Boxing

Kevin "King Pin" Johnson To Return To Action Tonight?

by James Slater - It's been just over six months since heavyweight contender Kevin "King Pin" Johnson's disappointing challenge of WBC champion Vitali Klitschko. That December 2009 day in Switzerland, when the then undefeated 30-year-old appeared to have no real ambition other than to go the full 12-rounds (which he did), gave us one of the most boring heavyweight title bouts in years, and it was especially disappointing given the great talk Johnson, now 22-1-1(9) was coming out with beforehand..

To be fair to Johnson, he did announce how he'd been carrying an arm injury throughout the fight, and this may have been a big reason for his negative-looking tactics. Certainly, this is what "King Pin" claimed via his official website a few months after the unanimous decision loss. Since the fight, though, we've heard practically nothing else from the man with the superb left jab. Until now.

According to a number of boxing web sites, Boxrec.com among them, the 30-year-old will actually be back in action, in a very low-key affair, tonight, June 18th. Set to face the limited and virtually unknown heavyweight that is 39-year-old David Saulsberry of Kentucky, Johnson is down as fighting him in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The bout is scheduled for eight-rounds, and it seems Johnson is happy enough to slip back into action without any fanfare or hype to accompany him.

Saulsberry, 6-2(6) turned pro in 2005 and he won his initial five bouts. Boxing in either North Carolina or Kentucky, the 39-year-old who weighs approx 300-pounds then ran into Wes Taylor and, a heavyweight you may be familiar with, Devin Vargas. Both men stopped him, in three and two rounds respectively. Since then, Saulsberry has had one bout, a 2nd-round KO win over an unbeaten guy named Roberto White - back in March of 2008!

It's clear to see, then, that Johnson is taking no chances at all in his first fight back after Klitschko. Unless he wants to get some rounds in so as to restore some of his old confidence, Johnson should be able to take his man out as and when he pleases. The comeback really presents the fast-talking Johnson with no test at all, but it will be interesting to hear what he has to say after he wins. What are Johnson's plans? How soon does he plan on fighting again? Will he up the level as far as his competition goes? Has "King Pin" actually retained his old self-assured attitude?

Of added interest to fans may be the fact that 1990's heavyweight title challenger "Smokin'" Bert Cooper is scheduled to be in action on tonight's bill. Inactive since 2002, the 44-year-old who once fought Evander Holyfield for the heavyweight title is set to face another unknown, in 26-year-old Cory Winfield. The North Carolina man is 3-6(2) and unless Cooper has absolutely nothing left, he should get himself his first win in almost a decade tonight.

Cooper, by the way, is down on Boxrec as fighting again in August, once again in North Carolina.

Article posted on 18.06.2010



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