Stevie Johnston challenges top lightweights

LAS VEGAS (June 8, 2007) - Four-time world lightweight champion and reigning IBA title-holder Stevie "Lil' But Bad" Johnson has issued challenges to two of the three Diaz world lightweight champs - (WBA/WBO) Juan, and (IBF) Julio - as well as leading contender Joel Casmayor for a proposed title fight August 11 at the Pepsi Center in Denver. Johnston's promoter, Silverhawk Championship Boxing, recently sent substantial purse offers to representatives of the aforementioned lightweights with the understanding that a potential television deal would considerably increase the offer. None have yet to accept the challenge to fight Johnston..

David Diaz (32-1-1, 17 KOs) isn't available because he's scheduled to defend his WBC title August 4 against Erik Morales, while Juan (32-0. 16 KOs) reportedly has to fight his mandatory next.

Johnston (41-4-1, 18 KOs), 34, ruled the lightweight division between 1997 and 2000, capturing the WBC lightweight championship twice between 1997 and 2000, and he had seven successful title defenses. Stevie has beaten five major world champions -- Sharmba Mitchell, Jean Baptiste Mendy, Cesar Bazan, James Page, and Alejandro Gonzalez - as well as more than a dozen other major world title challengers.

"Their managers need to go to Home Depot to get some plungers so they can un-pucker their fighters' butts," Johnson said. "I'm a real fighter. I worked my way back into position to fight any of those guys. I'm ready to go. It doesn't matter which one, I just want to fight the best, and eventually unify all of the lightweight titles."

Silverhawk's initial offer to Julio Diaz' people was countered, which was immediately accepted by Silverhawk, and both sides are still talking. "Stevie came up when the lightweight division had fighters like Floyd Mayweather, Shane Mosley, Jose Luis Castillo, Diego Corrales, Angel Manfredy and so many other great fighters," Rider added. "He's ready to take on any of today's top lightweights right now."

Rider noted that Johnson has nearly as many world title fight wins (12, 9 WBC, 2 IBA & 1 IBO) as the three Diaz champions combined (14 - David 1 WBC, 2 IBA; Juan 7 WBA, 1 WBO; Julio 3 IBF).

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Article posted on 08.06.2007

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