Jack Johnson, who became the first black man to become World Heavyweight champ, was posthumously pardoned for a 1913 conviction for violating the Mann Act on Thursday.
President Donald Trump pardoned Johnson, saying that he received a call from actor Sylvester Stallone back in April that made him consider the pardon for Johnson.
“I am taking this very righteous step, I believe, to correct a wrong that occurred in our history and to honor a truly legendary boxing champion,” Trump said during an Oval Office ceremony, where he was joined by Stallone and boxers Lennox Lewis and WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder. “It’s my honor to do it. It’s about time.”
Trump went on to say that Johnson had served 10 months in prison “for what many view as a racially motivated injustice.”
Johnson finished with a career record of 73-13-10 and was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.
Johnson died in 1946, at 68, in a car crash in North Carolina.