Sylvester Stallone to Develop Jack Johnson Biopic Under New Production Company

The movie will follow the life of Jack Johnson, the first African-American heavyweight champion who is regarded as one of the greatest boxers of all time.

AceShowbiz - Sylvester Stallone has launched a new production company named after his most famous character, Rocky Balboa.

The 71-year-old is planning to develop a movie about Jack Johnson, the first African American heavyweight champion, under his new Balboa Productions banner.

News of his new venture comes after Stallone earned Johnson a posthumous pardon from U.S. President Donald Trump last week, ends May 25. The late athlete was convicted of violating the Mann Act, which made it illegal to transport women across state lines for "immoral" reasons, by an all-white jury in 1913.

Stallone led a campaign requesting Trump use his presidential power to exonerate the late sports star, who died in 1946, and the actor joined the President in the Oval Office on Thursday, May 24, as he officially signed the pardon.

Johnson is widely regarded as one of the greatest boxers of all time, as he held the heavyweight championship belt for seven years despite a string of white opponents, each dubbed 'the great white hope', attempting to dethrone him. His 1910 fight against former champion James Jeffries was once dubbed The Fight of the Century.

The sportsman served 10 months in prison following a conviction many view as racially motivated - as his success, extravagant lifestyle and marriages to white women caused uproar at the time.

It is unclear when the film will go into production with Stallone currently busy filming Creed 2.

Meanwhile, Stallone has entered Balboa Productions into a multi-year deal with bosses at Starlight Culture Entertainment to develop feature films.

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