Klitschko vs Johnson To Take Place December 12th In Switzerland?

by James Slater - Though it's not exactly a country well known for hosting pro boxing, Switzerland did host a "world" heavyweight title fight last December, when WBA champ Nikolai Valuev defended against former champ Evander Holyfield. Well, according to a number of strong rumours that have been appearing on various boxing sites on the internet (you may have read one or more of them), Switzerland will hold another heavyweight championship fight this December, as WBC king Vitali Klitschko looks set to face unbeaten Georgian Kevin Johnson there..

The fight has not yet been officially announced, but it does look like this bout will be the next one "Dr Iron Fist" takes (it is up as happening, in Berne, Switzerland on Box Rec). Keeping himself busy and active, the Johnson fight will be the 38-year-old's third one this year; not a bad work rate by today's heavyweight standards.

But if the fight does go ahead as it seems it will, what type of contest will it be? Does the 30-year-old who goes by the nickname of "King Pin" have a realistic shot at upsetting the powerful and immensely strong giant from Ukraine, or will the U.S have to look elsewhere for a fighter to bring a portion of the heavyweight championship back to its shores?

There is no denying Johnson's skill level and talent. Unbeaten at 22-0-1(9), the diligent-training 246-pounder is probably best known for his excellent left jab. After having studied Larry Holmes and Muhammad Ali on tape, paying special attention to both greats' jabs, Johnson has pretty much perfected his own left jab. The knock on Johnson has been how he doesn't hit hard enough for such a big guy, but the 6'3" contender has upped his game with that in mind just lately. Stopping his last three opponents, "King Pin" has answered some of his critics.

Another gripe some fans have with regards to Johnson is one that suggests he is getting his shot at Klitschko too soon. Originally set to meet the likewise unbeaten Odlanier Solis this past October 10th, Johnson took a pass due to the Klistchko fight being offered to him. After just 23 pro fights, is the 30-year-old ready for someone as tough, as seasoned and as, well, great as Vitali?

A couple more wins, including one over the aforementioned Cuban big guy, wouldn't have hurt Johnson any, that's for sure. But "King Pin" and his team feel they are up to the huge task now. Nobody can really blame Johnson for taking hold of this massive opportunity with both hands. And with his boxing skill and the good stamina he has thus far shown in his career, Johnson cannot be written off. One thing is definite, Vitali will have a different type of opponent in front of him on December 12th; as in different when it comes to style compared to the more aggressively minded challenger he met last time out.

Not necessarily a better overall fighter than Chris Arreola - who Klitschko retired after the 10th-round on September 26th - Johnson will box the WBC champion in an altogether different way than "The Nightmare" did. It will be interesting to see how Vitali copes with Johnson's great left jab, and it will be interesting to see if the challenger can make the champ look slow, make him miss and pile up points.

Vitali fought a courageous slugger back in September. Now he is set to face a clever boxer/puncher with as good a left jab as you will find in today's heavyweight division.

Article posted on 15.10.2009

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