Marvin Johnson (boxer)
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Marvin Johnson (born April 12, 1954) is an American former boxer who was a 3-time light-heavyweight champion of the world. As an amateur, Johnson fought in the 1972 Olympics in Munich, winning a bronze medal, and made his way up the professional ranks in the light heavyweight division soon thereafter. Johnson was inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 2008 alongside Lennox Lewis and Pernell Whitaker. His nickname is "Pops".
|Born||April 12, 1954 (age 65)|
Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.
Won the 1971 National Golden Gloves Light Heavyweight Championship, March 22 at Fort Worth, Texas:
Won the 1971 National AAU Light Heavyweight (178 lb.) Championship, May 1 at New Orleans, Louisiana:
- Finals: Defeated Hernando Molyneaux KO 1
Won the 1971 North American (178 lb.) Championship, May 31 at Latham, New York:
- Defeated William Titley (Canada) TKO 1
Won The 1972 National Golden Gloves Middleweight (165 lb.) Championship, March 20 at Minneapolis, Minnesota:
- 1/2: Defeated Joey Hadley by decision (Hadley cut under both eyes)
- Finals: Defeated Don Rucker KO 2 (0:50)
Represented the United States at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, earning a bronze medal in the 165 pound class, after he was knocked out in the second round of a semifinal by eventual gold medalist Vyacheslav Lemeshev of the Soviet Union.
1972 Olympic resultsEdit
Below are the results of Marvin Johnson, an American middleweight boxer, who competed at the 1972 Munich Olympics:
As a professional, Johnson won his first 15 bouts, including a nationally televised 4th round knockout over highly regarded veteran Tom "The Bomb" Bethea. However, Johnson lost for the first time as a professional in his next fight, against rising contender Matthew Franklin (later known as Matthew Saad Muhammad) by 12th round knockout in a furious battle for the NABF light heavyweight title. Following this setback, Johnson rallied, not for the first time in his career, impressively winning several bouts, until losing a decision to highly ranked Lottie Mwale. A subsequent win over Jerry Celestine set up a world title fight, which saw Johnson taking the WBC light heavyweight crown from fellow southpaw Mate Parlov of Yugoslavia via 10th-round KO in Italy in December 1978. For his first title defense, in April of 1979, Johnson chose Matthew Franklin, the very man who had beaten him in an epic war two years earlier. In front of his hometown Indianapolis fans, Johnson engaged Franklin in a rematch of such intensity and drama that it is regarded among boxing historians as one of the greatest title fights in history. Mirroring their first brutal encounter, Johnson controlled the early going, but the Philadelphia-based Franklin gamely hung in. The tide turned in the 6th and 7th rounds as Johnson began to tire. Ultimately Franklin prevailed in the 8th, a round of such ferocity that it would enter boxing lore, stopping Johnson late in the frame, and despite bleeding severely himself, from the nose and from cuts around both eyes.
Showing the resilience that would mark his career, Johnson would again win a world title belt later that very year—this time the WBA version—by fighting the rugged Victor Galindez from Argentina in New Orleans as part of a three-fight 'television card' that included two title bouts (Antuofermo-Hagler I and Benitez-Leonard) staged in Las Vegas. After a see-saw battle through the first ten rounds, Johnson nailed—and floored—Galindez with one of his fabled 'over-the-top-from-underneath' left hands, and the title changed hands when the champion's corner surrendered after Galindez hit the canvas.
As with his previous first title defense, Johnson again chose the strongest available contender to challenge for his belt, this time Eddie Gregory (later to be known as Eddie Mustafa Muhammad). On the Tate-Weaver undercard in Knoxville in March of 1980, Johnson fought courageously, but ultimately succumbed to Eddie Mustafa Muhammad (née Gregory), who used a vicious body attack to outwork, outhustled, and out last the game Champion en route to an 11th-round TKO victory.
Things looked bleak when Johnson fought the up-and-coming Michael Spinks in early 1981—just before Spinks dethroned Johnson's latest conqueror, Mustafa Muhammad. Johnson was off to a promising start, but the 1976 Olympian Spinks landed his famous "Spinks jinx" that put Johnson out for good in the fourth round.
Johnson recovered and proceeded to win 16 straight fights, defeating good fighters like Prince Charles Williams along the way, and in February 1986 would again be before his Indianapolis fans, fighting Leslie Stewart of Trinidad and Tobago for the WBA light heavyweight title that became vacant when Spinks abdicated to become a heavyweight. Stewart gave Johnson some fits, but cuts would take their toll on Stewart and were the reason that the fight was stopped in the seventh round, thus making Johnson the first ever three-time champion in the division. An injury postponed his first defense against Jean-Marie Emebe of Cameroon, but the two would hook up in Indianapolis in September of that year. It was the first time that Johnson would both enter and leave the ring as champion—he was the winner by 13th-round TKO.
Next, it was on to Trinidad for a rematch with Stewart on May 23, 1987. However, it was all Stewart this time, as he floored Johnson several times in the first few rounds, and while Johnson always regained his feet and was never counted out he did tell his cornermen after eight rounds that 'enough was enough,' and by doing so became an ex-champ for a third time.
Johnson retired after that bout.
Professional boxing recordEdit
|43 Wins (35 knockouts, 8 decisions), 6 Losses (5 knockouts, 1 decision) |
|Loss||44–5||Leslie Stewart||RTD||8||1987-05-23||Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago||Lost WBA World Light Heavyweight Title|
|Win||43–5||Jean Marie Emebe||TKO||13||1986-09-20||Indianapolis, Indiana, United States||Retained WBA World Light Heavyweight Title|
|Win||42–5||Leslie Stewart||TKO||7||1986-02-09||Indianapolis, Indiana, United States||Won WBA World Light Heavyweight Title|
|Win||41–5||Frank Lux||KO||4||1985-12-04||Indianapolis, Indiana, United States|
|Win||40–5||Raleigh Searcy||KO||4||1985-10-11||Terre Haute, Indiana, United States|
|Win||39–5||Eddie Davis||TKO||5||1985-04-21||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States||Won USBA Light Heavyweight Title|
|Win||38–5||Charles Henderson||TKO||2||1985-01-17||Merrillville, Indiana, United States|
|Win||37–5||Eddie Collins||KO||2||1984-12-13||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||36–5||Charles Williams||UD||10||1984-11-08||Indianapolis, Indiana, United States|
|Win||35–5||Johnny Davis||UD||10||1984-08-30||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||34–5||Jerome Clouden||TKO||5||1984-06-14||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||33–5||Eddie Gonzales||KO||4||1984-03-26||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||32–5||Elvis Parks||KO||4||1984-01-18||Indianapolis, Indiana, United States|
|Win||31–5||Mike Brothers||TKO||10||1983-11-21||Chicago, Illinois, United States|
|Win||30–5||Andros Ernie Barr||KO||8||1983-02-25||Nassau, Bahamas|
|Win||29–5||Alvino Manson||KO||1||1982-10-14||Indianapolis, Indiana, United States|
|Win||28–5||Darnell Hayes||TKO||2||1982-04-06||Danville, Illinois, United States|
|Loss||27–5||Michael Spinks||KO||4||1981-03-28||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||27–4||Rick Nash||KO||3||1981-01-28||Indianapolis, Indiana, United States|
|Win||26–4||Eddie Straight||KO||1||1981-01-15||Indianapolis, Indiana, United States|
|Win||25–4||Dave Lee Royster||KO||4||1980-09-09||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Loss||24–4||Eddie Mustafa Muhammad||TKO||11||1980-03-31||Knoxville, Tennessee, United States||Lost WBA World Light Heavyweight Title|
|Win||24–3||Victor Galindez||KO||11||1979-11-30||New Orleans, Louisiana, United States||Won WBA World Light Heavyweight Title|
|Win||23–3||Carlos Marks||PTS||10||1979-09-20||Indianapolis, Indiana, United States|
|Loss||22–3||Matthew Saad Muhammad||TKO||8||1979-04-22||Indianapolis, Indiana, United States||Lost WBC World Light Heavyweight Title|
|Win||22–2||Mate Parlov||TKO||10||1978-12-02||Marsala, Sicily, Italy||Won WBC World Light Heavyweight Title|
|Win||21–2||Jerry Celestine||PTS||10||1978-09-15||New Orleans, Louisiana, United States|
|Loss||20–2||Lottie Mwale||PTS||8||1978-06-17||Belgrade, Yugoslavia|
|Win||20–1||Johnny Baldwin||UD||10||1978-05-24||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Win||19–1||Eddie Davis||KO||7||1978-04-03||Indianapolis, Indiana, United States|
|Win||18–1||Roberto Reynosa||KO||1||1978-01-31||Indianapolis, Indiana, United States|
|Win||17–1||Billy Douglas||TKO||5||1977-11-01||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Win||16–1||Johnny Fields||KO||1||1977-09-28||Cleveland, Ohio, United States|
|Loss||15–1||Matthew Saad Muhammad||TKO||12||1977-07-26||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States||For NABF Light Heavyweight Title|
|Win||15–0||Tom Bethea||KO||4||1977-04-22||Indianapolis, Indiana, United States|
|Win||14–0||Johnny Townsend||PTS||10||1977-02-21||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Win||13–0||Vandell Woods||PTS||10||1976-11-30||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Win||12–0||Wayne McGee||TKO||1||1976-09-14||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Win||11–0||Harold Carter||TKO||2||1976-04-15||Indianapolis, Indiana, United States|
|Win||10–0||Ray Anderson||TKO||6||1976-04-03||Indianapolis, Indiana, United States|
|Win||9–0||Eddie Owens||KO||3||1975-11-13||Indianapolis, Indiana, United States|
|Win||8–0||Paul Cardoza||KO||4||1975-04-17||Indianapolis, Indiana, United States|
|Win||7–0||Gary Summerhays||PTS||10||1975-01-29||Indianapolis, Indiana, United States|
|Win||6–0||Jim Adams||KO||1||1974-12-11||Indianapolis, Indiana, United States|
|Win||5–0||Johnny Words||TKO||6||1974-11-12||Indianapolis, Indiana, United States|
|Win||4–0||Ted Paxton||KO||2||1974-07-17||Chicago, Illinois, United States|
|Win||3–0||Chuck Warfield||TKO||5||1973-10-30||Fort Wayne, Indiana, United States|
|Win||2–0||Al Byrd||KO||1||1973-09-17||Fort Wayne, Indiana, United States|
|Win||1–0||Sylvester Wilder||KO||2||1973-05-22||Indianapolis, Indiana, United States||Wilder knocked out at 1:30 of the second round.|
Life after boxingEdit
Johnson currently serves as a civilian employee for the Marion County Sheriff's Office in Indianapolis, Indiana, where he formerly served as a Deputy.
- Boxing record for Marvin Johnson. BoxRec.com.
- Professional boxing record for Marvin Johnson from BoxRec
- Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill. "Marvin Johnson". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC.
| WBC Light Heavyweight Champion
2 Dec 1978–22 Apr 1979
| WBA Light Heavyweight Champion
30 Nov 1979–31 Mar 1980
| WBA Light Heavyweight Champion
9 Feb 1986 – 23 May 1987