Peter Jackson was one of the greatest boxers of the world of all times. Peter Jackson was a master boxer-puncher of the first class who possessed a dangerous technique of “One-Two”. He was elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in the year 1990.
Peter Jackson was born on 3 July, 1861 on the island of St. Croix, Virgin Islands in West Indies. His father was a carpenter and Peter Jackson had four sisters and three brothers. He moved to Australia along with his family at the age of six years. Although later on his parents returned back to the Caribbean Islands, he continued to remain in Australia. During his initial years in Australia, Peter Jackson did a variety of works, like that of wharves and then as a deck assistant on various ships. Peter Jackson quelled a mutiny by using his fist and this brought him in the attention of Larry Foley. Thereafter he received expert guidance from Larry Foley and under his supervision he started his professional boxing career.
Peter Jackson fought seven matches between 1883 and 1886. Once he fought with bare knuckles and lost the match to Australian champion Bill Farnan in the year 1884. Thereafter, Peter Jackson won the Australian heavyweight championship in the year 1886 at a knockout match with Tom Lees. On account of this victory he received a special belt from Larry Foley which is presently in personal possession of a Sydney based collector. He was 6ft 1˝ inches and weighed 190 lbs. and this combination gave him a rare coordination of pace and power. He was an intelligent boxer who had an excellent ploy, a super left-right pattern and a strong punch. In 1888, Peter Jackson left Australia for a tour of Britain and USA.
After reaching USA, most leading fighters denied to fight with Peter Jackson on grounds of racial disparity. For instance, John L. Sullivan, the leading U.S. boxer and the then world champion denied to fight a Negro boxer. Peter Jackson could not win the world championship title because of this racial discrimination. There is no doubt of the fact that Peter Jackson was a far superior boxer than Sullivan and many others of his league. He fought with 28 boxers of England and USA between the period of 1888 and 1892 and lost none of the matches. The nearest he came to witness defeat was in a match against Joe Gerrard in 1890. The most memorable fight of his life was the four-hour long and 61 rounds match with James J. Corbett on 21 May 1891. This match was finally declared a draw since both the fighters had finally lost their energy.
Peter Jackson was a very sophisticated gentleman and many writers have highly praised him for his good behaviour on the boxing ring. He had a great sportsmanship spirit and modest nature and never reacted against the racial bias shown towards him. Peter Jackson was named “The Black Prince”.
During his last years, Peter Jackson became a boxing tutor, then worked as a publican and became an actor in “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”. He lost many matches in his last years and was finally transported to Queensland where he died of tuberculosis on 13 July 1901. His tomb has an inscription which reads, “This was a man”.