Excerpt from Wiki:
Jackson was born in Christiansted on the island Saint Croix, which was then the capital of the Danish West Indies. (Subsequently, it became part of the U.S. Virgin Islands.) His family originally came from Montego Bay, Jamaica.
His father, also called Peter Jackson, was a warehouseman and he was the grandson of a freed slave who had been owned by a planter with the surname of Jackson.
Born a free man, the future boxer was in fact a Danish citizen before he gained Australian citizenship. Jackson had a good primary school education before becoming a mariner. Landing in Sydney about 1880, he worked on the waterfront and in hotels before drifting to Brisbane, and thence into a career in boxing in 1882 under the tuition of Larry Foley, a famous Australian bare-knuckle pugilist and instructor.
Standing 6′ 1½” (187 cm) tall and weighing in at 190 lbs (87 kg) he became the winner of the Australian Heavyweight championship in 1886. Originally working on ships as a deck hand in the Sydney Docks since he was 14, he used his fist to quell a mutiny. This garnered him some notoriety and brought him to the attention of Larry Foley and started his career in boxing. He came to be known as “Black Prince” and “Peter the Great”.
Jackson won the Australian heavyweight title in 1886 with a knockout of Tom Lees in the 30th round, and the British Commonwealth title against Jem Smith by KO in the second round. In 1888 he beat “Old Chocolate” Godfrey to gain the world ‘colored’ heavyweight championship.
On 21 May 1891, in Benicia, California Jackson fought the future world champion James Corbett because the reigning title-holder, John L. Sullivan, would not fight him because he was black. The match with Corbett went 61 rounds before it was declared no contest, as both boxers were too exhausted to continue.
In 1898 he lost a bout to the powerfully built James J. Jeffries, another great boxer who would hold the championship of the world in the early 1900s.
Peter Jackson & James Corbett
Jackson’s health began to fail towards the end of his career, hampering his performances in the ring.
He had been at one stage a pupil of “The Black Diamond” Jack Dowridge, a Barbadian Immigrant who pioneered boxing in Queensland, Australia. Among Dowridge’s other pupils was “Gentleman Jack” John Reid McGowan, a fellow Australian National Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee.
Jackson died of tuberculosis in Roma, Queensland and was buried at Toowong Cemetery.
A short time after becoming the first black heavyweight champion of the world in 1908, “The Galveston Giant” Jack Johnson, made a pilgrimage to Jackson’s grave, a measure of the respect in which the man was held not only in Queensland, but in the boxing community worldwide.
Jackson’s tomb is emblazoned with the words “This was a man”.