|Former Heavyweight Champion “Ingo” Johansson Passes!
By Ken Hissner, DoghouseBoxing (Feb 2, 2009)
With the “Hammer of Thor” Ingemar “Ingo” Johansson came on the scene in 1958 by stopping then unbeaten #1 contender Eddie Machen (24-1-1) in the 1st round in Goteborg, Sweden. There would be pictures later of Johansson dropping a horse with a right hand to the side.
This victory earned the unbeaten Swede a world title bout with then champion Floyd Patterson (35-1) on June 26, 1959 at Yankee Stadium where he knocked the champion down 7 times before stopping him at the 2:03 mark of the 3rd round to become world heavyweight champion.
Almost a year to the day later Patterson would strike down Johansson in 3 rounds with a vicious left hook at 1:51 of the 5th round to re-gain the title at the Polo Grounds in New York.
The rubber match was in March of 1961 at Convention Hall in Miami Beach, Florida. Both fighters hit the canvas in the 1st round. In the 6th round Johansson was dropped again and seemed to regain his feet before the 10 count but the referee claimed his one glove was still touching the canvas at the 2:45 mark retaining the title for Patterson.
Almost a year later Johansson would stop Joe Bygraves the Jamaican born former Commonwealth champion whom he had decisioned in 1956, this time in the 7th round in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Several months later Johansson came off the canvas in the 1st round to defeat Wim Snoek the Dutch champion who had won 9 straight bouts with a 5th round knockout at 1:15 at Stockholm, Sweden.
Johannson would re-gain the European title by stopping the champion Dick Richardson in 2:13 of the 8th round at Gothenburg after a bloody battle. His final bout was in April of 1963 against Brian London the former British and Commonwealth champion at Stockholm. Johansson was knocked out just prior to the bell in the 12th and final round. Since the count never got to 10 before the 3 minute mark the paper read “wake up Ingo you won”! This was the fight that put him into permanent retirement.
Johansson was only the 5th non American to win the heavyweight title and was inducted into the International Hall of Fame in 2002. His final record was 26-2, 17 KO’s.
In 1982 he was given the Olympic silver medal he had won but was withheld due to a disqualification at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki against American Ed Sanders.
Seems Johannson had gained quite a bit of wealth including a home in Florida from his winnings. He was struck with Alzheimers and dementia more than 10 years ago. He passed away in Kungsbacka, Sweden at the age of 76 on January 30th at a nursing home.
e-mail Ken at: email@example.com
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