Undefeated, former champ Jim Jeffries was lured out of a 6 years retirement to, as he said, "demonstrate that a white man is king of them all." He also said, "It's money I'm after, man." And he got it.
Jeffries was guaranteed a "$101,000 purse, movie rights and a $10,000 bonus" to shed over 110 pounds and step into the ring with Jack Johnson. The deep pockets anti-Johnson lobby was rabid with rage, led by racist novelist Jack London who urged him "to wipe that smile off Johnson's face."
Despite holding the belt. "The Galveston Giant" was paid only $65,000.
The newsreel footage of the 15 round fight was expanded into a feature length documentary, at the cost of $250,000. Several America film companies had filmed the fight.
There were unsubstantiated rumors that Johnson, while champion, made secret deals with newsreel companies to carry an opponent several rounds so sufficient footage could be taken.
In his 1929 autobiography Jeffries claimed to be in a fog as he entered the arena f...