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The Cyber Boxing Zone Encyclopedia -- Old Timer

Harry Johnston

BORN c. 1877; Youngstown, Ohio (Fought out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
WEIGHT   125-130 lbs


Johnston was a quick and scrappy fighter; He compiled a nice record in a time period when many fights were called draws


Born in Youngstown, Ohio, Johnston came to Pittsburgh at an early age, where he took up boxing and joined Red Masonís stable. He fought most of his early bouts in New Kensington, Beaver Falls, Millvale and Pittsburgh. He was both a clever boxer and a hard puncher who stopped many local lads on his march to the top of the local pecking order.

Johnstonís most frequent opponent in his early years was Billy McIsaacs, a superior boxer who lacked the power that Johnston himself possessed. McIsaacs topped Johnston by decision in their first bout in Natrona. Their second bout the following year saw McIsaacs having his way until Johnston clipped him with a titanic blow in the second round, stopping him. Their next two fights were closely contested ten round draws with neither man having the edge. Their final bout on January 21, 1901 was for fifteen rounds and was billed as being for the ďFeatherweight Championship of Western Pennsylvania.Ē  It was a torrid affair with Johnston finally ending the question of superiority by stopping McIsaacs in the fifteenth round.

After topping his archrival, Johnston left Pittsburgh for several years, returning in 1906 to face streaking local bantamweight star Jock Phenicie, who twice stopped him.

-- From the book Pittsburgh Boxing: A Pictorial History -by Douglas Cavanaugh

   Click to see the Facebook page for the book


Johnston had a good reputation as a fighter but data is rare; If anyone comes across information, please contact Tracy Callis or Douglas Cavanaugh

Sep  5 Cam Hager                    New Kensington, Pa                W  3
Sep 12 Eddie Campbell               New Kensington, Pa               KO  3
Sep 15 W.F. Hopper                  New Kensington, Pa                D  6
Sep 23 Martin Lee                   New Kensington, Pa                W  4
Oct  4 Fred Fairman                 New Kensington, Pa                L  8
Oct 11 Mark Kerwin                  Pittsburgh, Pa                    D  6
Oct 18 Young Finley                 Pittsburgh, Pa                    D  4
Oct 23 Young Finley                 Pittsburgh, Pa                 ND-D  4

Mar 19 Billy McIsaacs               Natrona, Pa                       L  8
Sep    Martin Lee                   McKeesport, Pa                    W 10
Dec    Mike Lavelle                 Beaver Falls, Pa                  D 10

Jan 17 Mike Lavelle                 Beaver Falls, Pa                  W 15
Feb 16 Billy McIsaacs               Beaver Falls, Pa                 KO  2
Mar  7 Buzz Auber                   Beaver Falls, Pa                 KO  7
Jun 17 George Tucker                Washington, Pa                   TK  3
Oct 24 Sig Hart                     Millvale, Pa                      L 10
Nov  6 Fred Schlate                 Millvale, Pa                     KO  2
Nov  6 Tim O'Day                    Millvale, Pa                     KO  2
          -The previous 2 bouts were held the same date
Nov 20 Billy McIsaacs               Millvale, Pa                   ND-D 10
Dec 19 Joe MacMahon                 Buffalo, NY                       D 20

Feb  5 Luke Burke                   Buffalo, NY                       W 20
Feb 10 Osh Flynn                    Buffalo, NY                       W  4
Feb 26 Joe Leonard                  Buffalo, NY                       D 20
Apr 18 Luke Burke                   Jamestown, NY                     D 20
May 25 Billy McIsaacs               Pittsburgh, Pa                    D 10
Jul 16 Billy Ryan                   Buffalo, NY                       D 20
Aug 24 Kid Bush                     Buffalo, NY                       D 20
Dec 10 Tony Moran                   Millvale, Pa                      W 21

Jan 16 Kid Bush                     Erie, Pa                          D 20
Jan 21 Billy McIsaacs               Millvale, Pa                     TK 15
Feb  5 Jimmy Dunn                   Youngstown, Oh                   TK 20

Feb 12 Kid Farmer                   Chicago, Il                       L  6

Apr  5 Fred Jones                   Allentown, Pa                    KO  5

May 11 Jock Phenicie                East Pittsburgh, Pa              LT  8

Jan 19 Jock Phenicie                Pittsburgh, Pa                   LT 23

*** Most Data Was Provided By Douglas Cavanaugh *** 

*** Photo Provided By William Schutte ***

Review courtesy of Tracy Callis, Historian, International Boxing Research Organization