Clark-Johnson IBF lightweight title eliminator Aug. 20

01.08.04 – Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment & Sports, Inc., based in Providence, hits the road for a much anticipated rematch between the two top rated lightweight contenders, Michael Clark (34-2, 15 KOs) and Levander Johnson (33-4, 25 KOs), August 20 in ESPN2 Friday Night Fights show at Miccosukee Resort & Casino in Miami. Clark-Johnson II will be the main event in the 12-round IBF eliminator.

“We’re looking forward to promoting our first show at the beautiful Miccosukee Resort & Casino,” promoter Jimmy Burchfield said. “The Miami area always has been a hot bed for boxing.”

With the top two spots in the IBF not rated, No. 3 Johnson and No. 4 Clark are the leading lightweight challengers and the winner of Clark-Johnson II, will be the mandatory opponent for IBF champion Julio “The Kid” Diaz (30-2, 25 KOs).

In Clark-Johnson I, Michael won a technical decision (40-36, 39-37, 38-38) against Levander for the WBC Continental Americas lightweight title June 30 2001 in Johnson’s hometown, Atlantic City. An accidental head butt rendered Clark unable to continue after four rounds

“Take a good look at Clark’s record,” Clark’s promoter noted. “He should be mentioned in the same class as the other top lightweights in the world — Diaz, (Arcelino) Freitas, (Jose Luis) Castillo, (Juan) Lazcano, and (Juan) Diaz. Michael’s already beaten Johnson, as well as Mauro Lucero when he was a top contender. Clark’s only losses have been to former WBO champ Artur Grigorian, who Michael floored, and WBA junior welterweight champ Vivian Harris.”

Clark, fighting out of Columbus (OH), is the reigning NABF lightweight champion, rated No. 5 by the WBA and No. 8 by the WBC. He also is the former IBC and WBC Continental Americas lightweight title-holder.

Johnson, reigning USBA lightweight champion, knocked out then unbeaten (31-0) and future world champion Sharmba Mitchell in the eighth round of their NABF lightweight championship match in 1994. He also knocked out 37-4-2 Fabian Hector Tejeda in the sixth round of their IBO title fight in 1995. Levander’s four pro career losses have been to Clark, 33-0 Miguel Angel Gonzalez (TKO8) for the WBC belt, 23-0 Orzubek Nazarov (TKO7) for the WBA crown in 1997, and 46-10-2 Javier Jauregui (TKO11) for the vacant IBF championship last November.