Army lieutenant sees husband’s boxing win turn sorrowful
For Army Lt. Aunisa Stroklund, the experience of watching her husband’s Sept. 17 International Boxing Federation lightweight championship win on television at Camp Caldwell was a treat.
But her elation over husband Jesus Chavez’s win soon turned to concern for his opponent, Leavander Johnson, who was rushed to the hospital.
Johnson died last Thursday afternoon, five days after suffering brain damage during the fight with Chavez.
Chavez (42-3, 29 KOs) dethroned Johnson (34-5-2, 26 KOs) in an 11th round TKO on American Forces Network Sports last weekend, winning the IBF lightweight title.
Stroklund watched the fight with 40 other soldiers at Camp Caldwell, located near the Iranian border in eastern Iraq. Stroklund, a company commander with the 386th Engineer Battalion, married Chavez in May 2004.
Shortly after the Sept. 17 fight, Stroklund found out that Johnson had been hospitalized.
“We’re celebrating his win, but we’re also praying for [Johnson] to heal,” Stroklund said at the time.
Chavez said he would donate a portion of each purse he wins as IBF lightweight champion to a fund for Johnson’s four children, according to an Agence France Presse report.
“The best way I can do justice to the title Leavander and I both proudly held is to defend it well and to be a true champion in and out of the ring, like he was,” Chavez said.