Former two-time World Boxing Council lightweight champion Stevie "Lil' But Bad" Johnston (38-3-1, 17 KOs) fights Dominican knockout artist Luis Ernesto Jose (24-4-2, 22 KOs) on March 31 in
the 10-round main event at the Ybor City Multi Fight Complex in Tampa, Florida.
In the 12-round co-feature on the show co-promoted by Silverhawk Boxing and Ringsports Boxing Promotions, Sherman "The Caribbean Tank" Williams (27-10-2, 15 KOs) battles Adenilson "Maguilinha" Rodrigues (18-3, 14 KOs) for the vacant NBA Intercontinental heavyweight title.
The crafty Johnston, rated No. 8 by the WBC, is the reigning IBO and NABC light welterweight champion. The 33-year-old boxer captured the WBC lightweight championship twice between 1997 and 2000, and he had seven successful title defenses. In 2000, Stevie lost the WBC belt to Jose Luis Castillo and three months later they fought to a draw in which Johnston originally was declared the winner by majority decision, but a scoring error
was revealed resulting in a controversial draw.
"I'm keeping busy and staying in top shape," Johnston said from his Vero Beach training camp. "I'm doing everything I'm supposed to do. I've fought all over the world, but this will be my first time fighting in Tampa. I live in Vero Beach now and Tampa is about an hour drive away, so it'll be like fighting in my new hometown.
"I don't know too much about my opponent right now, but I don't take anybody lightly. It doesn't matter than he's a southpaw. I just train for who they put in against me. This is the most important fight for me because I'm a little older and to get back to where I was, on top, I have to keep winning every fight."
Denver-native Johnston has won three straight since famed Buddy McGirt started training him, including his 12-round decision (118-109, 116-111, 116-111) January 27 against Steve Quinonez, and seven of his last eight fights. Prior to hooking-up with McGirt, Johnston was inactive for more than two years due to life-threatening injuries suffered in a 2003 car accident.
Stevie's list of victims during the course of his 12-year professional career includes Sharmba Mitchell, Jean Baptiste Mendy, Saul Duran, Cesar Bazan, James Page and Angel Manfredy.
Doors open at 6:30 PM with the first bout at 7:30 PM. Tickets, priced at $75.00 (VIP), $40.00 (reserved) and $25.00 (general admission) are available through TicketMaster. For more information call 813.223.7788.
Johnston and Williams are promoted by Silverhawk Boxing, managed by Rider Boxing, and trained by McGirt. For more information about Johnston, Williams or Silverhawk Boxing go to www.silverhawkboxing.com