Heavyweights Monte Barrett And Kevin Johnson To Clash In May?

by James Slater - A most intriguing and possibly important heavyweight meeting appears set to take place this coming May 15th in Atlantic City, New Jersey, as heavyweights Monte "Two Gunz" Barrett and Kevin "Kingpin" Johnson are down as rumbling in a fight to be televised by ESPN 2. The fight is up as happening on BoxRec, and the bout is also listed on's list of upcoming fights. Matching a promising though still unproven talent against a man who has fought at the very top level for years, as it does, Barrett-Johnson makes sense..

Fans and experts have wanted to know for some time now whether or not the unbeaten Johnson, currently 21-0-1(8) is the real deal. A fight against 37-year-old Barrett, currently 34-7(20) would go a ways towards telling us. The 29-year-old who was last seen stopping the little-known Matthew Greer inside 3 rounds back in November (the guy who has just gone through eight brutally entertaining rounds while dropping a UD to Brian Minto) can certainly talk a great fight. "Kingpin" has a God-given knack for self promotion and so far he has backed up all his boasts. Possessing a superb, Larry Holmes-type left jab, Johnson also has a good physique and what looks like fine conditioning. However, he has not yet been pushed hard in a fight and neither has he met a puncher. At least one of these facts will change in May.

For Barrett, last seen, of course, losing in a spirited affair against soon-to-be world heavyweight title challenger David Haye, can certainly punch. "Two Gunz" may also be able to drag Johnson into a tough and testing battle. Both men stand the same height at 6'3," although Johnson comes in around twenty pounds heavier at approx 242 pounds, and on paper the fight looks a pretty evenly matched bout. A lot may well depend on how much Barrett has left after the 5th round TKO loss he suffered at the hands of Haye; a fight that saw him hit the mat five times. If the veteran did not have all the fight that remained blasted out of him that London night in November of last year, Johnson could have his hands very full on May 15th.

Interestingly, it was Johnson who very much wanted, and at one time looked like getting, last November's date with "The Hayemaker." Now he gets the man who wound up landing the job instead. Wins over the likes of Bruce Seldon, Damian Wills and the aforementioned Greer will pale in comparison to a win over Barrett if the 29-year-old is able to get one next time out. Having been there and almost done it all, Barrett is a perfect test for a young fighter to find out if he has indeed got the stuff necessary to make it.

Pre-Haye, we all saw how dangerous Barrett can be when he blasted out the heavily hyped Tye Fields inside a single round. Johnson is an infinitely more gifted fighter than was "Big Sky," but who knows, he could wind up being caught by a bomb early doors. It's a dangerous fight for Johnson, to be sure. But he needs to take this step if he's to prove he's serious about becoming heavyweight champion. For Barrett, a loss, particularly a stoppage loss, would likely signal the end of his career.

Monte told this writer, as he was training for the big fight with Haye, that he wants to go out of boxing with, "all his bullets fired." On May 15th, in yet another high profile fight, "Two Gunz" will get the chance to unload what's left in his clip.

Article posted on 22.04.2009

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