts at challenging for the heavyweight title were thwarted as James J. Jeffries refused to face him. Gans and Johnson were two early champions in a sport dominated by African-Americans throughout the 20th century.