Long time RSR supporter and former top ranked light heavyweight Vonzell Johnson, 22-3, 11 KO’s who faced both the late Matthew Saad Muhammad and Michael Spinks for their light heavyweight titles will be taking readers questions. Johnson fought during one of the greatest eras in the light heavyweight division.
Ask The Fighter: Former Two – Time Light Heavyweight Title Challenger Vonzell Johnson Takes RSR Readers Questions
By Geno McGahee
The immediate rematch took place on June 28th, 1991. For Mike Tyson, this was an unnecessary fight. Even though he had stated after his first bout with Ruddock that a rematch wasn’t a bad idea, he realistically wanted a shot at the title. Although he was heavily favored to win the rematch, he saw Ruddock for what he was: a dangerous puncher with a lot of heart. In the heavyweight division, anything can happen and whenever the “smash,” is thrown, there is a chance that the fight could be over.
Richard Steele and his relations or lack thereof with Promoter Don King is where the controversy lied. Steele had been accused of favoring King fighters and many have said that the two had a cushy relationship, an accusation that the experienced referee denied. Most likely, he bought into the Tyson mystique. He saw that Ruddock was hurt and tried to save the injured fighter, even though it was far too soon. The legend that was Mike Tyson forced the hand of Steele and he made the wrong choice.
By Geno McGahee
In 1986, a New York Heavyweight by the name of Alex “The Destroyer” Stewart began his career and quickly made a name for himself. He was knocking out every opponent put in front of him and earned a shot at the heavyweight contender, Evander Holyfield, broadcast live on Showtime. Stewart would bring in a record of 24-0, 24 KO’s, as he stepped into the ring with “The Real Deal” that night in November of 1989, but despite his impressive record, he wasn’t considered much of a threat to derail Holy’s march to the heavyweight title.
In boxing, records can be deceiving. Sometimes management will spoon-feed a fighter, give him stiffs to beat around the ring to create a sparkling record, but the foundation of the record is not solid. Stewart came into the Holyfield fight without a big name on his record.
The collective record for the first 24 opponents, all knockout victims, was 184 wins, 173 losses, giving them a win percentage of 52%. Stewart had not been in the ring with a guy nearly as talented as Holyfield and most sportswriters assumed that it would be a walk in the park for the cruiser turned heavy, but it wasn’t. For eight rounds, Stewart gave Holyfield hell, taking shots and firing back. A cut would end the fight, but “The Destroyer” made a point. He was a legitimate contender with a bright future and could possibly vie for a title in the near future.
Did the headline draw you in? I’m sure it did. It would me as well, back in 2009 when the fight should have happened. Now some five years later, it’s still being kicked around in the boxing world. Who cares? Floyd is coming close to retiring and Pacquiao is far past his prime. Face the facts, both points are spot on. In fact, take Pacquiao off the table totally for Floyd Mayweather, JR! Replace Pacquiao with Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, the current WBA Middleweight Champion, with an impressive 30-0, 27 KO’s and a fighter who is in his prime. Come on fight fans, doesn’t this fight make your mouth water?
The date was November 14, 1981. Ronald Reagan was in his first year of a very popular Presidency, and Lee Iacocca was helping the Chrysler Corporation rebound from dismal sales in the late 1970s for their cars. You do remember Chrysler K Cars? I think every Government official including myself, drove one in white during the late 1980’s on the job.
During those early years of the 1980s, while Iacocca was bringing back dismal sales for his cars, there wasn’t a thing dismal in the junior welterweight division in the boxing world. In fact, sales were way up for a fighter that would go on to be a legend years later by the name of Aaron “The Hawk” Pryor.
Pryor was defending his World Boxing Association (WBA) Junior Welterweight Championship for the third time against WBA number 2 rated Dujuan Johnson, out of the famous Kronk Gym in Detroit, Michigan.
The date was August 14, 1982. A first-class stamp cost just 20 cents. Prestigious Yale University has announced they will offer a 14-week course on mastering the Rubik’s Cube. I think to this day, many didn’t master that thing. But if you did, then I want to hear from you.
For all you diehard Trivial Pursuit players, the game this year sells twenty-two million copies. In fashion, Leg Warmers are the craze thanks to Jane Fonda, and for all of you guys and gals out there including myself, it was heartbreaking to hear our Sergio Valente Jeans were no longer cool.
The music world is talking about Michael Jackson’s just released Thriller album which sells more than 25 million copies. Finally, for all you die hard fans of Ozzy Osbourne’s music and MTV TV show, this is the year he bites the head off of a bat that to this day is talked about.
The date was April 12, 1981. On a happy note, my father, the sole person who planted the seed of boxing in my mind, turned 53, and on the same day, but not on such a bright note, legendary Heavyweight Champion of the World, Joe “The Brown Bomber” Louis passed away, at the age of 66.
In other lighter news that year, Pac Man was introduced to the video arcades where many of us, including me, spent long weekends and summer days dropping our quarters into the machine to chomp those bad guys up. MTV went on the air running around the clock music videos, debuting with “Video Killed the Radio Star” by the Buggles, which turned out to be a one hit wonder, and a question for the Trivial Pursuit Game.
In boxing, the “Fight of the Year” was Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Tommy Hearns for the Undisputed Welterweight Championship of the World. Leonard stopped Hearns in the 14th round in a fight that the media clamored to.
The date was June 13, 1986. Barry Diller, head of News Corp., creates Fox, the fourth television network. Oprah Winfrey’s show hits the airwaves on national television. Nintendo video games are introduced in the United States and sales sky rocket.
In the boxing world, the equivalent to a modern day “Golden Boy” Oscar De La Hoya was defending his World Boxing Council Lightweight Championship (WBC) title for the first time. That 24 year old champion was none other than Hector “Macho” Camacho. Camacho was defending against fellow Puerto Rican, and former WBC Lightweight Champion Edwin “Chapo” Rosario.
Fight Results courtesy of BATB
The Jeff Lacy-Rayco Saunders bout was scratched. No reason given.
Light heavyweight Alexander “The Great” Johnson sent a left hand crashing into the right jaw of Henry “Sugar Poo” Buchanan and dropped him with a minute to go in the opening round. Buchanan got up but was in no condition to continue. The bout was stopped at 2:10 of the round.
Maryland native and undefeated junior middleweight Alantez “SlyAza” Fox, 13-0-1, 4 KO’s made a successful return to the ring after being off for a year when he defeated Jonathan Garcia, 4-9-1, 1 KO by unanimous decision.
WBC #4, WBA #6, IBF #10 super middleweight George Groves (20-2, 15 KOs) dethroned European champion Christopher Rebrasse (22-3-3, 6 KOs) by unanimous decision on Saturday night at the Wembley Arena in London, England. Rebounding from consecutive losses to to WBA/IBF super middleweight champion Carl Froch, Groves came out aggressively in the early rounds and outworked Rebrasse the whole way. No knockdowns and nether fighter was hurt. Scores were 118-110, 117-111, 118-110. The bout was also a WBC eliminator so Groves is now mandatory challenger for Anthony Dirrell.
In the main event of the afternoon cruiserweights Thabiso “The Rock” Mchunu (17-1, 11 KOs) and Garrett “The Ultimate Warrior” Wilson (13-8-1, 7 KOs) faced off for the NABF Cruiserweight Title. The ten-round cruiserweight match-up between Mchunu’s southpaw style and Wilson’s wild style made for an exciting fight. Thabiso landed some clean shots and Wilson countered to no avail. The fifth round was slow with Wilson chasing down Mchunu and Wilson finally landing some shots. The ninth round started off with a bang, both fighters were trading big punches. The crowd began chanting for Wilson and the action started to pick up in the final round with both fighters coming out swinging. In the tenth, the referee deducted a point from Mchunu for holding, but it did not matter as Mchunu retained his NABF Cruiserweight Title with a unanimous decision victory (96-93, 99-90 and 98-91).
By Geno McGahee
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, there were many Bigfoot sightings. This wasn’t the hairy beast that was reportedly living in the woods and harassing campers, this was heavyweight journeyman, Everett “Bigfoot” Martin. Martin, began his career with a record of 13-1, 7 KO’s, and would end his career with a record of 20-39-1, 9 KO’s. He was your classic journeyman and would fight anyone, anywhere, and anytime. He became a regular on USA’s Tuesday Night Fights, giving the network the rounds it needed to keep the advertisers happy. He was nearly impossible to knock out, only being stopped later on in his career when he was totally spent. In his time, he was one of the toughest losing fighters in boxing.
Martin would get his first notable victory over a 19-2 Bert Cooper in 1988. The first part of his career would be fought at the cruiserweight level and this victory over future heavyweight title challenger, Cooper, would be at that weight. He would move up to heavyweight in his next fight, a knockout loss to Johnny DuPlooy. His next fight would be with former Cruiserweight Champion, Dwight Muhammad Qawi, losing a decision. This would become the trend. Martin became the opponent.
Exclusive Interview by “Bad” Brad Berkwitt
“Although, winning always helps ones career, in some way, this fight (Jeter II) is definitely something I need for myself.”—Jimmy Lange
Jimmy Lange is one of those truly oldschool fighters who always gives the fans what they crave, action in the ring! He will take three punches to land his one. He is not going to run around the ring, he is going to stay in the pocket and fight his ass off even if his father, Jimmy screams from the corner, “move around”.
In 2012, I was ringside for Jimmy Lange vs Tony Jeter I. There were huge punches, a knockdown, cuts and lots of points taken from Jeter, but in the end, he still won the fight. The fans were the biggest winner that night because they got their ticket value to the 3rd power.
World champions VASYL LOMACHENKO and JESSIE VARGAS and China’s most iconic athlete, undefeated Top-Five contender ZOU SHIMING, will be featured in exciting battles on the MANNY “PACMAN” PACQUIAO vs. CHRIS ALGIERI World Welterweight Championship pay-per-view undercard. Promoted by Top Rank® and Sands China Ltd., in association with MP Promotions, Joe DeGuardia’s STAR BOXING, BANNER PROMOTIONS and Tecate, the Pacquiao-Algieri world welterweight championship event will take place Saturday, November 22, atTHE VENETIAN® MACAO’S COTAI ARENA, and will be produced and distributed live by HBO PAY-PER-VIEW®, beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT.
Six different nations will be represented by the eight fighters on the live pay-per-view telecast.
“Being from Philly, fighting is in everyone’s blood. Coming up here, you have to be tough or you will be run over by others.”–Hank Lundy
“Hammerin” Hank Lundy is one of those Philadelphia fighters who at times, flies under the radar, but don’t let that fool you. He is primed and ready for his shot at a world championship title. He feels that it’s just around the corner in his boxing career.
Rated at number #2, in the WBC, he has to play the waiting game, but boxing fans should find out very soon when the call to fight comes in.
By “Bad” Brad Berkwitt (Written in 2005)
Replace Berbick with Balboa. It’s November 22, 1986. Young “Iron” Mike Tyson finally gets his shot against legendary Heavyweight Champion Rocky Balboa. Balboa is in his prime with his mind totally focused on his biggest fight since he regained the title with a knockout over former champion Clubber Lang.
In fact, with the deaths of both his corner men Mickey Goldmill and Apollo Creed, Balboa has hired Clubber to work his corner for this “Super Fight”. The first thing Lang sets out to do is make Rocky mean…. Tyson has that anger, and as Clubber did many years before, he knows that is a big advantage for the young challenger to have going into this fight.
Lang also works very hard on Rocky’s jab, which he feels is going to keep Tyson on the outside. With Balboa having a trademark heavy body work ethic, Clubber thinks his jab is going to confuse Tyson, and allow Rocky to get on the inside with Mike so he can bang the ribcage.
“I knew boxing was a dirty business, but I thought I would come across at least a few good people. Now I’m starting to think there aren’t any.”—Dusty Hernandez-Harrison
In 2012, I was in Atlantic City New Jersey watching the Seth Mitchell Vs Johnathon Banks fight and after Mitchell was destroyed in two rounds, I went to another casino to have dinner. There as we sat and ate, boxing writer Mike Walters and Dusty joined us with Juan Marshall another boxing writer from the DMV. We ate, joked and talked boxing for about two hours. I noticed than, that though Dusty at the time was young in age, his Boxing IQ far exceeded his number of years on Planet Earth.
There was an unfamiliar chill in the air for the 75 degree temperature in Owasso Stadium tonight where an estimated 8000 diehard football fans sat. One loyal fan reminisced about the victory that Owasso had over Jenks some 21 years ago, and how, since that time, victory proved elusive for the Rams against a solid Trojan program.The most recent stinging defeat was that of last years’ first round of the playoffs. In a defensive battle that went down to the wire, Jenks came away victorious. Would this year be any different?
There were stark similarities in the game in that it was a defensive battle. Owasso won the toss, but deferred to the second half, putting Jenks’ offense on the field. Jenks methodically marched down the field on that first drive, but Owasso’s stout defense held as it forced Jenks to turn the ball over on downs on its 2 yard line.
Hosted by “Bad” Brad Berkwitt
RSR readers, people working in boxing and boxing fans around the world, to say that I am moved by the emails, texts and phone calls about me coming back into the sport of boxing especially through my interviews, is an understatement. Boxing has always been part of my heart since the age of 7, way back in 1975. Shut UP! I know I am 46….. smile…. Well, enough about me, let’s get to your questions..
Where does Floyd Jr go from here after he beat the crap out of Maidana?
The Owasso Rams just defeated the Jenks Trojans by a score of 7-6 in a game that came down to the wire.
Look for a full report….
Owasso’s defense held Jenks to a 35 yard field goal with 4:22 left in the 3rd quarter. Jenks Trojans 6, Owasso Rams 0.
More results to come….
With six seconds left in the half, the Jenks Trojans hit a 35 yard field goal to lead the game 3-0. Owasso’s band (Pride of Owasso) is now performing during half time in front of an estimated 8000 people in attendance.
More results to come….
The Jenks Trojans just missed a 38 yard field goal. Score is still 0-0.
More results to follow.