Reggie Johnson: Will it be a ‘sweet’ return?
By "Big Dog" Benny Henderson Jr. (August 25, 2005)  
Reggie Johnson
Former light heavyweight champion Reggie Johnson 42-7-1 (24) is ready to return from a three and a half year hiatus from the ring, and the ‘Sweet’ one plans on bringing some bitter pain back to the division when he steps back in the square this Saturday night and faces hard hitting southpaw Fred Moore 30-4 (27) at the Paragon Casino in Marksville, La. Reggie, who is a two-time world champion, has fought such big names as Antonio Tarver, James Toney and Roy Jones Jr. and has over twenty years experience in the ‘sweet science’ and at one time ruled the division. But does he still have something left to offer and will he pose a major threat to the star players?

He thinks so.

‘”I have a lot of experience and once I get this fight out of the way I am going to change the whole landscape of this business, the light-heavyweight division is wide open, and what I bring is another guy over thirty-five that knows how to fight, every major player in this division is over thirty-six so this seems like the natural thing for me to do is come back, the timing is right,” Johnson told the Doghouse.

Johnson, who is a crafty southpaw, began in the sport as a professional in ’84 at the age of seventeen and banged out a 20-1-1 record before wining the WBA International middleweight title in 1989. Johnson went on to earn the USBA middleweight title before making his bid for a world title. In 1991 Johnson faced then undefeated IBF middleweight champion James Toney and even dropped Toney for the first time in his career in round two, but he lost a very close split decision and some spectators believed he did enough to take the victory.

Ten months later Reggie would get another crack at a world title and in a twelve round majority decision he beat tough Irishman Steve Collins to strap on the vacant WBA middleweight title and made three successful defenses of his hardware until dropping his title to then undefeated John David Jackson. Reggie’s biggest victory came in February of ’98 when he stopped the undefeated William Guthrie in five rounds to gain the IBF light heavyweight title.

Reggie banged out twelve rounds with Roy Jones Jr. in ’99 in a unification bout but lost by UD and after three more victories, two of them for fringe titles, Reggie competed in his last bout in 2002, where he dropped Antonio Tarver in round nine but the ‘Magic Man’ pulled out a little hocus pocus and earned the split decision victory. Even though Johnson lost he proved his toughness by battling with a busted eardrum he suffered in the third round.

Now after the three-year layoff Reggie is ready to return. What does he have to offer when he battles it out in the ring just one day shy of his thirty-ninth birthday?

Experience, and lots of it. Starting at the young age of twelve Reggie fought in over a hundred amateur bouts, and in his fifty bouts as a pro he has banged out three hundred and fifty-four combined rounds, including one hundred and thirty-three championship rounds. Reggie has faced the best of the best, Roy Jones Jr., James Toney, Antonio Tarver, Steve Collins, William Guthrie and the list goes on, so there is no lack of experience with quality opposition. Johnson is strong, with great skills and punching power. His best quality has to be his chin, all though Reggie has been stunned on few occasion and tasted the canvas he got up to continue out of his fifty pro fights he has never been lost by a knock out.

Nearing forty Reggie knows that his window of opportunity won’t last forever. “I have decided to come straight out of the gates, I don’t really have time to play with this, I am going to do it,” Reggie said of this comeback effort. Could Reggie come back strong and pick up where he left off or has father time finally caught up the proven pugilist?

Stay tuned!

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