Trump considering pardon for boxing champion after call from Sylvester Stallone

Pablo Martinez Monsivais  AP

Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Trump, spurred by a phone call from Sylvester Stallone, tweeted Saturday that he's thinking about posthumously pardoning the trailblazing fighter.

Trump has now said that after a call by Hollywood actor Sylvester Stallone, he is considering pardoning Johnson, convicted of breaking a law that was amended more than 50 years later for being too vague. "His trials and tribulations were great, his life complex and controversial", Mr Trump wrote on Twitter. ".I am considering a Full Pardon!".

In 1913 Johnson was charged under the Mann Act with transporting a prostitute across state lines. Since 2004, Republican Senator John McCain from Arizona has backed a Johnson pardon, and legendary boxer Mike Tyson opened a Change.org petition asking Obama that Johnson should receive a posthumous pardon. Johnson first became the heavyweight champion in 1908 when he beat Tommy Burns in a fight in Sydney, Australia.

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While Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) has had a posthumous pardon of Johnson (the boxer died in 1946 in a vehicle crash) on his to-do list for years, and McCain was actually joined by Sen. However, he skipped bail with one of the women involved, Lucie Cameron, and traveled to Montreal, Mexico, Europe and South America for years, the Post added. This comes shortly after the president issued a pardon for Scooter Libby - the former Dick Cheney official who was convicted for perjury and obstruction of justice in 2007. Coined the "Fight of the Century", Jeffries lost to Johnson on July 4, 1910, in Reno, Nevada, after 15 rounds. Johnson was sentenced to a year and one day in prison. He died in 1946 in an auto crash.

The family "didn't talk about it because they were ashamed of him, that he went to prison", Linda E. Haywood, 61, has said of her great-great uncle.

"He had money, and even with his money, he couldn't stop it", Haywood said. And Jack Johnson was the first great showman. Johnson was black, his girlfriend was white.

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Haywood has pressed to have Johnson pardoned since President George W. Bush was in office, a decade ago.

Discussion of a presidential pardon has come up in the past - but nothing ever materialized.

Campaigns for posthumous pardons have been in motion since the turn of the century, but have not found much success. President Bill Clinton pardoned Henry O. Flipper, the first African-American officer to lead the Buffalo Soldiers of the 10th Cavalry Regiment during the Civil War; he was framed for embezzlement.

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Johnson's niece has pushed Trump to get a pardon.

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