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    1908 Johnson vs. Burns Fight Program, Postcard & Theater Program. Presented is one of just a tiny handful of known surviving examples of the Jack Johnson vs. Tommy Burns fight program, issued at The Stadium in Sydney, Australia on the day after Christmas, 1908. The century that has passed since its issue, and the fact that any lost examples that might still exist remain half a world away from American collectors, has made this program marking Johnson's assumption of the Heavyweight title a true holy grail piece for advanced hobbyists.

    It was a match that almost didn't happen. Johnson was forced to chase Tommy Burns all over the world, taunting him in the press, before the Canadian pugilist consented to meet him in the ring. The fight lasted fourteen rounds before police stepped into the ring to stop the contest. The title was awarded to Johnson on a referee's decision as a technical knockout, and though Johnson had had several chances to finish the fight, he chose instead to hold Burns up so as to prolong the beating. Johnson mocked both Burns and his ringside crew as he went about his dominating performance, further fanning the flames of racial animosity that made him the most hated Champion in boxing history. From this moment until Jess Willard's victory over Johnson in 1915, the white boxing world cried out for a "Great White Hope" to remove him from his position as king of the boxing world, suffering his reign as a personal insult.

    The offered program is the finest that has yet surfaced, remaining tightly bound with no loose or missing pages, and no tearing or staining to note. A very minor dog ear to the top right corner accounts for the bulk of condition issues, which should indicate just how remarkably well the program has survived. An EX-MT grade may well be overly conservative.

    Accompanying the program is a large (4.5x7.5") postcard featuring an image of the event snapped between the third and fourth rounds with a lengthy caption regarding the results, gate, attendance, etc. EX. Finally, a theater program which serves as a guide to the motion picture of the contest. Four pages. G-VG.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2009
    1st-2nd Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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