Leavander Johnson, a lifelong Atlantic City resident and fixture at the Atlantic City Police Athletic League, was an IBF Lightweight boxing champion who tragically lost his life at the pinnacle of his career doing the job he loved, defending his city and his championship belt.
He passed away September 22, 2005, five days after collapsing in the locker room following his first fight since winning the title on June 17th. Johnson was trained at the PAL by his father, who continues today to coach young boxers in after-school programs and provide them with the skills to be successful in and out of the ring.
To pay tribute to Atlantic City's World Champion on the fifth anniversary of his death, and in partnership with the City of Atlantic City and The Leavander Johnson Foundation, renowned sculptor Brian Hanlon of Hanlon Sculpture Studio will create a statue honoring Johnson that will serve as an inspiration for future generations and those determined to achieve greatness through persistence, dedication, and loyalty.
On Friday, July 9, 2010, the City of Atlantic City will be hosting a press conference to unveil the rendering of the statue. The conference is scheduled to start at 10:00 AM EST and will be attended by: father and trainer, Bill Johnson; brother and manager, Craig Johnson; the CEO of The Leavander Johnson Foundation, Floyd Williams; Mayor Lorenzo Langford; Second Ward Councilman Marty Small; and Hanlon.
"This is a fitting tribute to someone that made the entire city proud," said Langford. "World Champions come far and few between and Leavander has represented himself, his family, and the community very well, and I am proud of him."
To donate to the Leavander Johnson Statue or to confirm your attendance at the press conference, please contact Mike Van Gorder at 609-529-1108 or Floyd Williams at 702-509-0019.