Statue to Honor Leavander Johnson
Lifelong Atlantic City resident Leavander Johnson, who honed his boxing skills at the Atlantic City Police Athletic League and earned an IBF lightweight boxing world championship, will be honored Wednesday, Sept. 22, on the fifth anniversary of his passing.
In partnership with the City of Atlantic City and the Leavander Johnson Foundation — a non-profit, community-based empowerment organization designed to improve the quality and circumstances of life for present and future generations — a statue honoring Johnson will be commissioned by classically trained master sculptor Brian Hanlon. A media event and artistic rendering of the statue will unveiled on Friday, July 9, at 10am at Center City Park, Atlantic and North Carolina avenues in A.C. Attending the ceremony will be Bill Johnson, Craig Johnson (Leavander’s brother and manager), Floyd Williams (CEO of the Leavander Johnson Foundation), Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford, A.C. Second Ward Councilman Marty Small, and Hanlon.
“This is a fitting tribute to someone that made the entire city proud,” said Langford in a media release. “World Champions come far and few between, and Leavander has represented himself, his family, and the community very well. I am proud of him.”
Johnson tragically lost his life in the ring, at the pinnacle of his career and doing the job he loved, defending his championship belt and representing the city in which he was raised. Johnson compiled a professional career record of 34-5-2, with 26 knockouts, and was trained at the PAL by his father, Bill Johnson, who continues today to coach young boxers in after-school programs and provide them with the life skills needed to be successful in and out of the ring.