Leavander Johnson

Leavander Johnson ( born December 24, 1969 in Atlantic City, New Jersey; † September 22, 2005 in Las Vegas, Nevada ) was an American professional boxer.


Leavander Johnson began his professional career after 120 amateur fights in 1989 at the age of 19 years.

In March 1994, he managed a victory over the undefeated eventual world champions Sharmba Mitchell. He had set back clearly on points, was the fight by a knockout but still decided for themselves.

This earned him a title shot against the recognized number 1 of the class, the WBC champion Miguel Ángel González, but lost on August 6, 1994 by TKO in the eighth round.

Over the next three years, he played only four fights, which he, however, all won and thus received another shot at a world championship bout on May 10, 1997. However, Johnson failed in second attempt to win a recognized world title, he lost prematurely against the WBA's Titeltäger Orzubek Nazarov. Also Nazarov was undefeated and widely recognized.

After this re- disappointment, he took a two year break from boxing and returned only in July 1999 back into the ring. But already in June 2001, he was defeated in a battle for the continental title of the WBC against his compatriot Michael Clark again, Clark had previously gone against Artur Grigorian difficult KO. Slowly the impression solidified that it is not enough for Johnson, despite his talent to the absolute top, as he regularly failed in the crucial moments.

In 2002, he defeated Jesus Zatarin, who had not won his last six fights, on points. Viewed against Emanuel Augustus, in the U.S., despite record of 26-19-4 to some extent, he fought a draw and then kicked Julian Wheeler (22 wins in 30 fights ) an eliminator fight the IBF to. He won by razor thin points.

He met on 22 November 2003 to the Mexican Javier Jauregui (ten defeats, two draws, in part featherweight ) in the fight for the vacant IBF belt and was again defeated.

In 2005, the title of IBF was now vacant again, finally succeeded Johnson after 16 years as a professional at the age of 35 years to win a title in his fourth attempt. He defeated the 39 -year-old European champion Stefano Zoff (at this point nine defeats) in Milan by technical knockout in the seventh round.

In his first title defense against the Mexican Jesús Chávez on September 17, 2005 in Las Vegas, he moved to serious head injuries. The fight was stopped in spite of many serious hit from the referee only in the eleventh round. Immediately after the end of the fight he was admitted with a cerebral hemorrhage in a hospital, but emergency surgery to remove a blood clot from the right hemisphere could not save him. He died five days later from heart and kidney failure. He left behind four children.