Boxer still critical; 'He could die tomorrow,'

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The Independent Online

A boxer who sustained a severe head injury in the ring last weekend remained hospitalized in critical condition Tuesday, his status unchanged.

A boxer who sustained a severe head injury in the ring last weekend remained hospitalized in critical condition Tuesday, his status unchanged.

"He could die tomorrow," said Kenneth Woods, manager of 31-year-old Stephan Johnson.

Johnson, a New Yorker, was knocked out in the 10th round of his USBA junior middleweight showdown with Paul Vaden on Saturday. He has not regained consciousness and is hooked up to a respirator in the intensive care unit of Atlantic City Medical Center.

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

Hospital officials refused to say what condition Johnson was in, at the request of his mother.

"Everything's exactly the same. No worse, no better," said Woods, who was at his bedside. "The longer he's alive, the better it is. His condition isn't too good, though."

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. He was given a clean bill of health and had won two fights since.

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

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