Titles: Light heavyweight champion 1962-1963 Record: 76-11 Born: August 9, 1928 in Manayunk, Pennsylvania (USA) Years active: 1946-1971 Nickname: None Harold Johnson was a stand up boxer/puncher who carried knockout power in his right hand, as a ring technician he was at the top of the heap for his time. Johnson's father was also a boxer but rather than learn from his domineering father he ran away from home at the age of 15 and joined the navy. While in the navy he took up boxing and was said to have fought a exhibition bout with Billy Conn. The long career of Johnson carried him from 1946 to 1971 and he defeated the likes Archie Moore, Jimmy Bivins, Ezzard Charles and Nino Valdez in both the light heavy and heavyweight divisions. When looking over his career it is astounding that Johnson was a champion or ranked contender for every year except one from 1951 until 1964. Johnson was so good that early in his career he only suffered two losses, those can be forgiven since they came against Archie Moore and Ezzard Charles! In fact Archie Moore was to become the eternal nemesis of Johnson and Johnson was only able to win 1 of their 5 fights. Johnson won his first 24 fights as a pro until he was defeated by........you guessed it Archie Moore. If it had not been for the dominant Moore surely Johnson would have been reigned as a great light heavyweight champion for much longer than he did. Another of the losses was a strange fight with Julio Medros that left Harold Johnson quitting in the second round complaining that he had been drugged. This fight many say is what caused Johnson to wait in vain for a title shot. Another loss in 1952 to Bob Satterfield was avenged in fine fashion when he knocked Satterfield out in two rounds. When he did get a title shot it was once again Archie Moore who stood in his way. In a classic fight Archie Moore was knocked down in the 10th but wore down and took control of the late rounds (except the 10th) to stop Johnson in the 14th round with a flurry. The referee was forced to stop the fight when Johnson was stumbling after the knockdown. Johnson would remain a top contender for years to come. Johnson would win the title when Moore was stripped of his crown and was paired against Jesse Bowdry for the N.B.A light heavyweight championship. It was a one sided fight as Johnson learned from Moore and took to a early body attack which wore down Bowdry for a ninth round knockout. Universal recognition was given to Johnson when he defeated Doug Jones. Another defense of the title was against a forgettable challenger in Gustav Scholz in Berlin. Johnson was to make 4 defenses of his title in 2 years and it was a bit of a surprise when he lost even tough Johnson was aging. It took a last minute replacement fighter the slick boxing Willie Pastrano to take the title from Johnson. The light hitting Pastrano boxed circles around a Johnson who seemed to have aged overnight. Still Johnson fought on sporadically but never again challenged for any title. Over the next eight years Johnson boxed 9 times. In 1971 after being knocked out in the third round by a virtual unknown Herschel Jacobs and Johnson gave up on boxing at the age of 43.
1946 ----- Joe Riley Wilmington, VT KO 2 ----- Charley Lester Wilmington, VT KO 2 ----- Jack Simon Allentown, PA KO 4 Oct 25 Randy Ingram Philadelphia KO 4 1947 Jan 10 Frank Lowry Philadelphia KO 2 Jan 24 Chappie Manning Reading, PA W 6 Feb 10 Jimmy Holden Allentown, PA KO 4 Feb 17 Joe Van Loan Philadelphia KO 2 Mar 10 Tony Gillo Philadelphia W 6 Apr 28 Leon Szymurski Philadelphia KO 3 May 26 Fred Lester Philadelphia KO 8 Jul 8 Tommy Ruth Philadelphia KO 6 Aug 4 Al Pinel Philadelphia W 6 Oct 6 Eddie Beazley Philadelphia KO 1 Nov 6 Jimmy Moore Atlantic City KO 5 Nov 24 Herbie Katz Philadelphia KO 1 Dec 11 Kid Wolfe Atlantic City W 8 1948 Mar 1 Kenny Harris Philadelphia W 8 Mar 29 Kenny Harris Philadelphia W 10 May 13 Vernon Williams Atlantic Ctiy W 8 Sep 28 Agustin Guedes Philadelphia KO 3 Nov 9 Jimmy Holden Allentown, PA W 8 Dec 14 Willie Brown Philadelphia KO 7 1949 Feb 23 Arturo Godoy Philadelphia W 10 Apr 26 Archie Moore Philadelphia L 10 Jun 18 Henry Hall Milwaukee W 10 Jul 25 Henry Hall Milwaukee W 10 Oct 26 Jimmy Bivins Philadelphia W 10 Dec 7 Bert Lytell Dayton, OH W 10 1950 Feb 8 Jersey Joe Walcott Philadelphia KO by 3 Dec 18 Harry Daniels Philadelphia KO 2 1951 Jan 22 Dusty Wilkerson Philadelphia KO 4 Feb 9 Chuck Hunter New York W 8 Jun 18 Elkins Brothers Philadelphia KO 10 Jul 23 Chubby Wright Philadelphia W 10 Sep 24 Archie Moore Philadelphia L 10 Dec 10 Archie Moore Milwaukee W 10 1952 Jan 29 Archie Moore Toledo, OH L 10 Mar 17 Clarence Henry Philadelphia W 10 Aug 6 Bob Satterfield Chicago L 10 Sep 16 Leonard Morrow Toledo, OH KO 3 Oct 6 Bob Satterfield Philadelphia KO 2 Nov 24 Nino Valdes New York W 10 1953 Jan 16 Jimmy Slade New York W 10 Mar 21 Bill Gilliam Toledo, OH W 10 May 11 Toxie Hall Miami W 10 Sep 8 Ezzard Charles Philadelphia W 10 Nov 7 Henry Hall Milwaukee W 10 Nov 19 Chubby Wright Hershey, PA W 10 1954 Jan 29 Jimmy Slade New York W 10 Feb 15 Charlie Williams Miami KO 8 Mar 17 Paul Andrews Chicago W 10 Aug 11 Archie Moore New York TKO by 14 (For World Light Heavyweight Title) Oct 8 Billy Smith Philadelphia KO by 2 Dec 7 Julio Mederos Miami Beach W 10 Dec 22 Marty Marshall Detroit W 10 1955 Feb 11 Paul Andrews New York KO 6 May 6 Julio Mederos Philadelphia NC 2 1956 Dec 8 Bert Whitehurst Porland, ME W 10 1957 Mar 12 Bob Satterfield Miami Beach W 10 May 31 Clarence Hinnant New York KO 1 Sep 20 Wayne Bethea Philadelphia W 10 Dec 17 Sid Peaks Toledo, OH KO 5 1958 Jan 17 Bert Whitehurst Syracuse, NY W 10 Apr 15 Ollie Wilson Hartford KO 2 Dec 3 Howard King Chicago W 10 Dec 15 Rudy Watkins Chicago W 10 1959 Aug 4 Johnny Yorke Pittsfield, PA KO 6 Nov 11 Sonny Ray Chicago KO 10 1960 May 4 Clarence Floyd Philadelphia W 10 1961 Feb 7 Jesse Bowdry Miami Beach KO 9 (Wins Vacant NBA Light Heavyweight Title) Apr 24 Von Clay Philadelphia KO 2 (Retains NBA Light Heavyweight Title) Jul 1 Eddie Machen Atlantic City W 10 Aug 29 Eddie Cotton Seattle W 15 (Retains NBA Light Heavyweight Title) 1962 May 12 Doug Jones Philadelphia W 15 (Retains World Light Heavyweight Title) Jun 23 Gustav Scholz Berlin W 15 (Retains World Light Heavyweight Title) 1963 Mar 19 Tommy Merrill Scranton, PA KO 9 Jun 1 Willie Pastrano Las Vegas L 15 (Loses World Light Heavyweight Title) Dec 6 Henry Hank Philadelphia W 10 1964 Apr 20 Hank Casey Santa Monica, CA KO 8 1966 Jan 7 Johnny Persol New York L 10 Dec 6 Pekka Kokkonen Vienna W 10 1967 May 1 Herschel Jacobs New Orleans W 10 Aug 7 Eddie Jones New Orleans W 10 1968 Feb 3 Lothar Stengel Frankfurt W 10 Jun 11 Johnny Alford Miami Beach W 10 1971 Mar 30 Herschel Jacobs New York KO by 3