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World Boxing Federation Champions Of The Past: Randall Yonker

Posted on November 5 2015                                              Bookmark and Share
By: Clive Baum



Since the World Boxing Federation was originally founded by American Larry Carrier in 1988, many of the sport’s biggest names have won a WBF title, and proudly defended the blue, red and gold belt all over the world.

In the Champions Of The Past Series we take a closer look at some of the boxers who held WBF titles in years gone by, from lesser known champions to world renowned fighters, legends of the sport and current or future Hall of Famers.


Finding in-dept information about former WBF World Light Heavyweight Champion Randall Yonker is not an easy task. In fact, if you only have the name and his boxing record, its not something you want to attempt if working within time restrictions, but his accomplishments in the ring never-the-less deserves to be recognized.

Yonker was born on March 13 1963 in Concord, California and later relocated to Mobile, Alabama where he made his professional boxing debut as a 21-year-old on December 4 1984, beating a no-hoper from Texas called Carl Orville (0-5) by second round knockout.

Nicknamed “Kid Galahad”, he was not exactly fast-tracked, and it would be more than five years, fighting no one of note, before he got his first opportunity to win a title. With a 15-0 (12) record, Yonker was a favorite to beat Italy-based Ugandan Paul Muyodi (14-10-2) for the WBA International Super Middleweight strap in March 1990.

But it was not to be. At the Fairgrounds Arena in Mobile, family, friends and fans turned out to see their guy win his first belt, but went home disappointed when Muyodi surprised everyone by stopping the hometown hero in round two. It was a setback for Yonker, but it would not be long before he was firmly back on track.

In June and August of that same year, Yonker scored easy rebuilding victories, dispatching Rocky Bentley (6-20) in three rounds and Richard Stephens (2-6-2) in seven, putting him in line for a crack at NABF Super Middleweight Champion Paul Whittaker (27-3) the following November.

Whittaker, who had only lost to the legendary Wilfred Benitez and undefeated world champions Matthew Hilton and Christophe Tiozzo, was making his second NABF title-defense against Yonker, and was considered a real test to see if Randall had a promising future in the game, or if the Muyodi loss had done too much damage.

Yonker came through with flying colors and this time didn’t disappoint his hometown fans at Shriner´s Auditorium in Mobile, stopping Whittaker in the fourth round to win his first professional championship. It was a wonderful performance, and with his career truly resurrected it was time to build towards something even bigger.

In March 1991 Yonker stayed busy with a unanimous decision over journeyman David McCluskey (9-14-2), sharpening up for his first defense of the NABF title against the capable Paul McPeek (22-2) four weeks later. McPeek was also outpointed, and Yonker´s climb in the world rankings continued at a steady pace.

In his next three outings, Yonker beat Joe McKnight (18-5), defended his title against Troy Darrell (26-2) and demolished Kenny Snow (28-12) to secure a huge fight against former IBF world champion Michael Nunn (36-1) on a big show promoted by Don King at the Mirage Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on 29 November 1991.

Nunn, who had defended his IBF world title five times before losing it to fellow future Hall-of-Famer James Toney in his previous outing, entered the fight as a clear favorite, but the match-up was a risk worth taking for Yonker who would be in line for a shot at Toney´s crown if he beat the man from Davenport, Iowa.

Unfortunately the gamble didn’t pay off for Yonker, as Nunn proved to be the superior boxer on the night and simply had too much in his toolbox. The Southpaw stylist won by tenth round technical knockout, and would go on to win the WBA world title in his next fight, while Yonker went back to the drawing board.

After deciding to move up to Light Heavyweight, it was make-or-brake time for Yonker in March of 1992. Back at the scene of their first fight, The Fairgrounds Arena in Mobile, he was matched with Paul Myuodi (15-11-2) in a chance to get revenge against the first man to have defeated him two years earlier.

And revenge was sweet, as a strong and determined Yonker wasted no time by stopping Muyodi in the very first stanza. He build on that resounding triumph with another first round blowout of James Mullins (5-14-1) six weeks later, and with a 25-2 ledger he was finally awarded a chance to win a world title.

Now a regular headline act at the Fairgrounds Arena, Yonker fought Tim “Scrap Iron” Johnson (12-3) for the vacant WBF World Light Heavyweight title on June 15, 1992. It was a must-win fight for Yonker, and another big-fight defeat would likely mean the end of his career at top level.

Johnson, from the worlds Country Music capital Nashville, was in the same situation. After suffering two surprising losses early on in his career, he had come up short in his first bout at world level against former IBF world Middleweight boss Frank Tate three months before the showdown with Yonker.

Johnson had returned with a victory in the meantime, but it was clear that both fighters had their backs against the wall. While the winner would be the WBF world champion, the loser would be hard pressed for somewhere meaningful to go, anytime soon.

But this time it was going to be Randall Yonkers night! Focused and in top shape, he went about his business like a man possessed, and after five rounds of more or less one-way traffic, referee Tommy Kimmons waved the fight off in round five, making Yonker the new WBF World Light Heavyweight champion.

Between August 1992 and December 1993, Yonker added three more victories to his resume, scoring stoppages over nondescript opposition. In early 1994 he was again booked by Don King, this time to fight Australian WBC World champion Jeff Harding on a Showtime televised card at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on March 4.

But shortly before he could get his chance to add the WBC belt to his collection, Yonker recieved the news that Harding had sustained an injury and would not be able to fight. Instead, Yonker was pitted against an even more formidable foe in former Super Welterweight and Middleweight world champion Mike McCallum (45-2-1) for the Interim title.

McCallum, from Jamaica but fighting out of New York, was too much for Yonker to handle, and knocked him down in round five to force a TKO stoppage. This would turn out to be the last major fight for Yonker, who never won another fight.

He lost his comeback on points to upstart Ray Berry (10-1), and it looked like he would at least leave the sport on his feet. However, almost three years later he made an ill-advised return to the ring and got stopped twice in a row by Montell Griffin (32-1 and 35-2) in 1998 and 1999.

His final record stands at 29-6 (23), and besides winning the NABF Super Middleweight title and the WBF World Light Heavyweight crown, Yonker should be remembered as a good and hard-punching fighter who fought some great names in Nunn and McCallum.

  Part 22: Holly Holm
  Part 21: Vinnie Curto
  Part 20: Robin Reid
  Part 19: Lionel Butler
  Part 18: Mads Larsen
  Part 17: Ken Sigurani
  Part 16: Orlando Fernandez
  Part 15: Roger Turner
  Part 14: Roy Jones Jr.
  Part 13: Fitz Vanderpool
  Part 12: Steve Roberts
  Part 11: Thulani "Sugarboy" Malinga
  Part 10: Junior Witter
  Part 9: Jimmy Thunder
  Part 8: Juan Lazcano
  Part 7: Jeff Malcolm
  Part 6: Ricky Parkey
  Part 5: Carl Daniels
  Part 4: Angel Manfredy
  Part 3: Samson Dutch Boy Gym
  Part 2: Greg Haugen
  Part 1: Johnny Nelson
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