Rumour Has It Kevin Johnson Will Be Next For Haye, Will The Fans Be Happy?

by James Slater - The word currently spreading on a number of boxing web sites says that unbeaten Kevin "King Pin" Johnson will be the man to face the much hyped David Haye in "The Hayemaker's" November bout. For months now, we have been listening to Haye talk about how he is the saviour of a poor heavyweight division and we have been waiting patiently to see who the former cruiserweight king will face in his heavyweight "re-debut" at The O2 Arena in London on November 15th..

The official announcement will not take place until this coming Tuesday, but it seems many people are almost sure it will be Johnson who lands the fight. Is this good news? I for one see a Haye-Johnson match-up as at least reasonable. Maybe I'm just relieved Hasim Rahman (probably) won't be getting the job he at one point looked like getting, but I don't see too much negativity attached to Haye's picking of the 29-year-old from Atlanta, Georgia.

Okay, Johnson is no big puncher, but he's young, undefeated, ambitious and he definitely has skills. Clearly he is a better opponent for Haye than the aforementioned Rahman and any other past it veteran. Some fans are already moaning, claiming Haye has picked the 20-0-1(7) Johnson simply to protect his chin. But wouldn't these same fans have moaned if Haye had chosen to face someone like Eddie Chambers or even James Toney? And don't forget, not too many heavyweights were available - as some priced themselves out by asking for silly money (at least according to Haye they did) and others had prior commitments.

So while I personally would have preferred the dangerous Monte Barrett to have got the chance he was desperate for - despite also being in the latter days of his career - Haye picking Johnson isn't too bad. The knock on "King Pin" is he hasn't faced any top class heavyweight yet, but neither has Haye. So let's not look at this fight as a mere formality for Haye. Possessing a superb left jab, more than adequate size and weight (6'3" and approx 245 pounds compared to 6'3" and approx 220 for Haye) and more experience fighting against the really big men, Johnson will be coming to London truly feeling he will win.

What if Haye struggles with Johnson's jab and overall speed? Don't get me wrong, "The Hayemaker" will be made a big betting favourite, and rightly so, but he just might be taken into the later rounds by a man who does not yet know how to lose. While if Haye does manage to get a spectacular and quick KO, doing so against the youthful and full of belief Johnson will surely mean more than it the would have if the would-be heavyweight ruler had done so against a guy like Rahman.

We won't know for definite until Tuesday, but it looks like David Haye will at least be fighting an unbeaten rival in November.

Article posted on 13.09.2008

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