Exclusive Interview Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson

By Jeff Zimmerman

Fightnews.com® caught up with former world champion Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson as he discussed being avoided by the likes of Michael Carbajal, Manny Pacquiao and Johnny Tapia in his Hall of Fame career. “Too Sharp” talked about Estrada-Chocolatito 3 and how he would have fared in today’s boxing. He also gave his thoughts on the great, young talent of Shakur, Tank, Devin, Kingry and Teofimo, who he likes in Tank vs. Kingry, and much more in this exclusive interview.


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  • Too Sharp was an absolute joy to watch! One of the best small fighters of all time. The man could literally do EVERYTHING in the ring.

  • Just because all those fights didn’t happen doesn’t mean all those guys ducked him. He forgot to mention that he ducked Yuri Arbachakov. He was the #1 contender for Arbachakov’s WBC title, but chose a much easier path fighting a mediocre opponent for the vacant IBF belt. That’s a proven fact.

  • Never knew Pacquiao was supposed to fight Too Sharp. Pacquiao lost to some Thai guy on body shots, then jumped up to 120 lbs.. And Pacquiao made Cotto and De La Hoya come in at 145. But, 122 to 147 is a lot of weight classes to dominate, and he still almost got KO’d by Nedal Hussein in late 2000, lost to Morales (with Japanese gloves) and almost lost to Marquez at 126. If Pacquiao was juicing, doubt he did much past the Margarito fight, and who cares if he was vs Margarito.
    I remember Too Sharp fighting on ESPN.

  • Johnson has his facts mixed up with fighting Pacquiao.
    Johnson had the IBF 112 lbs belt from 5/96 to 9/98 (before Pacquiao was anybody). Johnson had the IBF 115 lbs title from 4/99 to 11/99. Pacquiao had the WBC 112 lbs title from 12/98 to 9/99. Pacquaio was WBC International champion at 122 from 12/99 till the Ledwaba fight.
    If Pacquiao vs Johnson was going to happen, it would have been Pacquaio vacating the WBC 112 lbs belt in early or mid 1999 and going up to 115 to challenge Mark Johnson for the IBF belt before 9/1999 (when Pacquaio was 20). Pacquiao wasn’t known much outside of Asia before 2001. Pacquaio never came close to 115 lbs again after 9/1999 (when he got KO’d quick by a Thai fighter after coming in at 113 at the weigh in).
    But, Johnson almost definitely would have beaten that version of Pacquiao in an IBF defense at 115 at anytime from 6/1999-9/1999.

  • I remember “Too Sharp ” Johnson screaming in the ring post fight interview ” we want Johnny Tapia, we want Johnny Tapia” and he never got an answer. Honestly I don’t think a guy like Tapia was afraid or avoiding him, maybe the table, or phone conversations never progressed I guess, nonetheless no 115 of present time would have beaten a prime Johnson

  • It sucks that Too Sharp never got that defining fight with another top champ before he went to prison for beating up his wife.

    Then Rafael Marquez destroyed what remained of his career.


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