EAST ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – This week, Arthur Johnson will take amateur fighters from Flash Boxing Gym, in East St. Louis, to the Ringside National Championships – last year, they walked away with two champions. In his 16th year of coaching he is working to build the next generation of great St. Louis boxers.
In 1988 he was the pinnacle of amateur boxing in the US. That year he represented Team USA Boxing at the Olympics, he won a gold medal in the Flyweight Division at the Goodwill Games in Moscow, in 1986, and he had won his 10th U.S. National Boxing Championship.
He would win two more national titles before turing pro, finishing with a career-amateur record of 170-25. Then as a pro he would win three World Titles, and finished his career in 2003 with a record of 22-6, with 14 KO.
Now, he’s a coach, a mentor and the founder of the Arthur Johnson Foundation. His goal is to help mold another Olympic boxer from around his hometown of East St. Louis, while giving back to the community that raised him.
Last week’s training for Ringside in Kansas City, took Johnson and his fighters to the downtown St. Louis boxing gym at 12th and Park Recreation Center on Tucker Blvd. Ranging from 8- to 31-years-old, his fighters sparred with boxers for the last time before they’ll be fighting on the other side of the state.
In the coming months Johnson will have a facility all to his own in East St. Louis. A vacant building at 1718 State St will become the new recreation and activities center for the Arthur Johnson Foundation. Johnson says “this is where champions will be made.”