Johnny Summerlin

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Name: Johnny Summerlin
Birth Name: John W. Summerlin
Hometown: Detroit, Michigan, USA
Birthplace: Luverne, Alabama, USA
Died: 2011-01-29 (Age:79)
Height: 185cm
Pro Boxer: Record

Johnny Summerlin was born in Luverne, Alabama and moved with his family to Detroit with the influx of automobile workers. He attended Northeast High School and was center on the varsity basketball team. Upon leaving school, he went right into boxing. Summerlin was a boxing instructor while in the army in 1952-53.

Once the fifth-ranked heavyweight contender, Summerlin retired at age 26 on the advice of his physician while suffering from hypesthesia or numbness on his left side. After retiring, Summerlin worked as a trainer in the Detroit area. One of his fighters, Sonny Banks, fought Muhammad Ali in 1962.


  • "Biography" Baltimore Afro-American (1956, May 22) Article
  • "Johnny Summerlin Calling It Quits" The Lewiston Daily Sun (1958, Aug. 13) Article