As far as preparation for the ring, Johnson’s condition bears the unmistakable mark of physical training and the old photos from the training camps in his era certainly back it up.He threw the medicine ball performed calisthenics, jumped rope, chopped wood and generally engaged in exactly the kind of physical training he would have needed to in order to compete for (and Win!) the Heavyweight championship of the world.
The tale of the tape from the Johnson/Jeffries fight indicates that Johnson had a 7-7/8 inch wrist, 15-1/4 inch flexed forearm and 17-inch flexed upper arm all at a 210-pound bodyweight. You may not realize this but Jack Johnson also was a performing strongman after his boxing days were over and one of his favorite feats was the human chain.
The newspapers of the day followed Heenan’s training regimen with great interest and among his preparations for the fight, Heenan swung Indian clubs to condition his shoulders (a gift from Sim Kehoe himself!) Despite giving up forty pounds and five inches in height, Heenan was in fine fettle come fight time. Above is a rare engraving showing Heenan’s clubs and exercise shoes. As for the fight, the action lasted forty-two rounds spread out over two hours. you can read more about the outcome HERE.