Sylvester Stallone making biopic about boxer Jack Johnson

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In this 1932 file photo, boxer Jack Johnson, the first black world heavyweight champion, poses in New York City. Sylvester Stallone has announced plans for a biopic on the first African-American heavyweight champion. | AP Photo/File

NEW YORK — Days after the presidential pardon of Jack Johnson, Sylvester Stallone has announced plans for a biopic on the first African-American heavyweight champion.

Stallone said Wednesday that his newly launched Balboa Productions will start with a film about Johnson. On Thursday, Stallone stood next to President Donald Trump in the Oval Office as he signed a rare posthumous pardon to Johnson, who served 10 months in prison in what Trump called “a racially-motivated injustice.”

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Trump has said Stallone was instrumental in bringing Johnson’s story to his attention.

Stallone’s production company said the film will be fast-tracked with Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures.

Stallone has said Johnson was the basis for the character Apollo Creed in the “Rocky” films. The 71-year-old actor is currently in production on “Creed II” with MGM.

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