Klitschko-Johnson: New York - If Klitschko can make it there he'll make it anywhere!

02.12.03 - Hamburg – It’s a week of high emotions at New York’s Madison Square Garden: Tuesday to Thursday the legendary duo Simon & Garfunkel will sing at the 34th street in the heart of the Big Apple. And on Saturday Dr. Vitali Klitschko and Kirk Johnson will make some painful music with their boxing gloves at the same place. It will be the first boxing show at the Madison Square Garden for two years.

HBO will televise live in the US (6:45pm PT, 9:45pm ET), ZDF in Germany (03:35 German time).

“It’s a highly attractive fight” Vitali Klitschko believes. After his bloody war against Lennox Lewis in June nobody has to explain the elder Klitschko brother how tough it can get. “Johnson belongs to the group of the best heavyweights in the world and he is one the most awkward boxers to fight. I’ve seen many of his fights on video. He’s punching hard. I have to be careful.”

If one looks at the two fighter’s records it’s no surprise that the public and the journalists in the US expect a knockout. Klitschko, 32-2 (31), and Johnson 34-1-1 (25), are real giants and hard punchers and they promise the kind of fight that American boxing fans love: Two big guys standing toe-to-toe and throwing bombs at each other. The potential of this fight made Klitschko-Johnson the main event on HBO. Even the popular homeboy Joe Mesi who most recently attracted a live gate of 15,000 in Buffalo, is merely another fight on the undercard of the “Garden”.

„Johnson is the most underrated heavyweight out of the top-10”, “Baby” Joe Mesi commented who is following in the footsteps of his father who was a boxer before him. “Johnson has the speed and the mobility to confuse Klitschko a lot.”

Whether the Madison Square Garden will be a sell out depends on the extend of this year’s Christmas shopping fever. Theatres, concerts and hotels are all booked up. Ticket prices for the boxing event range between $29,50 and $304.

HBO will start their live broadcast with the Mesi-Barret fight, afterwards they show Klitschko-Johnson. ZDF begins 10 Minutes earlier. The German TV channel will show the undercard fights of Mario Veit and Steven Küchler first, then Mesi-Barret tape delayed and Klitschko-Johnson live.

The last and only fighter of Universum Box-Promotion who ever fought at the Madison Square Garden was Wladimir Klitschko. In April 2000 the younger Klitschko brother knocked out David Bostice in round 2, right before world champion Lennox Lewis stopped his most intimidated and overrated challenger Michael Grant just as quickly.

The Madison Square Garden in it’s current shape is already the fourth version of this building in New York. The first “Garden” opened 1879 a few blocks south from today’s location. In the years following there had been multiple pull downs and reconstructions. Only in 1968 the city and the responsible architects agreed on a round design: For sport events, concerts and conventions.

In 1971 Joe Frazier defeated Muhammad Ali in one of the most legendary boxing world championships at the “Garden”. Later Jimmy Hendrix, Elvis Pressley and the Rolling Stones filled this famous place with rock concerts. Other celebrities among many guests of the “Garden” were Frank Sinatra, the pope, Madonna and Steffi Graf. Even Bill Clinton celebrated his nomination for presidential candidacy here.

And now the main event is Dr. Vitali Klitschko.

Almost 20 years after the foundation of Hamburg’s Universum Box-Promotion a main event at the Mecca of Boxing is reality.

Once Frank Sinatra was singing: “If I can make it there I’ll make it anywhere. It’s up to you. New York, New York.”

Live Punchstat on December 6

The fight between Vitali Klitschko and Kirk Johnson will be broadcasted live by many television channels all over the world (HBO in the US, ZDF in Germany). will complement the television broadcast with a live punch statistic on the internet. Move your computer or notebook close to your TV, open and watch live how many punches Klitschko and Johnson are throwing and landing. You can also vote who won the last round in your eyes. Submit your vote between rounds.

Klitschko-Johnson Live Punchstat Timetable

December 6
19:00 Los Angeles
22:00 New York

December 7
03:00 London
04:00 Berlin
05:00 Kiew
06:00 Moscow

Article posted on 02.12.2003

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