Peter Jackson (boxer)

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Peter Jackson
Peter Jackson boxer 1889.jpg
Peter Jackson in 1889
Statistics
Real name Peter Jackson
Nickname(s) Peter the Great
Weight(s) Heavyweight
Born (1861-07-03)3 July 1861
Christiansted, Danish West Indies
Died 13 July 1901(1901-07-13) (aged 40)
Roma, Queensland, Australia
Boxing record
Total fights 100
Wins 51
Wins by KO 30
Losses 5
Draws 13
No contests 31

Peter Jackson (3 July 1861 – 13 July 1901)[1] was a heavyweight boxer from Australia who had a significant international career. Jackson was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in the inagural 1990 class, as well as being the 2004 inductee for the Australian National Boxing Hall of Fame in the Pioneers category.

Early life[edit]

Jackson was born in Christiansted on the island Saint Croix, which was then the capital of the Danish West Indies. (Subsequently, it became part of the U.S. Virgin Islands.) His family originally came from Montego Bay, Jamaica.[2] His father, also called Peter Jackson, was a warehouseman and the grandson of a freed slave who had been owned by a planter with the surname of Jackson. Born a free man, Peter was in fact a Danish citizen before he gained Australian citizenship. Jackson had a good primary school education before becoming a mariner. Originally working on ships as a deck hand in the Sydney Docks since he was 14, he used his fists to quell a mutiny. This garnered him some notoriety and brought him to the attention of Larry Foley which started his career in boxing.[3]

Professional career[edit]

Peter Jackson

Jackson won the Australian heavyweight title in 1886 with a knockout of Tom Lees in the 30th round. Jackson was at one stage a pupil of "The Black Diamond" Jack Dowridge, a Barbadian Immigrant who pioneered boxing in Queensland, Australia. Among Dowridge's other pupils was "Gentleman Jack" John Reid McGowan, a fellow Australian National Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee. After establishing his boxing career, and like many of Australia's best boxers of this era, Jackson left for America. He arrived in San Francisco in May 12, 1888.[1] and promptly beat "Old Chocolate" Godfrey to gain the world 'colored' heavyweight championship.[3] During his stay in America, Jackson frequently sparred with Lees. Jackson would become an instructor at the California Athletic Club in San Francisco. He was considered one of the most "scientific" boxers of his day due to his footwork and technical proficiency.[1][4]

Jackson would once again embark on to strange lands after a year in America, leaving that country for Great Britain. Jackson fought for a 1,000 pounds and the inaugural British Commonwealth title against Jem Smith, winning due to the latter's use of wrestling tactics in the second round.[5] Later that year, during a short stay in Dublin, Jackson challenged anyone to stay in the ring with him for 4 rounds. Local champion Peter Maher, who was 20 years old at the time, was the man who took up his bet. Jackson thoroughly beat him in 3 rounds. Maher would go on to have a successful career, winning over 100 bouts. During Jackson's later years there was talk of a rematch against Maher that never materialized.[1]

Jackson repeatedly tried to secure a fight against world champion John L. Sullivan to no avail. Sullivan cited the color bar as the reason for his refusal, claiming he would never fight a black man. On 21 May 1891, in Benicia, California Jackson fought the future world champion James Corbett. The match with Corbett went 61 rounds before it was declared no contest, as both boxers were too exhausted to continue.[3] Jackson's last defense of his Commonwealth title came against his long-time rival and fellow Australian Frank Slavin. Both Slavin and Jackson had trained under Larry Foley and a real feud had existed between them for several years, due to Slavin's racism and a romantic triangle with a woman named Josie Leon. Although they had brawled before, this was the first and only professional bout between them. After a frenetic start to the fight, Jackson would gain the upper hand en route to a 10th round knockout of Slavin.[6]

After a long hiatus in which he only took part in exhibitions, he lost a bout to the powerfully built James J. Jeffries. Jeffries was another great boxer who would hold the championship of the world in the early 1900s.

Life after boxing[edit]

Jackson gained some fame during his stay in America. He stated his desire to play Othello, but it never came to fruition.[7] However, he starred in a touring production of Uncle Tom's Cabin. Despite his celebrity, Jackson would run into financial troubles following his retirement from the ring. Jackson's health rapidly decayed following his bout against Jeffries, making it impossible for him to box. Several benefits were held in order to send him back to Australia.[8]

Jackson died of tuberculosis in Roma, Queensland and was buried at Toowong Cemetery.[3] A short time after becoming the first black heavyweight champion of the world in 1908, "The Galveston Giant" Jack Johnson, made a pilgrimage to Jackson's grave, a measure of the respect in which the man was held not only in Queensland, but in the boxing community worldwide.[9] Jackson's tomb is emblazoned with the words "This was a man".

Professional boxing record[edit]

[10]

Gravesite of Peter Jackson at Toowong Cemetery.
Peter Jackson & James Corbett
Professional record summary
52 fights 42 wins 5 losses
By knockout 30 3
By decision 9 2
By disqualification 3 0
Draws 3
No contests 2
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round Date Location Notes
71 Loss 42-5-3 (2) United States Jim Jeffords TKO 4 Aug 23, 1899 Canada Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
70 Loss 42-4-3 (2) United States James J. Jeffries KO 2 Mar 22, 1899 United States San Francisco, California, USA
69 Win N/A United States Denny Kelliher NWS 3 Nov 28, 1892 United States Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
68 Win 42-3-3 (2) Australia Frank Slavin KO 10 May 30, 1892 United Kingdom National Sporting Club, London, United Kingdom Retained Commonwealth heavyweight title
67 Win 41-3-3 (2) United States Joe Butler PTS 3 Feb 17, 1892 United States Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
66 Win 40-3-3 (2) United States Jack King TKO 2 Jan 12, 1892 United States Chicago, Illinois, USA
65 Win 39-3-3 (2) United States James Dalton KO 3 Jan 12, 1892 United States Chicago, Illinois, USA
64 N/A 38-3-3 (2) United States James J. Corbett NC 61 May 21, 1891 United States California A.C., San Francisco, California, USA
63 Draw N/A Australia Mick Dooley NWS 4 Nov 19, 1890 Australia Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
62 Draw 38-3-3 (1) Australia Joe Goddard PTS 8 Oct 20, 1890 Australia Melbourne, Victoria, Australia Retained Commonwealth heavyweight title
61 Draw N/A Australia Martin Costello NWS 4 Sep 18, 1890 Australia Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
60 Win N/A Australia Mick O'Brien NWS 4 Sep 13, 1890 Australia Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
59 Draw N/A Australia Martin Costello NWS 4 Sep 9, 1890 Australia Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
58 Draw N/A Australia Martin Costello NWS 4 Sep 8, 1890 Australia Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
57 Draw N/A Australia Mick Dooley NWS 3 Sep 2, 1890 Australia Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
56 Draw N/A Australia Mick Dooley NWS 4 Aug 30, 1890 Australia Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
55 Win 38-3-2 (1) United States Tom Johnson PTS 4 Jul 22, 1890 United States Marysville, California, USA
54 Win 37-3-2 (1) United Kingdom "Denver" Ed Smith TKO 5 May 19, 1890 United States Chicago, Illinois, USA
53 Win 36-3-2 (1) United States Dick Keating KO 1 Apr 1890 United States Louisville, Kentucky, USA
52 N/A 35-3-2 (1) United States Jack Fallon NC 2 Mar 04, 1890 United States Brooklyn, New York, USA
51 Win 35-3-2 United States Guy the Gypsy KO 2 Feb 21, 1890 United States Washington, District of Columbia, USA
50 Win 34-3-2 United States James J. Walker KO 1 Feb 20, 1890 United States Washington, District of Columbia, USA
49 Win 33-3-2 Ireland Peter Maher RTD 3 Dec 24, 1889 Ireland Leinster Hall, Dublin, Ireland
48 Win 32-3-2 United Kingdom W Woodhams TKO 3 Dec 2, 1889 United Kingdom Brighton, United Kingdom
47 Win 31-3-2 United Kingdom Scotchy Gunn PTS 4 Dec 2, 1889 United Kingdom Brighton, United Kingdom
46 Win 30-3-2 United Kingdom Woolf Bendoff TKO 2 Nov 29, 1889 United Kingdom Portsmouth, United Kingdom
45 Win 29-3-2 United Kingdom Sailor White TKO 3 Nov 29, 1889 United Kingdom Portsmouth, United Kingdom
44 Win 28-3-2 United Kingdom Skinner DQ 2 Nov 27, 1889 United Kingdom Plymouth, United Kingdom
43 Win 27-3-2 United Kingdom Charles Burgin TKO 2 Nov 23, 1889 United Kingdom London, United Kingdom
42 Win 26-3-2 United Kingdom Horace Horrigan TKO 2 Nov 21, 1889 United Kingdom Astley's Amphitheatre, London, United Kingdom
41 Win 25-3-2 United Kingdom Jem Smith DQ 2 Nov 11, 1889 United Kingdom London, United Kingdom Won Commonwealth heavyweight title
40 Win 24-3-2 United Kingdom Alf Mitchell PTS 4 Oct 15, 1889 United Kingdom Astley's Amphitheatre, London, United Kingdom
39 Win 23-3-2 United Kingdom Alf Ball KO 2 Oct 15, 1889 United Kingdom Astley's Amphitheatre, London, United Kingdom
38 Win 22-3-2 United Kingdom Jem Young PTS 4 Oct 14, 1889 United Kingdom Astley's Amphitheatre, London, United Kingdom
37 Win 21-3-2 United Kingdom Jack Partridge KO 3 Oct 7, 1889 United Kingdom Astley's Amphitheatre, London, United Kingdom
36 Win 20-3-2 United States Jack Fallon PTS 4 Aug 19, 1889 United States New York City, New York, USA
35 Win 19-3-2 United States James Ginger McCormick KO 2 Aug 9, 1889 United States Hoboken, New Jersey, USA
34 Win 18-3-2 United States Billy Baker RTD 3 Aug 8, 1889 United States Hoboken, New Jersey, USA
33 Win 17-3-2 United States Paddy Brennan TKO 1 Aug 5, 1889 United States Buffalo, New York, USA
32 Win 16-3-2 United States Tom Lynch DQ 2 Jul 30, 1889 United States Buffalo, New York, USA
31 Win 15-3-2 United States Billy Baker PTS 4 Jul 29, 1889 United States Buffalo, New York, USA
30 Win 14-3-2 United States George Peters TKO 3 Jul 25, 1889 United States Detroit, Michigan, USA
29 Win 13-3-2 United States Charles Brown TKO 4 Jul 11, 1889 United States Chicago, Illinois, USA
28 Win 12-3-2 United States Shorty Kincaid TKO 2 May 11, 1889 United States Virginia City, Nevada, USA
27 Win 11-3-2 Canada Patsy Cardiff TKO 10 Apr 26, 1889 United States California A.C., San Francisco, California, USA
26 Win 10-3-2 United States Joe McAuliffe KO 24 Dec 28, 1888 United States California A.C., San Francisco, California, USA
25 Win 9-3-2 United States George Godfrey TKO 19 Aug 24, 1888 United States California A.C., San Francisco, California, USA Won the World Colored Heavyweight Championship
24 Win 8-3-2 United States MJ Sullivan KO 2 June 20, 1888 United States San Francisco, California, USA

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Tom Lees
Australian Heavyweight Champion
25 September 1886 - 1888
Succeeded by
Frank Slavin
Won vacant title
Preceded by
George Godfrey
World Colored Heavyweight Champion
24 August 1888 - 1896
Succeeded by
Bob Armstrong
Won vacant title