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Johnny Saxton (July 4, 1930 – October 4, 2008) was an American professional boxer in the welterweight (147lb) division. He was born in Newark, New Jersey, learned to box in a Brooklyn orphanage and had an amateur career winning 31 of 33 fights, twice becoming World Welterweight Champion.[2]

Johnny Saxton
NationalityUnited States
BornJuly 4, 1930
Newark, New Jersey
DiedOctober 4, 2008(2008-10-04) (aged 78)[1]
Boxing record
Total fights66
Wins by KO21
No contests0


Professional careerEdit

Saxton turned professional in 1949 and ran up forty wins without a defeat before losing to Gil Turner in 1953. His win over Joey Giardello and Johnny Bratton helped propel him to fight with Kid Gavilán (or Gavilan) in 1954 for the world welterweight championship. He beat Gavilan via a fifteen-round decision to take the title. He lost the title the following year via technical knockout against Tony DeMarco. In 1956 he won the title again with an upset win over Carmen Basilio, but lost the title in a rematch with Basilio later in the year. He retired in 1958.

Saxton, brother of Richard Eugene Kyle, who boxed for the U.S. Army, was managed by Frank "Blinky" Palermo, a member of the Philadelphia crime family. Palermo was imprisoned in 1961 for conspiracy and extortion for the covert ownership of prizefighters.[3] Saxton's career was often marred by rumors of shady dealings. His two biggest wins, against Gavilan and Basilio, were both controversial and unpopular with many in the boxing world.[4]

His career Record: Won 55 (KOs 21) Lost 9 Draw 2

After boxingEdit

Saxton worked as a security guard and a boxing coach after he retired. A hit-and-run accident left him with damage to one leg, and by the early 1990s he was living in a New York City apartment that had no electricity. A friend helped Saxton move to a retirement home in Florida. He was diagnosed with pugilistic dementia.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^ "The Lineal Welterweight Champs". Cyber Boxing Zone.
  3. ^ "BLINKY PALERMO, MOBSTER WHO RAN BOXING DIES!". Ring Talk. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
  4. ^ Shelton, Alan (July 1999), "Johnny Saxton: Fate Finally Smiles", Boxing Digest, 41 (6): 56
  5. ^ Shelton (July 1999), Boxing Digest, 41 (6): 57 Missing or empty |title= (help)
Preceded by
Kid Gavilán
World Welterweight Champion
20 October 1954 – 1 April 1955
Succeeded by
Tony DeMarco
Preceded by
Carmen Basilio
World Welterweight Champion
14 March 1956 – 12 September 1956
Succeeded by
Carmen Basilio

External linksEdit