A participant in last weekend’s Toughman fighting contest at the Oklahoma City
Farmer’s Market died Tuesday following complications from the bout.
, 23, was cruising along in his fight Saturday night when he collapsed in his corner.
“He became more and more unresponsive and wilted on his stool,” said Oklahoma State Athletic Commission
director Joe Miller
Johnson’s suffered a fractured skull and was taken to OU Medical Center
where he also had a cerebral hemorrhage before being placed into a medically-induced coma. He died Tuesday afternoon.
“It’s absolutely tragic,” said Farmer’s Market owner Burt McAnally
. “I’m still in a state of shock.”
The event was sanctioned by the OSAC. The OSAC is a part of the Oklahoma State Department of Health
and oversees all professional boxing, wrestling, kickboxing and Mixed Martial Arts events in Oklahoma
The fighters wore 16 oz. gloves and headgear. McAnally said this is the fourth year he has hosted the Toughman event at the Market.
Toughman contests use standard boxing rules. They consist of three one-minute rounds with a one-minute rest period in between rounds.
Toughman bouts allow amateur fighters to gain experience and are only allowed in states that regulate the sport and approve of its elimination tournament format.
Boxers Tommy Morrison of Ada and Grady Brewer
got their start in Toughman.
“This makes me pause and think about ever having another one,” McAnally said. “Even though I didn’t know the kid, this happened in my venue and has had a huge impact on me. It becomes personal.”
Johnson was a standout pitcher for Latta High School
and was the winning pitcher when Latta earned the Class 2A state baseball championship in 2005. He pitched the last two seasons at Southeastern Oklahoma State
in Durant after two years at Butler Junior College
“He was a great young man, a Christian man, who worked extremely hard,” Southeastern coach Mike Metheny
said. “He did whatever we asked him to do and was the ultimate team player.”
Johnson and his fiancé, Andrea McKerley
, were married at a ceremony at the hospital Monday morning. McKerley is pregnant with the couple’s first child, a girl who will be named Avyn Leigh
Johnson's family declined to comment, according to a spokesman with OU Medical Center.
Anyone wishing to assist the Johnson family with its medical expenses can contact Susie Maeder
at Legacy Bank
in Blanchard (405) 485-9333.