PHILLY BOXING HISTORY - February 20, 2016  
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Story by John DiSanto


When Joe Mathis put together a boxing program at the Kendrick Rec in the Manayunk / Roxborough section of Philadelphia, he also had another related goal in mind. Joe wanted to name the place after his favorite boxer, Harold Johnson, the former world light heavyweight champion and a proud son of Manayunk who posted a professional record of 76-11, 32 KOs, held the 175-pound title 1961-1963, and was a popular role model for the kids of Manayunk. 

On Saturday (February 20th) Mathis saw his dream come true as the boxing gym located at 5822 Ridge Avenue was officially named the Harold Johnson Memorial Boxing Gym. Councilman Curtis Jones was on hand to present the resolution that authorized the naming.

Also in attendance at the event were boxing fans, the Johnson family, members of the gym, head trainer Joe Mathis, Bernie Strain, Jacqui Frazier-Lyde, Nate Miller, and many others.

Congratulations to everyone who worked to make this honor a reality. Harold Johnson was a great fighter and a great man. He deserves to be remembered by future generations, and the new Harold Johnson Memorial Boxing Gym will help to do exactly that.




John DiSanto - Manayunk / Roxborough - February 20, 2016