WASHINGTON (AP)âSen. John McCain on Friday pressed President Barack Obama to give a posthumous pardon to Jack Johnson, the black heavyweight boxing champion who was imprisoned nearly a century ago because of his romantic ties with a white woman. McCain, R-Ariz., and Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., noted in a letter to Obama that both houses of Congress this summer passed their resolution urging a pardon. After the vote, the lawmakers wrote to Obama in August asking him to issue the pardon. âRegrettably, we have not received a response from you or any member of your administration,â they wrote in Fridayâs letter, adding they hoped that Obama would be eager to âright this wrong and erase an act of racism that sent an American citizen to prison.â ADVERTISEMENT The White House declined to comment on the letter. When he unveiled the resolution in April, McCain said he was sure that Obama âwill be more than eagerâ to issue the pardon. On Friday, McCain said he was still confident the president would do so. âThe presidentâs been very, very busy,â McCain said in a telephone interview with the Associated Press. âHopefully, this letter will be a kind of reminder that itâs important to get it done. But Iâm not critical of the president yet. Weâll give him some time.â The senator said he hasnât personally talked to Obama about the issue. âThe conversations that Iâve been having with him have been on Afghanistan,â he said. âBut weâll see what result we get from this letter.â Johnson became the first black heavyweight champion on Dec. 26, 1908â100 years before Obama was elected the first black president. Johnson won the title after police in Australia stopped his 14-round match against the severely battered Canadian world champion, Tommy Burns. That led to a search for a âGreat White Hopeâ who could beat Johnson. Two years later, Jim Jeffries, the American world titleholder Johnson had tried for years to fight, came out of retirement but lost in a match called âThe Battle of the Century,â resulting in deadly riots. Johnson was convicted in 1913 of violating the Mann Act, which made it illegal to transport women across state lines for immoral purposes. He fled the country after his conviction, but agreed years later to return and serve a 10-month jail sentence. Filmmaker Ken Burns helped form the Committee to Pardon Jack Johnson, which filed a petition with the Justice Department in 2004 that was never acted on. His 2005 documentary, âUnforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson,â explored the case against the boxer and the sentencing judgeâs acknowledged desire to âsend a messageâ to black men about relationships with white women. McCain and Kingâboth of whom have done their share of amateur boxingâ pushed similar resolutions in recent years but only this year were able to get it through both chambers of Congress.