Johnson had his first professional bout on April 24, 1993, against Andre Smiley.
In his first title fight in 2002 Johnson faced John Ruiz for the WBA Heavyweight Title. In the tenth round Johnson was disqualified for low blows while losing on all of the judges' scorecards. Johnson appealed the disqualification to the WBA, on the grounds that referee Joe Cortez had erred in calling some of the low blows and did not act impartially (both Ruiz and Cortez are of Puerto Rican descent). Though many boxing commentators agreed that the disqualification was unwarranted, the appeal was ultimately denied by the WBA.
On December 6, 2003, Johnson faced the Ukrainian contender and future champion Vitali Klitschko in New York's Madison Square Garden. He was easily defeated by Klitschko, losing by a second-round knockout.
Johnson compounded the Klitschko embarrassment by coming into this fight at 260 pounds — an all-time high for him. Johnson weighed 232 pounds in his biggest win, over future WBC Heavyweight Champion Oleg Maskayev, in 2000.
After the Klitschko fight, Johnson staged a comeback. He knocked out Mexican heavyweight Gilbert Martinez in July 2004 and won a technical decision over Cuban Yanqui Díaz in June 2005, although he lost his next bout (later changed to a technical decision) against Californian Javier Mora in March 2006. Mora appeared to have accidentally stepped on Johnson's foot, causing Johnson to dislocate his knee. This decision was subsequently appealed and the result changed to a No Decision. Johnson has since recovered from his knee injury.
On April 29, 2010, Johnson returned to the ring after a four-year absence and fought journeyman Douglas Robertson defeating him via first-round TKO.
Johnson's record is now at 37–2–1 (27 KOs), with one No Decision.
In 2003, after dropping out of a planned fight against then-heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis because of an injury, Johnson launched a protracted legal battle against the Halifax Regional Police. During the inquiry, Johnson claimed that because of racism and racial profiling by the Halifax Regional Police he had his car stopped 28 times over five years while in Halifax. Johnson was awarded $10,000 in damages, in addition to $4,790 to cover his travel expenses. The police service was also ordered to create a scholarship in Johnson's name. It is awarded annually to a student from North Preston. Since 2003, 12 students have received awards.
|Professional record summary|
|41 fights||37 wins||2 losses|
|41||Win||37–2–1 (1)||Douglas Robertson||TKO||1 (4), 1:45||Apr 29, 2010||Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.|
|40||NC||36–2–1 (1)||Javier Mora||TKO||7 (10), 1:53||Mar 3, 2006||Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula, California, U.S.||Originally a TKO win for Mora, later ruled an NC after an incorrect referee call|
|39||Win||36–2–1||Yanqui Díaz||TD||5 (10), 3:00||Jun 9, 2005||Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula, California, U.S.||Unanimous TD after Díaz was cut from an accidental head clash|
|38||Win||35–2–1||Gilbert Martinez||RTD||8 (10), 3:00||Jul 8, 2004||Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula, California, U.S.|
|37||Loss||34–2–1||Vitali Klitschko||TKO||2 (12), 2:54||Dec 6, 2003||Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.|
|36||Win||34–1–1||Lou Savarese||TKO||4 (12), 1:52||Mar 15, 2003||Club Life, Dallas, Texas, U.S.||Won WBO Inter-Continental heavyweight title|
|35||Win||33–1–1||Jeremy Bates||KO||2 (8), 2:59||Dec 7, 2002||Mandalay Bay Events Center, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|34||Loss||32–1–1||John Ruiz||DQ||10 (12), 2:17||Jul 27, 2002||Mandalay Bay Events Center, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.||For WBA heavyweight title;
Johnson disqualified for repeated low blows
|33||Win||32–0–1||Larry Donald||UD||12||Jul 7, 2001||KeySpan Park, New York City, New York, U.S.|
|32||Win||31–0–1||Derrick Banks||KO||1 (10), 1:32||Apr 28, 2001||Civic Auditorium, LaPorte, Indiana, U.S.|
|31||Win||30–0–1||Oleg Maskayev||KO||4 (12), 0:51||Oct 7, 2000||Mohegan Sun Arena, Montville, Connecticut, U.S.||Won PABA heavyweight title|
|30||Win||29–0–1||Marcus Johnson||TKO||2 (10), 2:00||Jan 27, 2000||Hammerstein Ballroom, New York City, New York, U.S.|
|29||Win||28–0–1||Rodolfo Marin||KO||1 (10), 2:05||Oct 7, 1999||Soaring Eagle Casino, Mount Pleasant, Michigan, U.S.|
|28||Win||27–0–1||Al Cole||UD||10||Mar 20, 1999||Emerald Queen Casino, Tacoma, Washington, U.S.|
|27||Draw||26–0–1||Al Cole||MD||10||Dec 8, 1998||Roseland Ballroom, New York City, New York, U.S.|
|26||Win||26–0||Levi Billups||UD||10||Aug 6, 1998||Coeur d'Alene Casino, Worley, Idaho, U.S.|
|25||Win||25–0||Eric Curry||TKO||1 (10), 1:37||May 9, 1998||Etess Arena, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|24||Win||24–0||Rocky Pepeli||TKO||1 (10)||Apr 2, 1998||Erie Community College, Williamsville, New York, U.S.|
|23||Win||23–0||Louis Monaco||TKO||7 (10), 2:58||Jul 12, 1997||Grand Casino, Biloxi, Mississippi, U.S.|
|22||Win||22–0||Everton Davis||KO||8 (10), 2:16||Mar 11, 1997||Casino Magic, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, U.S.|
|21||Win||21–0||Terry McGroom||TKO||8 (10), 3:00||Nov 16, 1996||Bally's Park Place, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|20||Win||20–0||Danell Nicholson||UD||10||Aug 23, 1996||Bally's Park Place, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|19||Win||19–0||Darren Hayden||TKO||1 (10), 1:44||Jun 12, 1996||Trump World's Fair, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|18||Win||18–0||Mike Dixon||TKO||1 (8)||Mar 7, 1996||Shaw Conference Centre, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada|
|17||Win||17–0||Art Bayliss||TKO||1 (8), 1:39||Jan 25, 1996||International Plaza Hotel, Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|16||Win||16–0||Bradley Rone||PTS||8||Dec 21, 1995||Isle of Capri Casino, Bossier City, Louisiana, U.S.|
|15||Win||15–0||Nathaniel Fitch||UD||8||Jul 7, 1995||Civic Center, Bossier City, Louisiana, U.S.|
|14||Win||14–0||Matt Green||KO||1 (8), 1:18||May 3, 1995||69th Regiment Armory, New York City, New York, U.S.|
|13||Win||13–0||Ron Gullette||KO||1 (8)||Mar 29, 1995||69th Regiment Armory, New York City, New York, U.S.|
|12||Win||12–0||Marion Wilson||UD||8||Feb 3, 1995||Fernwood Resort, Bushkill, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|11||Win||11–0||Tyrone Evans||KO||8 (8), 1:43||Nov 5, 1994||MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|10||Win||10–0||Keith McMurray||KO||3 (10)||Oct 12, 1994||The Pit, Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.|
|9||Win||9–0||George O'Mara||KO||1 (8)||Sep 9, 1994||Grand Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|8||Win||8–0||Ross Puritty||UD||6||May 5, 1994||Grand Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|7||Win||7–0||Dave Fiddler||TKO||2 (6)||Feb 17, 1994||Convention Centre, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada|
|6||Win||6–0||Kelvin Hayden||KO||1 (6), 2:07||Dec 16, 1993||Foxwoods Resort Casino, Ledyard, Connecticut, U.S.|
|5||Win||5–0||Willie Johnson||KO||3 (6)||Oct 27, 1993||Bally's Park Place, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|4||Win||4–0||Bryant Smith||UD||6||Oct 6, 1993||Broadway by the Bay Theater, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|3||Win||3–0||Ed Donaldson||KO||5 (6)||Aug 30, 1993||Kemper Arena, Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.|
|2||Win||2–0||Earl Talley||KO||1 (4), 2:05||Jun 7, 1993||Thomas & Mack Center, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|1||Win||1–0||Andre Smiley||TKO||3 (4), 2:47||Apr 4, 1993||The Aladdin, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.||Professional debut|
|Regional boxing titles|
|PABA heavyweight champion
October 7, 2000 – June 2001
Title next held byNikolai Valuev
|WBO Inter-Continental heavyweight champion
March 15, 2003 – November 2003
Title next held byTimo Hoffmann