Big punching British heavyweight sensation Anthony Joshua (12-0, 12ko) has spoken out ahead of Saturday’s fight with American veteran Kevin Johnson to respond to the “Kingpin’s” assertion that the gold medal winning Olympian is nothing more than a ‘media hype-job.’
35 year old Johnson, who in promoting the fight has laughably stated he is the future of the heavyweight division – is likely going to get stopped for the first time in his career by AJ, who, in a sure sign of what’s expected – has already got his next fight penciled in – for July 18th in Manchester against a TBA opponent.
Yet a likely knockout hasn’t prevented Johnson criticizing Matchroom Sport’s aggressive promotion of their future star – who admittedly is yet to be truly tested in his fledgling career – and the American appears to genuinely believe he has the ‘antidote’ to beat the Watford man.
Joshua spoke to Sky Sports News about the American fighter’s comments to insist he is more than happy with his handlers at Matchroom, saying;
“I’ve gotta take my hat off to Matchroom Sports and Sky Sports. They’re doing a great job of presenting me to the public. It was only a few years ago that nobody really knew who I was – so to be called a hype job, I’m really happy that my hype train is on the road. We’re at a pit stop Saturday night with the Johnson fight and once I get the victory we’ll be back on the road again!”
Of the fight itself and his prep, he said;
“I’m feeling really strong and looking forward to it. You gotta tune in to see this fight ’cause Kevin Johnson has been in with the likes of Vitali (Klitschko) – some of the British contenders – some guys that are fighting for world championship belts soon. (Tyson Fury)”
“I’m coming up right now but it’s a perfect fight for me. It’s a win-win. If I get the rounds then I’ve (sic) done something no one’s been able to do to me before or if I get the stoppage, it’ll be a great statement for myself and boxing.”
Joshua is aware of the growing calls for him to be facing sterner opposition. Hearn is aware also he cannot be held back much longer – and nobody wants to see a situation with him finally being flung in at the deep-end – only for us to find out he can’t swim.
That’s why the tests need to be gradual – and this is a decent enough fight for now but sooner or later, Joshua will need rounds. How many can Johnson realistically take him?
“I try and display some of my strengths in the fights but they tend to end quickly and Kevin Johnson is very, very, very experienced. He’s very defensive, he’s gonna be talking trash – as you know, he’s a man of pride and I’m gonna go in there and do a job on him for sure. All the talking stops Saturday night.”
“I’m not gonna get carried away and I’m just gonna break him down bit by bit. We’ve got 10 rounds and you can’t run for 10 rounds – sooner or later someone gets found out.”