Marc “Too Sharp” Johnson Interview - Youngest Boxer to Enter IBHOF at 40!
Marc “Too Sharp” Johnson Interview - Youngest Boxer to Enter IBHOF at 40!
By Ken Hissner, Doghouse Boxing (July 16, 2012) Doghouse Boxing
Marc “Too Sharp” Johnson
It’s been 6 years since Marc “Too Sharp” Johnson has fought and 8 years since his last defense of his WBO Super flyweight title his entering into the IBHOF seemed like a long time coming. One of his best “punch” lines in accepting his induction was “I don’t think there have been this many people on a stage of this magnitude in boxing without somebody hitting somebody,” said Johnson.

Johnson stated “I was the first Washington, DC, boxer to be born and raised there to make it to the IBHOF.” He once had a winning streak of 39 fights from 1991 to 2001. The loss was originally given a victory for Johnson and reversed 2 hours later. It was his first of two fights with Rafael Marquez, 25-3, by split decision. Referee Robert Gonzalez took away 2 points for holding which cost Johnson the fight. He would suffer his first stoppage loss in the rematch.

In 1993 Johnson won something called World Boxing Board flyweight title. He would defend it 10 times through 1995. In 1996 He won the vacant IBF flyweight title defeating Colombia’s Francisco Tejedor, 43-4-1, in the first round. He would make 7 defenses before moving up and winning the vacant IBF super flyweight title in his hometown defeating Ratanachai Sor Vorapin, 36-3 in April of 1999.

Challengers for Johnson’s IBF flyweight title came from Mexico (3) and Puerto Rico (3) with a lone one from the US in No. 1 contender Arthur Johnson, 17-3 in the first round. In 2003 Johnson won the WBO super flyweight title defeating Mexican Fernando Montiel, 27-0-1, by majority decision. He had been diagnosed with appendicitis days before this match. In his lone successful defense he stopped Luis Bolano, 41-1, of Colombia. His only fight out of the US was in his second fight losing to Richie Wenton, 5-0, in the UK.

Johnson would lose to Ivan Hernandez, 17-0-1, in his second defense in September of 2004. It wouldn’t be until 2006 in his next fight that he lost to Jhonny Gonzalez, 31-4. He was stopped in both matches and retired after the latter one.

Johnson had an outstanding amateur career going 125-6 losing in the 1988 Olympic trials to Eric Griffins. His father Abraham “Ham” Johnson started training him at the age of 5. He would always be in his son’s corner. Chris Ray was always there, too, as his cut-man. For the Fernando Montiel, 27-0-1, Chilly Wilson was in the corner.

Today Johnson is working for the DC Department of Parks & Recreations Roving Leaders Program. He reaches out to “at risk youth”. Johnson has found Jesus Christ as His Lord & Savior. He hopes to eventually become a boxing referee. At 40 he is the youngest boxer to ever be inducted into the IBHOF.

Johnson was good enough to answer some questions:

KEN HISSNER: You have become the youngest boxer to enter the IBHOF at 40. Another Johnson, Reggie, recently told me he was coming back to become the oldest boxer to win a championship. Please tell me there are no plans for a comeback.

MARC JOHNSON: I’m still thinking about it. How he does might help me make up my mind. I really want to be a professional referee.

Do you know Steve Smoger?

MARC JOHNSON: Double SS! Who doesn’t?

I will make a connection for you. He was just in the Middle East doing a seminar. He should be back this week.

KEN HISSNER: You lost to Eric Griffin in the Olympic Trials in 1988. What happened?

My brother James Harris and I got to the semi-finals. My brother lost to Michael Carbajal. I got robbed in the Griffin fight and he tested positive for Marijuana but they still let him fight Carbajal. He lost and I was thinking pro’s after that though my brother tried again in 1992.

KEN HISSNER: Your first good opponent may have been Alberto Jimenez, 24-2-1, whom you won a split decision over for the World Boxing Board Flyweight title in 1993.

That was a tough fight.

KEN HISSNER: In 1994 you defended the WBB title for the sixth time against Enrique Orozco, 28-1-1. Tell us something about that fight.

In the third round he broke my right eye socket under my eye. In the twelfth and final round I broke his jaw and they stopped it.

KEN HISSNER: In May of 1996 you stopped Colombian Francisco Tejedor, 43-4-1, in the first round to win the vacant IBF flyweight title. Tell us how thrilling that was.

Nobody was going to deny me the championship at that time.

KEN HISSNER: In your fifth title defense you stopped NABF champion Arthur Johnson, 17-3, in the first round.

Yes, and he had made the Olympic team at 112, a division over Carbajal. I was surprised he went out so fast.

KEN HISSNER: You only fought out of the US once and that was in your second fight in the UK. Was that the reason you never fought out of the US, and if not why?

It was a bad decision and I vowed not to go overseas again unless there was a boat load of money involved.

KEN HISSNER: In 1999 you win the vacant IBF super flyweight title in your hometown of DC over Thailand’s Ratanachai Sor Vorapin, 36-3 who would later win the WBO bantamweight title in 2004. Was this an even bigger thrill than winning the flyweight title?

It was a bigger thrill having won my second division title. I couldn’t get Danny Romero in 1996 or Johnny Tapia in 1999. Cameron Dunkin had both fighters and would never let either fight me.

KEN HISSNER: You had a defense against Raul Juarez, 28-5, in DC, in November of 1999 which ended in a NC in 4 due to low blows on the part of both boxers. What happened?

: It was our second fight and Juarez was looking for a way out.

KEN HISSNER: You had won 39 straight fights and met Rafael Marquez, 25-3 in Texas. You thought you won the fight but didn’t. What happened?

They declared me the winner but reversed the decision 2 hours later.

KEN HISSNER: You had a real scare before the month was out after signing for a rematch with Marquez. What happened?

I was standing on the corner with Leon “Too Sharp” Wilkins. I was known as Lil Sharp then. I was shot in the foot and he was shot to death. We never knew who did it. He was my best friend so I took his name “Too Sharp”.

KEN HISSNER: What happened in the Marquez rematch?

I was winning the fight early but he came on and dropped me with a body shot in the eighth round to win the fight.

KEN HISSNER: After the Juarez rematch in 1999 you never made 115 again until 2003 for the WBO super flyweight title defeating Mexico’s Fernando Montiel, 27-0-1. How were you able to make that weight and was that the first and only time Chilly Wilson was in your corner?

I wanted to fight at 118. I had beaten champion Tim Austin twice in the amateurs so I knew I’d never get that chance. Chilly Wilson sparred with me when I was an amateur and we had him help us in the corner.

KEN HISSNER: After defeating Puerto Rico’s Luis Bolano, 41-1, at 115, 4 months later you were at 123 in a non title bout. Just 2 months after that you were back to 115 losing to Ivan Hernandez, 17-0-1. Was weight a problem?

I was drained making weight and thought in 24 hours I could get my energy back but didn’t. I could barely walk to the scales.

KEN HISSNER: You ended your career losing to Jhonny Gonzalez, 31-4, for his WBO bantam title. He is the current WBC featherweight champion now. You couldn’t make weight so it was a non-title bout.

I knew my career was over. My family and friends even let me know.

KEN HISSNER: When did you accept Jesus Christ as Your Lord & Savior?

I accepted Christ as my Savior in 1993 at the 2nd Baptist church in Southwest DC.

KEN HISSNER: Who had the most influence on you?

I’m a momma’s boy. My mom was always there for me. She would bang on my door with a spoon and say “get up and run”. She is my best friend and I call her every day.

KEN HISSNER: I want to thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. Anything you want to say to your fans?

I look forward to be back in the ring someday either as a boxer or a referee.

Make sure you check out the NEW and IMPROVED Doghouse Boxing Forums (Login with your Facebook or Twitter account - Now Mobile, Ipad, Blackberry, Android & YouTube Friendly) DogPound

NEW: Follow Doghouse Boxing on FaceBook!
For more Boxing News 24/7 and so much more... 
visit our homepage now!

© Copyright / All Rights reserved: Doghouse Boxing Inc. 1998-2012