Boxer in critical condition

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Friends, family and cornermen of boxer Stephan Johnson maintained a solemn, tightlipped vigil as the junior middleweight remained hospitalized with a brain injury.

Friends, family and cornermen of boxer Stephan Johnson maintained a solemn, tightlipped vigil as the junior middleweight remained hospitalized with a brain injury.

Johnson, 31, of Brooklyn, New York, took two punches to the head, the Doctors said Johnson suffered a seizure on the spot and was rushed to Atlantic City Medical Center, where he remained in critical condition on Sunday. At his mother's request, the hospital refused to give information about his condition.

But his wife, Bonnie Johnson, said his condition was unchanged from early Sunday, when he was diagnosed with a subdural hematoma and listed as "very critical."

Dr Rick Snepar, a ringside physician who treated Johnson immediately after the bout and consulted with hospital doctors later, said blood was collected between Johnson's brain and skull, causing swelling.

He called it a "major injury."

On Sunday, Johnson's mother, wife and four friends gathered in the lobby of the hospital but said precious little when asked about his condition. "Everything's the same as it was last night," Bonnie Johnson said.

Manager Kenneth Woods had said after Saturday night's bout that surgery was planned, but Johnson's wife said there had been no surgery.

Johnson was ahead on two of the three judges' cards before he was knocked out in the 10th round.

The two fighters were exchanging punches in the middle of the ring when Vaden landed a stiff jab and Johnson staggered backward. Vaden missed with a big right, but landed a left to the head and Johnson went down. The back of his head hit the lower strand of rope and the upper part of his body landed on the apron.

Referee Earl Morton started a count, but quit at four as Snepar and three other ringside physicians rushed to Johnson's side.

He was put on oxygen and strapped to a stretcher before being taken to the hospital.

He never regained consciousness before being sedated and put on a respirator at the hospital, according to Woods. Doctors planned to insert a tube in his brain to siphon off fluid and relieve pressure on it, Woods said early on Sunday.

In April, Johnson was stopped in the 11th round by Fitzroy Vanderpool. After that fight, Johnson went to the hospital for tests before being released several hours later. Woods said he was given a clean bill of health and won two fights since.

Johnson has been fighting professionally since 1987 and has a 27-8-1 record.

The scheduled 12-round fight was on the undercard of the Michael Grant-Andrew Golota heavyweight bout, which was won by Grant.

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