The temperature was about 105 degrees on that day in 1915 when Jack Johnson fought Jess Willard—unless it was closer to 70.
Like a protagonist in a Bob Dylan song, Jack Johnson was a trickster genius, never an easy man to characterize.
The first black man to win the heavyweight title, Johnson was breaking a color line first drawn by John L. Sullivan.
Part of the intrigue for the reader is trying to parse when he is in earnest, when he is knowingly deceiving us, and when he is perhaps deceiving himself.
The heavyweight championship leaves traces of itself in the most unlikely places, if you know where to look.
...one of my toughest tasks in writing my Johnson chapter was having to cut so much interesting stuff about him, especially his time in Europe and Mexico...