1. In 1805, he was the first black to become a prominent boxer in England. He was also the first black to pursue boxing as a career and the first American boxer to become highly successful at it.
2. On September 25, 1886, he became the first black to win a national boxing crown, the Australian heavyweight title.
3. Nicknamed “Little Chocolate,” he was the first African American world champion in boxing (1890), the first African American to hold an American title in any sport and first African American to win the featherweight and paperweight world championships.
4. Nicknamed “The Barbados Demon” he was the first African-American to win a welterweight championship title on December 18, 1901 and later that night won the New England lightweight and middleweight wrestling titles.
5. He was the first black heavyweight boxing champion. Throughout his career he lost only 5 of 97 fights. Due to his fearless, flambuoyant lifestyle, he was often the center of controversy and one of the most hated men in America.
6. Nicknamed “Killer Joe” he was the first African-American to score a one round knockout when he defeated German boxer Max Schmelling on June 22, 1938 and became a national sports hero.