PHILLY BOXING HISTORY                                                                        August 02, 2012


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By John DiSanto


It's been almost 20 years since former world light heavyweight champion Harold Johnson went into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, and even longer ago since his induction into the Pennsylvania Boxing Hall of Fame. However Johnson will once again be enshrined to another Hall when the boxing legend enters the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame in November.

Johnson, born and raised in Manayunk, was elected to the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame's ninth inductee class this summer, and will be officially inducted at the annual banquet scheduled for Thursday, November 8, 2012 at the Society Hill Sheraton in Philadelphia. It is not yet known whether Johnson, 85 next week, will attend the event.

Johnson's son, Reverend John Roberts, a former boxer himself who fought under the ring name of Chuck Johnson, recently represented his father at a press conference to announce the inductees of Class IX. Entering along with Johnson will be Doug Collins, Eric Lindros, Johnny Callison, Mike Piazza, Tommy Thompson, Wali Jones, Maxie Baughan, Debbie Black, Eddie Plank, Gertrude Dunn, Horace Ashenfelter, Joe Klecko, Johnny McDermott, Dan Baker, and the Legacy Youth Tennis & Education Association.

Harold Johnson is just the fifth boxer to receive the honor. He was preceded by Joe Frazier (Class I), Tommy Loughran (Class V), Joey Giardello (Class VI), and Jersey Joe Walcott (Class VII). The five are a distinguished group indeed.

Johnson won the NBA 175-pound  world title with a TKO of Jesse Bowdry on February 07, 196, and gained undisputed recognition as world champion a year later with his victory over Doug Jones in Philadelphia. In all, Johnson defended his titles three times before losing  the belt to Willie Pastrano in a disputed points loss in 1963. Johnson posted a career record of 76-11 with 32 KOs in his 25-year professional boxing career. 

Tickets for the induction ceremony and banquet are on sale now. The event will be held on Thursday, November 8, 2012, at the Society Hill Sheraton, 2 Dock Street, Philadelphia, PA. For more information visit




John DiSanto - News & Notes - August 02, 2012