"The Road Warrior" was a late bloomer of the sport, starting at 20 years old in Miami, Florida. Johnson compiled an amateur record of 35-5 and was a two-time Florida State Golden Gloves Champion, once at 165 and at the other at 178-pounds.
Johnson won his first 32 professional fights before challenging Bernard Hopkins for the IBF middleweight title in 1997. He suffered a technical knockout in the 11th round.
He added eight more to his tally of losses before drawing with and then beating Clinton Woods with a unanimous decision to earn the IBF light heavyweight title.
His next fight came against former champion and boxing legend Roy Jones Jr. In an upset, he knocked Jones out in the ninth round of their September 2004 fight. The subsequent split decision victory over Antonio Tarver that December made him The Ring light heavyweight boxing champion. He was chosen the 2004 fighter of the year by the Boxing Writer's Association of America.
Johnson lost the light heavyweight title to Antonio Tarver in the rematch. He then challenged old foe Woods once again for the IBF title. This time Woods beat him by a split decision.
In his most recent try for a title, Johnson lost a highly controversial unanimous decision to Chad Dawson on April 12, 2008, for the WBC light heavyweight title. On November 7, 2009, Johnson lost a rematch with Dawson via another fairly close but unanimous decision.
On August 7, 2010 Johnson challenged Tavoris Cloud for the IBF light heavyweight title but lost a close decision 116-112 from all 3 judges despite landing more punches according to CompuBox.
In an upset, Johnson knocked out super middleweight contender Allan Green in November 2010 but was outboxed seven months later by WBC super middleweight champion Carl Froch.
Tough, good chin
2004 Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year
Major World Titles
IBF Lt Heavyweight - 2004
Ring Magazine Lt Heavyweight- 2004-05
TKO 8 Allan Green- 2010
SD 12 Antonio Tarver- 2004
KO 9 Roy Jones Jr -2004
UD 12 Clinton Woods- 2004
UD 12 Eric Harding- 2003
UD 12 Lucian Bute 2011
MD 12 Carl Froch - 2011
UD12 Chad Dawson- 2009
UD12 Chad Dawson- 2008
SD 12 Clinton Woods- 2006
UD 12 Antonio Tarver- 2005
TKO 11 Bernard Hopkins-1997