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Johnson earned respect, drew anger

Originally Published: February 14, 2007
By Kieran Mulvaney | Special to ESPN.com

Sixty years before Muhammad Ali, there was Jack Johnson.

Like Ali, Johnson was the dominant heavyweight of his era. Like Ali, he challenged the notions of how a heavyweight champion -- particularly a black heavyweight champion -- should act, and he outraged much of white society in the process. And like Ali, he was a hero to most African-Americans but also earned the ire of many of his fellow black boxers for his behavior, which many felt was disrespectful, reflected badly on the rest ...

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