Harold Johnson (boxer)

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Harold Johnson
Johnson in 1954
Born
Harold Johnson

(1928-08-09)August 9, 1928
DiedFebruary 19, 2015(2015-02-19) (aged 86)
NationalityAmerican
Other namesHercules
Statistics
Weight(s)Light Heavyweight
Middleweight
Height5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Reach74 in (188 cm)
StanceOrthodox
Boxing record
Total fights88
Wins76
Wins by KO32
Losses11
No contests1

Harold Johnson (August 9, 1928 – February 19, 2015) was a professional boxer. He held the NYSAC, NBA/WBA, and The Ring light heavyweight titles from 1962 to 1963.

Boxing career[edit]

Johnson was born in Manayunk, Philadelphia. He started boxing while serving in the United States Navy and turned professional in 1946. He won his first twenty-four fights before losing a ten-round decision to Archie Moore in 1949. Moore would be Johnson's biggest career rival. Johnson rebounded with four straight victories, including a ten-round decision win against future Hall of Fame inductee Jimmy Bivins.[1]

Johnson's father, Phil Johnson, was also a professional boxer. Phil and Harold Johnson became the first father/son combination to not only fight the same fighter, but lose to him as well. Both suffered third-round knockout defeats at the hands of future World Heavyweight Champion Jersey Joe Walcott in 1936 and 1950, respectively. Harold lost after suffering an injury to the intervertebral disc in the small of his back.[2]

After five consecutive wins, Johnson resumed his rivalry with Archie Moore, fighting Moore three times in a row between September 1951 and January 1954. All three went the ten-round distance. Johnson lost the rematch, won the rubber match and lost the fourth bout.

In 1952, Johnson split two fights with Bob Satterfield, losing the first by decision and winning the second by knockout, and won a decision over heavyweight contender Nino Valdez. The following year, he defeated former World Heavyweight Champion Ezzard Charles by a split decision. Johnson would finally get a title shot eight years into his career in his fifth and final fight against Archie Moore in 1954. Moore was making the third defense of the World Light Heavyweight Championship. In an exciting fight, Johnson knocked Moore down in the 10th round and was ahead on the scorecards after 13 rounds. But Moore rallied, knocking Johnson down and stopping him in the 14th round.[3]

Johnson outpointed Julio Mederos over ten rounds in 1954. The following year, they had a rematch in Philadelphia. Johnson collapsed after the second round and was carried from the ring on a stretcher. Tests later revealed that Johnson had been drugged with a barbiturate. As a result, the Governor of Pennsylvania suspended boxing in the state for 114 days and instructed the Pennsylvania Athletic Commission to launch a probe. Johnson said he started feeling ill in his dressing room after eating an orange that had been given to him by a stranger who said he was a long-time admirer. A chemical analysis of a piece of the orange showed no trace of a drug or barbiturate. The probe never did uncover who drugged Johnson or how the drug was administered. However, the commission ruled that Johnson knew he was not in condition to fight and should've reported that fact to commission officials on duty that night. He was suspended for six months and his purse was forfeited.[4]

When the National Boxing Association (NBA) withdrew recognition of Archie Moore as World Light Heavyweight Champion for failure to defend, Johnson defeated Jesse Bowdry in 1961 by a ninth-round technical knockout to capture the vacant NBA title. In his first title defense, Johnson stopped Von Clay in two rounds. After defeating second-ranked heavyweight contender Eddie Machen by a ten-round decision in a non-title bout, Johnson successfully defended his title for a second time with a split decision victory over 4th-ranked light heavyweight contender Eddie Cotton.

Johnson gained universal recognition as World Light Heavyweight Champion when he defeated Doug Jones in 1962 by a decision in fifteen rounds. He successfully defended the undisputed title once, outpointing Gustav Scholz in Berlin, then lost it to Willie Pastrano by a fifteen-round split decision in 1963.[5] Johnson would never fight for a title again and retired in 1971 with a record of 76–11 with 32 knockouts.

Johnson was inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1992 and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1993.

Johnson was named the 7th greatest light heavyweight of the 20th century by the Associated Press in 1999.[6] Three years later, The Ring magazine ranked Johnson 7th on the list "The 20 Greatest Light Heavyweight of All-Time" and 80th on the list "The 80 Best Fighters of the Last 80 Years."[7] Johnson died at the age of 86 on February 19, 2015.[8]

Professional boxing record[edit]

87 fights 76 wins 11 losses
By knockout 31 5
By decision 45 6
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round Date Location Notes
87 Loss 76–11 Herschel Jacobs TKO 3 (10) Mar 30, 1971 Sunnyside Gardens, Queens, New York City, New York, U.S.
86 Win 76–10 Johnny Alford UD 10 Jun 11, 1968 Miami Beach Convention Hall, Miami Beach, Florida, U.S.
85 Win 75–10 Lothar Stengel PTS 10 Feb 3, 1968 Festhalle Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Hesse, Germany
84 Win 74–10 Eddie Jones PTS 10 Aug 7, 1967 Silver Slipper, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
83 Win 73–10 Herschel Jacobs UD 10 May 1, 1967 New Orleans Municipal Auditorium, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
82 Win 72–10 Pekka Kokkonen PTS 10 Dec 6, 1966 Wiener Stadthalle, Vienna, Austria
81 Loss 71–10 Johnny Persol UD 10 Jan 7, 1966 Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
80 Win 71–9 Hank Casey KO 8 (10) Apr 20, 1964 Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, Santa Monica, California, U.S.
79 Win 70–9 Henry Hank UD 10 Dec 6, 1963 The Blue Horizon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
78 Loss 69–9 Willie Pastrano SD 15 Jun 1, 1963 Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. Lost WBA, WBC, and The Ring light heavyweight titles
77 Win 69–8 Tommy Merrill TKO 9 (10) Mar 19, 1963 Catholic Youth Center, Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S.
76 Win 68–8 Gustav Scholz UD 15 Jun 23, 1962 Olympiastadion, Westend, Berlin, Germany Retained NYSAC, NBA, and The Ring light heavyweight titles
75 Win 67–8 Doug Jones UD 15 May 12, 1962 Philadelphia Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. Retained NBA light heavyweight title;
Won vacant NYSAC and The Ring light heavyweight titles
74 Win 66–8 Eddie Cotton SD 15 Aug 29, 1961 Sick's Stadium, Seattle, Washington, U.S. Retained NBA light heavyweight title
73 Win 65–8 Eddie Machen PTS 10 Jul 1, 1961 Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
72 Win 64–8 Von Clay TKO 2 (15) Apr 24, 1961 Philadelphia Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. Retained NBA light heavyweight title
71 Win 63–8 Jesse Bowdry TKO 9 (15) Feb 7, 1961 Miami Beach Convention Hall, Miami Beach, Florida, U.S. Won vacant NBA light heavyweight title
70 Win 62–8 Clarence Floyd UD 10 May 4, 1960 Philadelphia Convention Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
69 Win 61–8 Sonny Ray TKO 10 (10) Nov 11, 1959 Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
68 Win 60–8 Johnny York TKO 6 (10) Aug 4, 1959 Wahconah Park, Pittsfield, Massachusetts, U.S.
67 Win 59–8 Rudy Watkins KO 6 (10) Dec 15, 1958 Cambria A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
66 Win 58–8 Howard King UD 10 Dec 3, 1958 Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
65 Win 57–8 Ollie Wilson TKO 2 (10) Apr 15, 1958 Foot Guard Hall, Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.
64 Win 56–8 Bert Whitehurst UD 10 Jan 17, 1958 Syracuse War Memorial Arena, Syracuse, New York City, New York, U.S.
63 Win 55–8 Sid Peaks KO 5 (10) Dec 17, 1957 Toledo, Ohio, U.S.
62 Win 54–8 Wayne Bethea UD 10 Sep 10, 1957 Philadelphia Convention Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
61 Win 53–8 Clarence Hinnant KO 1 (10) May 31, 1957 St. Nicholas Arena, New York City, New York, U.S.
60 Win 52–8 Bob Satterfield UD 10 Mar 12, 1957 Miami Beach Auditorium, Miami Beach, Florida, U.S.
59 Win 51–8 Bert Whitehurst PTS 10 Dec 8, 1956 Portland Exposition Building, Portland, Maine, U.S.
58 Loss 50–8 Julio Mederos TKO 2 (10) May 6, 1955 Philadelphia Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. Tests revealed that Johnson had been drugged.
Some sources list this bout as a no contest
57 Win 50–7 Paul Andrews KO 6 (10) Feb 11, 1955 Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
56 Win 49–7 Marty Marshall UD 10 Dec 22, 1954 Detroit Olympia, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
55 Win 48–7 Julio Mederos UD 10 Dec 7, 1954 Miami Beach Auditorium, Miami Beach, Florida, U.S.
54 Loss 47–7 Oakland Billy Smith KO 2 (10) Oct 8, 1954 Philadelphia Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
53 Loss 47–6 Archie Moore TKO 14 (15) Aug 11, 1954 Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S. For NYSAC, NBA, and The Ring light heavyweight titles
52 Win 47–5 Paul Andrews MD 10 Mar 17, 1954 Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
51 Win 46–5 Charley Doc Williams TKO 8 (10) Feb 15, 1954 Miami Beach Auditorium, Miami Beach, Florida, U.S.
50 Win 45–5 Jimmy Slade SD 10 Jan 29, 1954 St. Nicholas Arena, New York City, New York, U.S.
49 Win 44–5 Chubby Wright UD 10 Nov 19, 1953 Hershey Sports Arena, Hershey, Pennsylvania
48 Win 43–5 Henry Hall UD 10 Nov 7, 1953 Milwaukee Auditorium, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
47 Win 42–5 Ezzard Charles SD 10 Sep 8, 1953 Shibe Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
46 Win 41–5 Toxie Hall UD 10 May 11, 1953 Dinner Key, Miami, Florida, U.S.
45 Win 40–5 Billy Gilliam UD 10 Mar 21, 1953 Toledo Sports Arena, Toledo, Ohio, U.S.
44 Win 39–5 Jimmy Slade UD 10 Jan 16, 1953 St. Nicholas Arena, New York City, New York, U.S.
43 Win 38–5 Niño Valdés UD 10 Nov 24, 1952 Boxing From Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.
42 Win 37–5 Bob Satterfield KO 2 (10) Oct 6, 1952 Philadelphia Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
41 Win 36–5 Leonard Morrow KO 3 (10) Sep 16, 1952 Arena, Toledo, Ohio, U.S.
40 Loss 35–5 Bob Satterfield SD 10 Aug 6, 1952 Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
39 Win 35–4 Clarence Henry SD 10 Mar 17, 1952 Philadelphia Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
38 Loss 34–4 Archie Moore UD 10 Jan 29, 1952 Toledo Sports Arena, Toledo, Ohio, U.S.
37 Win 34–3 Archie Moore UD 10 Dec 10, 1951 Arena, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
36 Loss 33–3 Archie Moore UD 10 Sep 24, 1951 Philadelphia Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
35 Win 33–2 Chubby Wright UD 10 Jul 23, 1951 Toppi Stadium, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
34 Win 32–2 Elkins Brothers TKO 10 (10) Jun 18, 1951 Toppi Stadium, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
33 Win 31–2 Chuck Hunter PTS 8 Feb 9, 1951 Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
32 Win 30–2 Dusty Wilkerson KO 4 (10) Jan 22, 1951 Philadelphia Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
31 Win 29–2 Harry Daniels KO 2 (10) Dec 18, 1950 Philadelphia Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
30 Loss 28–2 Jersey Joe Walcott KO 3 (10) Feb 8, 1950 Philadelphia Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
29 Win 28–1 Bert Lytell PTS 10 Dec 7, 1949 Memorial Hall, Dayton, Ohio, U.S.
28 Win 27–1 Jimmy Bivins UD 10 Oct 26, 1949 Philadelphia Convention Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
27 Win 26–1 Henry Hall UD 10 Jul 25, 1949 Borchert Field, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S
26 Win 25–1 Henry Hall UD 10 Jun 16, 1949 Milwaukee Auditorium, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
25 Loss 24–1 Archie Moore UD 10 Apr 26, 1949 Philadelphia Convention Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
24 Win 24–0 Arturo Godoy UD 10 Feb 23, 1949 Philadelphia Convention Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
23 Win 23–0 Willie Brown KO 7 (8) Dec 14, 1948 Philadelphia Convention Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
22 Win 22–0 Jim Holden PTS 8 Nov 9, 1948 Little Palestra, Allentown, Pennsylvania, U.S.
21 Win 21–0 Agostinho Guedes TKO 3 (10) Sep 28, 1948 Philadelphia Convention Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
20 Win 20–0 Vernon Williams PTS 8 May 13, 1948 Waltz Dream Arena, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
19 Win 19–0 Kenny Harris UD 10 Mar 29, 1948 Philadelphia Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
18 Win 18–0 Kenny Harris UD 8 Mar 1, 1948 Philadelphia Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
17 Win 17–0 Kid Wolfe PTS 8 Dec 11, 1947 Waltz Dream Arena, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
16 Win 16–0 Herbie Katz KO 1 (8) Nov 24, 1947 Philadelphia Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
15 Win 15–0 Jimmy Moore KO 5 (8) Nov 6, 1947 Waltz Dream Arena, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
14 Win 14–0 Eddie Beazley TKO 1 (6) Oct 6, 1947 Philadelphia Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
13 Win 13–0 Al Pinel PTS 6 Aug 4, 1947 Philadelphia Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
12 Win 12–0 Tommy Ruth KO 6 (8) Jul 8, 1947 Philadelphia Arena Stadium, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
11 Win 11–0 Fred Lester TKO 8 (8) May 26, 1947 Philadelphia Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
10 Win 10–0 Leon Szymurski TKO 3 (6) Apr 28, 1947 Philadelphia Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
9 Win 9–0 Tony Gillo PTS 6 Mar 10, 1947 Philadelphia Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
8 Win 8–0 Joe Van Loan TKO 2 (6) Feb 17, 1947 Philadelphia Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
7 Win 7–0 Jim Holden KO 4 (6) Feb 10, 1947 William Allen High School, Allentown, Pennsylvania, U.S.
6 Win 6–0 Chappie Manning PTS 6 Jan 24, 1947 Armory (military), Reading Armory, Reading, Pennsylvania, U.S.
5 Win 5–0 Frank Lowry TKO 2 (6) Jan 10, 1947 Sports club, Cambria A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
4 Win 4–0 Randy Ingram KO 4 (6) Oct 25, 1946 Sports club, Cambria A.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
3 Win 3–0 Jimmy Kennedy PTS 6 Sep 9, 1946 Allentown, Pennsylvania, U.S.
2 Win 2–0 Ted Simmons KO 2 (4) Aug 13, 1946 Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.
1 Win 1–0 Dick Brewster KO 2 (4) Jun 18, 1946 Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Roberts, James B.; Skutt, Alexander G. (2006). The Boxing Register: International Boxing Hall of Fame Official Record Book. ISBN 9781590131213. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  2. ^ "Pug Collapses In Third Round Of Walcott Mix". February 9, 1950. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  3. ^ "Moore Decks Johnson, Craves Shot at Marciano". August 12, 1954. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  4. ^ "Suspension Ordered for Harold Johnson". July 7, 1955. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  5. ^ "Pastrano Wins Title With Upset Decision". June 2, 1963. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  6. ^ "Boxing's Best of the Century". Boxing.about.com. March 12, 2014. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  7. ^ "Ring Magazine's 80 Best Fighters of the Last 80 Years". Boxing.about.com. June 6, 2014. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  8. ^ "Harold Johnson passes". Fightnews.com. February 19, 2015. Archived from the original on February 20, 2015. Retrieved February 20, 2015.

External links[edit]

Achievements
Preceded by
Archie Moore
Stripped
NBA-WBA Light Heavyweight Champion
February 7, 1961 – June 1, 1963
The NBA became the WBA on August 23, 1962
Succeeded by
Preceded by World Light Heavyweight Champion
May 12, 1962 – June 1, 1963
Preceded by
Inaugural Champion
WBC Light Heavyweight Champion
February 14, 1963 – June 1, 1963