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Marvin Johnson

Titles: WBC Light heavyweight champion 1978-1979, WBA light heavyweight champion
           1979-198o and 1986-1987

Record: 43-6 

Born: April 12, 1954 in Indianapolis, Indiana (USA)

Years active: 1973-1987

Nickname: None 


Johnson with his balding head and spindly body did not look like the classic light 
heavyweight, only in terms of heart will Marvin Johnson be compared to the other 
great light heavyweights. Make no mistake Johnson could fight however as his place 
on the 1972 Olympic team will attest too. In 1972 he also won the Golden Gloves 
title but only managed to take the bronze medal in the Olympics. After the Olympics 
Johnson turned pro in 1973 but for some reason only fought 13 times in 4 years. The 
clear turning point in the career of Marvin came in a epic battle which he ultimately 
lost to Matthew Saad Muhammad for the NABF light heavyweight title. It was a pitched
incredible battle in which both fighters seemed on the verge of defeat only to summon 
up a reserve of energy from God knows where? It was Johnson who ultimately lost 
however.....a fight light that will never produce a loser! It was a fight that 
demanded he get more exposure. Wins over Billy Douglas, Eddie Davis and Jerry 
Celestine got Johnson a title shot at Mate Parlov in December of 1978. It was a 
opportunity that Marvin would not waste and Johnson took to the offensive and set a 
torrid pace that had Parlov holding by the 4th round and out in the 10th after 2
knockdowns in that round. It was a great win for a Johnson who had just gotten married 
6 weeks prior to the bout. It was to be a short title reign for Johnson and once again
Matthew Saad Muhammad was to beat Johnson. Less than 4 months had passed since his win 
over Parlov and he and Muhammad engaged in another terrific battle. It seems that
Muhammad was just too strong for Johnson who was known as one of the fastest starters 
in boxing but once again Muhammad wore down Johnson in the late rounds. By the end of
the 5th round Johnson was cut over both rounds and bleeding from the nose and mouth. 
Johnson showed heart by battling on wining some of the later rounds. Still he would 
ultimately loose in the fight of the year. Marvin never one to give up showed heart 
to battle on for another shot which he was to get against Victor Galindez. Stopping 
the rugged Galindez was a virtual impossibility but that is exactly what Johnson
did in 11 rounds where he countered the slower Galindez at will. It seems Marvin's 
manager must have hated him (that is a joke) as he was once again not given a easy 
money making defense of his newly won title. Less than 3 months after winning the 
title from Galindez the tough Philadelphia schooled Eddie Gregory with whom Johnson 
was a roommate at the 1972 Olympic trials took the title from Johnson in 11th round. 
Once again Johnson started quickly again knocking Gregory down in the 3rd but a 
constant body attack wore down Johnson over the rounds. Another loss to future great
light heavyweight Michael Spinks followed. This would spell the end for most fighters 
but Johnson again fought on and his patience was rewarded in 1986 when he stopped 
Leslie Steward for the vacant WBA title. This time Johnson would hold on to the
title for 1 year but it was Steward who would win the title back in a rematch. Marvin
in retirement worked at a Indiana State prison as a guard.



Marvin Johnson

Career Record: 43 W, 6 L (35 K.O's)


     1973

     May 23  Sylvester Wilder        Indianapolis            KO 2
     Sep 17  Al Byrd                 Fort Wayne, IN          KO 1
     Oct 30  Chuck Warfield          Fort Wayne, IN          TKO 5

     1974

     Jul 17  Ted Paxton              Chicago                 KO 2
     Nov 12  Johnny Words            Indianapolis            KO 6
     Dec 11  Jim Adams               Indianapolis            KO 1

     1975

     Jan 29  Gary Summerhayes        Indianapolis            W 10
     Apr 17  Paul Cardoza            Indianapolis            KO 4
     Nov 13  Eddie Owens             Indianapolis            KO 3

     1976

     Apr 3   Ray Anderson            Indianapolis            KO 6
     Apr 15  Harold Carter           Indianapolis            KO 2
     Sep 14  Wayne McGee             Philadelphia            KO 1
     Nov 30  Vandell Woods           Philadelphia            W 10

     1977

     Feb 21  Johnny Townsend         Philadelphia            W 10
     Apr 22  Tom Bethea              Indianapolis            KO 4
     Jul 26  Matthew Franklin       Philadelphia             TKO by 12
     Sep 28  Johnny Fields           Cleveland               KO 1
     Nov 1   Bill "Dynamite" Douglas Philadelphia            KO 5

     1978

     Jan 25  Roberto Reynosa         Indianapolis            KO 1
     Apr 3   Eddie Davis             Indianapolis            KO 7
     May 24  Johnny Baldwin          Philadelphia            W 10
     Jun 17  Lottie Mwale            Belgrade, Yugoslavia    L 8
     Sep 15  Jerry Celestine         New Orleans             W 10
     Dec 2   Mate Parlov             Marsala, Italy          TKO 10
             (Wins WBC Light Heavyweight Title)

     1979

     Apr 22  Matthew Franklin       Indianapolis             TKO by 8
             (Loses WBC Light Heavyweight Title)
     Sep 20  Carlos Marks            Indianapolis            W 10
     Nov 30  Victor Galindez         New Orleans             TKO 11
             (Wins WBA Light Heavyweight Title)

     1980

     Mar 31  Eddie Gregory           Knoxville,
     TN           TKO by 11
             (Loses WBA Light Heavyweight Title)
     Sep 9   Lee Royster             Atlantic City           KO 4

     1981

     Jan 16  Eddie Straight          Indianapolis            TKO 1
     Jan 28  Rick Nash               Indianapolis            KO 3
     Mar 28  Michael Spinks          Atlantic City           KO by 4

     1982

     Apr 6   Darnell Hayes           Danville, IN            TKO 2
     Oct 14  Alvino Manson           Indianapolis            TKO 1

     1983

     Feb 25  Ernie Barr              Nassau, Bahamas         KO 8
     Nov 21  Mike Brothers           Chiago                  TKO 10

     1984

     Jan 18  Elvis Parks             Indianapolis            TKO 4
     Mar 26  Eddie Gonzalez          Atlantic City           KO 4
     Jun 14  Jerome Clouden          Atlantic City           TKO 5
     Aug 30  John Davis              Atlantic City           W 10
     Nov 8   Charles Williams        Indianapolis            W 10
     Dec 13  Eddie Collins           Atlantic City           TKO 2

     1985

     Jan 17  Charles Henderson       Merrillville, IN        TKO 2
     Apr 21  Eddie Davis             Atlantic City           TKO 5
     Oct 11  Raleigh Searcey         Terre Haute, IN         KO 4
     Dec 4   Frank Lux               Indianapolis            KO 4

     1986

     Feb 9   Leslie Stewart          Indianapolis            TKO 7   
             (Regains WBA Light Heavyweight Title)
     Sep 20  Jean Marie Emebe        Indianapolis            TKO 13
             (Retains WBA Light Heavyweight Title)

     1987

     May 23  Leslie Stewart          Port of Spain, Trinidad TKO by 9
             (Loses WBA Light Heavyweight Title)