Ukrainian WBC heavyweight champion Vitali “Dr. Iron Fist” Klitschko is scheduled to defend his crown against undefeated challenger Kevin “Kingpin” Johnson on Dec. 12 at the PostFinance-Arena in Bern, Switzerland.
Klitschko (38-2, 37 KOs), the owner of the highest knockout percentage (92.5 percent) of any heavyweight boxing champion ever, badly bludgeoned Cris Arreola (27-1, 24 KOs) last month in Los Angeles before the product of Riverside’s corner stopped the fight after the conclusion of the 10th round.
When the active Klitschko, 38, scraps Johnson (22-0-1, 9 KOs) in a couple of months, it will be the third time he has fought in this calendar year alone.
“I feel top fit, had super preparations in Los Angeles and really enjoyed the fight against Arreola,” said Klitschko, the first professional boxing world champion to hold a Ph.D.
“I can barely wait to climb into the ring again. Kevin Johnson is very dangerous. He has already had 23 professional fights, is undefeated and has significantly better technique than my last opponent.”
Johnson, 30, who was raised in the gritty streets of Asbury Park, N.J., is a tactician in the ring who is known to employ a dominant jab that famed trainer Emmanuel Steward once said is “the fastest since Larry Holmes.”
Unfortunately for Johnson, his jab is somewhat neutralized because he badly lacks knockout power in either of his fists.
“I’ve worked long and hard for this chance and I’m going to take it,” said Johnson, who went 14-2 as an amateur pugilist and captured the New Jersey Golden Gloves title.
“I’m sorry for Klitschko that I have to spoil his Christmas.”
Johnson’s legitimate jab should allow him to stay competitive with Klitschko in the matchup’s initial rounds.
However, it is extremely unlikely that any of Johnson’s feathery punches will seriously hurt Klitschko.
As the fight progresses, Klitschko’s brutish power and thunderous blows will inevitably fatigue Johnson and the “Kingpin’s” offensive tactics will ultimately be rendered useless after the middle rounds.
“I will not underestimate Johnson and as always will prepare myself meticulously for my opponent,” Klitschko said.
Expect “Dr. Steel Hammer” to provide Johnson with a Ukrainian version of “Greetings from Asbury Park.”
But, in this instance, the “Kingpin” won’t appreciate Klitschko’s violent welcoming.