Sylvester Stallone has officially launched his production company for film and TV: Balboa Productions – its first project will be a feature on the first African-American heavyweight champion Jack "The Galveston Giant" Johnson.

Stallone himself was very instrumental in getting a posthumous pardon for Johnson from President Trump. Johnson was convicted in 1913 of violating the Mann Act, which made it a crime to transport a white woman across state lines "for an immoral purpose." The woman who the prosecutors accused Johnson of violating the act with, Lucille Cameron, became Johnson's wife in 1912.

Johnson served 10 months in prison on these fundamentally racist charges and was killed in 1946 in a car accident, he was 68.

Senator John McCain and documentarian Ken Burns (who made the 2005 PBS documentary Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson) were also very instrumental in securing the champ's posthumous pardon.   

Stallone and Balboa are working with MGM and producer Braden Aftergood (Wind River and Hell or High Water) on the project. Stay with The 405 for more on this as we hear it.