Kirk Johnson Returns From Four-Year Layoff With 1st-Round TKO - Can "Bubba" Become A Player At Heavyweight Today?

by James Slater - Last night in Fort Worth, Texas, 37-year-old former world ranked heavyweight and former world title challenger Kirk Johnson returned to action after having taken slightly over four years off. Looking in far better condition than he did the last time we saw him fight - in a No-Contest against Javier Mora way back in March of 2006 - Johnson easily did away with 35-year-old "Preacher Man" Douglas Robertson; promptly doing away with the southpaw via a 1st-round TKO..

Weighing-in at a reasonable 248-pounds, the Canadian known as "Bubba" scored two knockdowns before the referee called a halt to the action at the 1-minute and 45-second mark. Johnson, who once faced top names such as Oleg Maskaev, John Ruiz and, more recently, Vitali Klitschko, is now 37-2-1(27).

Okay, in beating a guy who entered the ring with a 3-23-2(0) record, Johnson achieved little; but with today's heavyweight division being "wide open" in the eyes of some, it's easy to see why Johnson is back and attempting to get back in the world title hunt.

Now coached by the legendary former welterweight Curtis Cokes, Johnson looks to have sorted himself out training-wise. As fans may recall, the man known as "Bubba" looked in quite appalling physical condition when he tipped-in at a whopping 260-pounds for his WBC title eliminator against Vitali Klitschko in late 2003 - being stopped inside two awful rounds.

At the very least, Johnson looked in far better shape last night; even sporting a somewhat toned physique. Also, the 37-ear-old always did have considerable skills and maybe he can now, at last, put them to good use each and every time out. The good news is, Johnson is scheduled to be back in action on June 26th in Georgia. Set to face a TBA over a scheduled eight-rounds, Johnson will hopefully take a step up from the calibre of fighter he demolished last night.

Also, we can hope that the weight will come down for Johnson. 248 is a step in the right direction, but the naturally gifted boxer who holds wins over Maskaev, Larry Donald and Lou Savarase once scaled a solid 230-pounds or so when he climbed through the ropes.

Still appearing to be fast, powerful and skilled, as well as now being more serious in his quest, there is no reason Johnson shouldn't work his way back down to that weight in the coming months. If he does, he might - just might- shake up the division a little and get himself some big fights in the process.

Article posted on 01.05.2010

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