Marvin Johnson

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For other people named Marvin Johnson, see Marvin Johnson (disambiguation).
Marvin Johnson
Medal record
Men's Boxing
Competitor for the  United States
Olympic Games
Bronze 1972 Munich Middleweight

Marvin Johnson (born April 12, 1954 in Indianapolis, Indiana) is a former boxer from the United States, who 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. His nickname is "Pops".

Amateur career[edit]

  • 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.
  • Won The 1972 National Golden Gloves Middleweight (165 lb.) Championship, March 20 at Minneapolis, Minnesota.
  • 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 Lemechev of the Soviet Union.

Olympic Results[edit]

  • 1st round bye
  • Defeated Ewald Jarmer (West Germany) 5-0
  • Defeated Alejandro Montoya (Cuba) 5-0
  • Lost to Vyacheslav Lemeshev (Soviet Union) TKO by 2

Professional career[edit]

Johnson lost to Matthew Saad Muhammad and Lottie Mwale in the build-up but won a world title—the WBC light heavyweight version—from fellow southpaw Mate Parlov of Yugoslavia with a 10th-round KO in Italy in December 1978, then lost that same title the following April, in front of his hometown Indianapolis fans, in a rematch to Muhammad in what was perhaps 1979's Fight of the Year for many observers. Johnson was in control in the early going, but the Philadelphia fighter hung in there, and came back to wear down Johnson, stopping him in the eighth round, despite bleeding severely from the nose and from cuts around his eyes. Franklin also beat Johnson earlier—in 1977—by 12th-round KO for a minor title.

Johnson would again win a belt later that year—the WBA version—by fighting the rugged Victor Galindez from Argentina in New Orleans as part of a three-fight '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.

Again, it was down and out for Johnson in his first title defense when, on the Tate-Weaver undercard in Knoxville in March 1980, Eddie Mustafa Muhammad (née Gregory) outworked, outhustled, and outclassed Johnson en route to an 11th-round TKO.

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.

Honors[edit]

Named The Ring magazine Comeback of the Year fighter for 1984.

Professional boxing record[edit]

43 Wins (35 knockouts, 8 decisions), 6 Losses (5 knockouts, 1 decision) [1]
Result Record Opponent Type Round Date Location Notes
Loss 23-1 Trinidad and Tobago Leslie "Laventille Tiger" Stewart RTD 8 23/05/1987 Trinidad and Tobago Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago WBA World Light Heavyweight Title. Johnson could not come out for the ninth round.
Win 24-2 France Jean Marie Emebe TKO 13 20/09/1986 Indiana Indianapolis, Indiana, United States WBA World Light Heavyweight Title. Referee stopped the bout at 1:41 of the 13th round..
Win 18-0 Trinidad and Tobago Leslie "Laventille Tiger" Stewart TKO 7 09/02/1986 Indiana Indianapolis, Indiana, United States WBA World Light Heavyweight Title. Referee stopped the bout at 0:56 of the seventh round.
Win 7-18 United States Frank Lux KO 4 04/12/1985 Indiana Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Win 3-4 United States Raleigh Searcy KO 4 11/10/1985 Indiana Terre Haute, Indiana, United States
Win 29-4-1 United States Eddie Davis TKO 5 21/04/1985 New Jersey Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States USBA Light Heavyweight Title. Referee stopped the bout at 0:59 of the fifth round.
Win 16-4 United States Charles "Hollywood" Henderson TKO 2 17/01/1985 Indiana Merrillville, Indiana, United States Referee stopped the bout at 1:55 of the second round.
Win 8-11-2 United States Eddie Collins KO 2 13/12/1984 New Jersey Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States Referee stopped the bout at 1:35 of the second round.
Win 12-3-2 United States "Prince" Charles Williams UD 10 08/11/1984 Indiana Indianapolis, Indiana, United States 99-90, 99-91, 100-89.
Win 16-6 United States Johnny Davis UD 10 30/08/1984 New Jersey Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 19-2 United States Jerome Clouden TKO 5 14/06/1984 New Jersey Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 22-4 United States Eddie Gonzales KO 4 26/03/1984 New Jersey Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 13-7 United States Elvis Parks KO 4 18/01/1984 Indiana Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Win 14-2 United States Mike Brothers TKO 10 21/11/1983 Illinois Chicago, Illinois, United States
Win 29-8 The Bahamas Andros Ernie Barr KO 8 25/02/1983 The Bahamas Nassau, Bahamas
Win 10-1 United States Alvino "Killer" Manson KO 1 14/10/1982 Indiana Indianapolis, Indiana, United States Manson knocked out at 1:00 of the first round.
Win 10-21 United States "Young" Darnell Hayes TKO 2 06/04/1982 Illinois Danville, Illinois, United States Referee stopped the bout at 1:55 of the second round.
Loss 15-0 United States Michael "Jinx" Spinks KO 4 28/03/1981 New Jersey Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States Johnson knocked out at 1:22 of the fourth round.
Win -- Rick Nash KO 3 28/01/1981 Indiana Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Win 2-3 United States Eddie Straight KO 1 15/01/1981 Indiana Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Win 12-14-1 United States Dave Lee Royster KO 4 09/09/1980 New Jersey Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States Royster knocked out at 2:51 of the fourth round.
Loss 35-4-1 United States Eddie Mustafa Muhammad TKO 11 31/03/1980 Tennessee Knoxville, Tennessee, United States WBA World Light Heavyweight Title. Referee stopped the bout at 2:43 of the 11th round.
Win 55-7-4 Argentina Victor Galindez KO 11 30/11/1979 Louisiana New Orleans, Louisiana, United States WBA World Light Heavyweight Title. Galindez knocked out at 0:20 of the 11th round.
Win 33-33-2 Trinidad and Tobago Carlos Marks PTS 10 20/09/1979 Indiana Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Loss 22-3-2 United States Matthew Saad Muhammad TKO 8 22/04/1979 Indiana Indianapolis, Indiana, United States WBC World Light Heavyweight Title.
Win 22-1-1 Croatia Mate Parlov TKO 10 02/12/1978 Italy Marsala, Sicilia, Italy WBC World Light Heavyweight Title. Referee stopped the bout at 2:33 of the tenth round.
Win 15-1-1 United States Jerry Celestine PTS 10 15/09/1978 Louisiana New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Loss 7-0 Zambia Lottie Mwale PTS 8 17/06/1978 Serbia Belgrade, Serbia
Win 32-3 United States Johnny "The Mad" Baldwin UD 10 24/05/1978 Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Win 10-0-1 United States Eddie Davis KO 7 03/04/1978 Indiana Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Win 0-6 United States Roberto Reynosa KO 1 31/01/1978 Indiana Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Win 35-13-1 United States Billy "Dynamite" Douglas TKO 5 01/11/1977 Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States Referee stopped the bout at 2:35 of the fifth round.
Win 4-1 United States Johnny Fields KO 1 28/09/1977 Ohio Cleveland, Ohio, United States Fields knocked out at 2:52 of the first round.
Loss 15-3-2 United States Matthew Saad Muhammad TKO 12 26/07/1977 Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States NABF Light Heavyweight Title. Referee stopped the bout at 1:12 of the 12th round.
Win 22-15-3 United States Tom "The Bomb" Bethea KO 4 22/04/1977 Indiana Indianapolis, Indiana, United States Bethea knocked out at 2:50 of the fourth round.
Win 8-6 United States Johnny Townsend PTS 10 21/02/1977 Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Win 7-2 United States Vandell "Big Boy" Woods PTS 10 30/11/1976 Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Win 4-2-1 United States Wayne McGee TKO 1 14/09/1976 Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Win 19-36-4 United States Harold Carter TKO 2 15/04/1976 Indiana Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Win 36-17-4 United States "Sugar" Ray "The Magnificent" Anderson TKO 6 03/04/1976 Indiana Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Win 36-25-3 United States Eddie "Red Top" Owens KO 3 13/11/1975 Indiana Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Win 23-8 United States Paul Cardoza KO 4 17/04/1975 Indiana Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Win 22-6-2 Canada Gary Summerhays PTS 10 29/01/1975 Indiana Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Win 6-3 United States "Iron" Jim Adams KO 1 11/12/1974 Indiana Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Win 2-0 United States Johnny Words TKO 6 12/11/1974 Indiana Indianapolis, Indiana, United States Referee stopped the bout at 2:40 of the sixth round.
Win 2-15 United States Ted Paxton KO 2 17/07/1974 Illinois Chicago, Illinois, United States
Win 1-0 United States Chuck Warfield TKO 5 30/10/1973 Indiana Fort Wayne, Indiana, United States
Win 0-2-1 United States Al "Hoss" Byrd KO 1 17/09/1973 Indiana Fort Wayne, Indiana, United States
Win 4-8 United States Sylvester Wilder KO 2 22/05/1973 Indiana Indianapolis, Indiana, United States Wilder knocked out at 1:30 of the second round.

Life After Boxing[edit]

Johnson currently serves as a pitchman for a local car dealership sometimes (humorously) threatening or abusing his fellow pitchmen with his boxing skills.

Preceded by
Mate Parlov
WBC Light Heavyweight Champion
2 Dec 1978–22 Apr 1979
Succeeded by
Matthew Franklin
Preceded by
Victor Galindez
WBA Light Heavyweight Champion
30 Nov 1979–31 Mar 1980
Succeeded by
Eddie Gregory
Preceded by
Michael Spinks
Vacated
WBA Light Heavyweight Champion
9 Feb 1986–23 May 1987
Succeeded by
Leslie Stewart

External links[edit]