Mahershala Ali to play boxer Jack Johnson in new HBO series

MahershalaAli_WeDayConferenceTwo-time Oscar winner Mahershala Ali has signed on to play boxing legend Jack Johnson in a new HBO series.

Unruly will be based on the documentary Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson, directed by Ken Burns.

Ali previously played Johnson, the world’s first black heavyweight boxing champion, in a stage production of The Great White Hope in 2000.

Jackson once took part in a boxing match, dubbed “the fight of the century”, in 1910 against James J. Jeffries and ruled the boxing world from 1908 to 1915.