Peter Jackson (boxer)

Peter Jackson

Peter Jackson in 1889
Real name Peter Jackson
Nickname(s) Peter the Great; Black Prince
Rated at Heavyweight
Born (1861-07-03)3 July 1861
Christiansted, Danish West Indies
Died 13 July 1901(1901-07-13) (aged 40)
Boxing record
Total fights 100
Wins 51
Wins by KO 30
Losses 5
Draws 13
No contests 31

Peter "Black Prince" Jackson (3 July 1861 – 13 July 1901)[1] was a heavyweight boxer from Australia who had a significant international career.


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 he was the grandson of a freed slave who had been owned by a planter with the surname of Jackson.

Born a free man, the future boxer was in fact a Danish citizen before he gained Australian citizenship. Jackson had a good primary school education before becoming a mariner. Landing in Sydney about 1880, he worked on the waterfront and in hotels before drifting to Brisbane, and thence into a career in boxing in 1882 under the tuition of Larry Foley, a famous Australian bare-knuckle pugilist and instructor.

Standing 6' 1½" (187 cm) tall and weighing in at 190 lbs (87 kg) he became the winner of the Australian Heavyweight championship in 1886. Originally working on ships as a deck hand in the Sydney Docks since he was 14, he used his fist to quell a mutiny. This garnered him some notoriety and brought him to the attention of Larry Foley and started his career in boxing. He came to be known as "Black Prince" and "Peter the Great".[3]


Peter Jackson

Jackson won the Australian heavyweight title in 1886 with a knockout of Tom Lees in the 30th round, and the British Commonwealth title against Jem Smith by KO in the second round. In 1888 he beat "Old Chocolate" Godfrey to gain the world 'colored' heavyweight championship.[3]

On 21 May 1891, in Benicia, California Jackson fought the future world champion James Corbett because the reigning title-holder, John L. Sullivan, would not fight him because he was black. The match with Corbett went 61 rounds before it was declared no contest, as both boxers were too exhausted to continue.[3]

In 1898 he lost a bout to the powerfully built James J. Jeffries, another great boxer who would hold the championship of the world in the early 1900s.

Jackson's health began to fail towards the end of his career, hampering his performances in the ring.

He had been 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.

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.[4]

Jackson's tomb is emblazoned with the words "This was a man".

Professional boxing record

Peter Jackson & James Corbett
Gravesite of Peter Jackson at Toowong Cemetery.

Peter Jackson's boxing record has been tabulated at the website[5]

See also


  1. Petersen, Bob (2011). "Tropical Danish, 1860-1879". Peter Jackson: A Biography of the Australian Heavyweight Champion, 1860-1901. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 5. ISBN 9780786458813. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Broome, Richard (1983). "Jackson, Peter (1861–1901)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 2008-03-22.
  4. Peter Jackson - "The Black Prince" by Tony DeBolfo
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
George Godfrey
World Colored Heavyweight Champion
24 August 1888 - 1896
Succeeded by
Bob Armstrong
Won vacant title
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