Jack Johnson: Winning the championship from Tommy Burns and correcting Stanley Ketchel’s knocking him down by wiping Ketchel’s embedded teeth from his own gloves.
For Muhammad Ali: Any fight with Joe Frazier, Sonny Liston, Floyd Paterson and the famous Ernie Terrell’s beat down.
For Floyd Mayweather: The one that stood out was the Gati massacre. As well as several others including Gregorio Vargas, Henry Bruseles and Phillip Ndou
However, I feel that Floyd Mayweather is Iconic as perhaps the greatest defensive fighter in boxing, the most technical fighter and certainly THE most ACCURATE boxer in all of boxing, at least according to the subjective compubox scoring system. He is so efficient and sharp that no less than Laila Ali as said that he was a better boxer than her father. Each is/were hated for their attitude, their loud and incessant chatter and arrogance, yet grudgingly acknowledged as masters of their craft by more than a few. Though I hear people say Jack Johnson wasn’t a good fighter and based this piece of shit statement by pointing to the more refined techniques of today. We are talking different era, different progress people. You did see the earlier video here on the African bare knuckle fighters’ part 1 here is the link, go back to school on in the ascension of modern boxing from its beginning.
In the case of Jack Johnson, who I feel had more of a significant impact that the other two, since he fought at a time when it was dangerous for an African man to step outside his door, much less publicly challenge Caucasian men to fights AND pimp stepping with Caucasian women in public. One as to realize and over stand the significance of Jack Johnson fighting between the years 1900 and 1915 and when he defeated Tommy Burns for the Championship. After that match there were riots in 25 states and 50 cities. This was during the heights of Jim Crow when he became the most famous and the most notorious African in America and on Earth. During the period 1900-1915 the corporate entity called America Inc., was cannibalizing itself. Roving packs of predators savaged the lives of Africans in a period that many African men today, including gangbangers, would not want to be in.
The Dred Scot Supreme Court decision in 1857 where anti-African hatred was sanctioned helped shaped America’s actions and reactions to African people at home and abroad.
Between 1900 and 1921 America experienced more than a few ethnic slaughters that were styled as riots:
- Robert Charles Riot in New Orleans, LA, 1900
- Anti-Semitic Riot or Jacob Joseph Riot in New York City, 1902
- Bloomington Race Riot, IN, 1903
- Atlanta Race Riot, 1906
- Springfield Race Right, IL, 1908
- East St. Louis Riot, 1917
- Houston Race Riot, 1917
- May Day Riot in Cleveland, 1919
- Red Summer of 1919
- Tulsa Race Riot, 1921
This was the time period that Jack Johnson lived and challenged institutionalized belief that African men should not be openly brazen in looking, talking or being near Caucasians…especially their women.
In many eyes, even to this day, Muhammad Ali was perceived as a talented but loud mouth clown who rhymed and made poetry before and during fight negotiations. He was “colourful” as Caucasians would say and even then his “antics” weren’t readily accepted leading up to his trapping and slaying the big bad bear, Sonny Liston. However, whether because many Caucasians refused to believe the complexity in all people, particularly Africans, Ali’s association with Malcolm X (El Hajj Malik Al Shabazz) further shocked the world AFTER the shocking upset of Liston, when he announced after the fight that he has renounced Christianity, his slave masters name and from then will be known as Muhammad Ali. Suddenly he wasn’t as funny, or a clown. He was an idiot, unpatriotic and crazy. If his destruction of Ernie Terrell didn’t indicate how serious he was about his new belief, then refusing to be conscripted as fodder for the “white man’s” war in Vietnam surely sealed the deal. Ali became the rallying point for not only anti war sentiment, but who can forget this never to be seen again image? Many people have placed Ali as more Iconic than Johnson, because he ascended during the turbulent sixties, when the whole planet was going through changes that could be recorded and viewed in our living rooms. This was a period when people actually pursued real spiritual upliftment and the all too deep desire to call out in just us by corporate entities. They would protest, clash with the state sponsored goons (the po-lice) practice love in the new age and tribal ways and even massively “escaped”, with little white/blue/red etc; helpers, from the craziness around them. This was also a period when the America’s main foot mat, next to the Aboriginals, rose up an voiced, “I’ black and proud and I ain’t taken it no more”. With the insights that he got from the Nation of Islam, Ali brought an intelligent and introspective quality to the image of the African athlete, never seen before on such a large stage and the liberals loved it. For an African athlete to such eloquence, intelligence and personality and could still physically kick ass, opened up another window into the multidimensional soul of African people. At least to most non Africans. And even then, he did it without bucking and shuffling and scratching is ass.