Produced on August 13, 1971, in Washington, D.C., Mark Johnson started his professional boxing career in 1990. He became the very first African American to win a major tournament as a flyweight in 1996, and three years after he duplicated the effort in the super-flyweight division. After retiring in 2006, Johnson became the youngest fighter ever inducted to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in the year 2012. A son of boxing trainer Abraham “Ham” Johnson, the child stepped to the ring for the very first time at age 5 and grown right into a dominant hobbyist.
Johnson turned professional in 1990 along with his dad as his trainer. Unlike a lot of young combatants, he sought fights outside the relaxation of his hometown area, but impressed any unfriendly judges along with his speed and hitting power. Johnson steadily moved his way up the flyweight positions, defeating Alberto Jimnez to win the minor World Boxing Board tournament in 1993.
Seeking new challenges after seven successful title defenses, Johnson started training as a super flyweight. In May 1999, he made history again by winning a unanimous decision over IBF champ Ratanachai Sor Vorapin to end up being the very first African American titleholder in that division.
Paradoxically, Johnson’s brilliant abilities could have sabotaged his power to earn recognition, as a number of the best fighters of his divisions refused to fight him. Johnson also injure himself by becoming detained for an altercation along with his own wife, landing him in jail for 11 months through the prime of his career.
Johnson went up to bantamweight, winning the very first two fights in the division before losing a controversial fight to Rafael Mrquez in October 2001. The rematch in February 2002 was not as close, as Mrquez stopped Johnson in the eighth round to give him his first really resounding defeat. But Johnson demonstrated he was not concluded after dropping back to the super flyweight division.
Johnson successfully defended the title twice before enduring an eighth-round knockout by Ivn Hernndez in September 2004. After another eighth-round knockout in the hands of Jhonny Gonzlez in February 2006, the 34-year old called it quits having a career record of 44-5, including 28 knockouts. The Hall of Famer’s course took a decline when he was detained in December 2012 for have liquid PCP with intent to distribute.