Anybody who tuned in to see British future heavyweight star Anthony Joshua’s (12-0,12ko) routine, one sided knockout of South American Raphael Zumbano Love on Saturday night will have witnessed durable American veteran Kevin Johnson (29-6-1, 14ko) step into the ring post-fight to hype and sell their upcoming May 30th bout from London’s O2.
The veteran American, who has never been stopped in his 36 professional fight career – looked calm and composed as he met Joshua’s stare and said;
“I’ve already got the antidote. I don’t need to study any tape. I know exactly what I have to do to stop this guy.”
It would appear that Joshua, despite having never been tested as yet in his fledgling career, is confident and unmoved by the step up in class, telling the Daily Mail;
“Kevin Johnson isn’t a worry to me. I’ve been in tougher fights in the street. ”
“I’ve had worse beatings from my old man – I’m not worried about Kevin Johnson. ”
Joshua is also realistic. He knows that while Johnson does represent a sterner test than any in his career thus far – it’s a fight he needs to win – and in some style – to keep his hype train rolling.
The truth is Johnson had his pinnacle back in 2009 when he went the distance with Vitali Klitschko. Yet he has more recently gone 12 with Tyson Fury, Dereck Chisora and Manuel Charr.
In spite of this, if Joshua is the future champion with the potential we all think – then he should certainly be beating Johnson. The question is not if, but how, for many. The stoppage will make the statement he needs to silence some doubters – for the time being anyway.
Of the American fighter and what he represents at this stage of his career, AJ said;
“I feel quite confident that he might be a good name on paper but I’ve had harder fights and it gives me confidence I’ll be able to deal with him in good fashion.”
“We are not really doing our apprenticeship anymore- let’s take that leap of faith. I think it would be good to get that victory with Johnson.”
And I fully expect him to. The future is looking great for the Olympic Gold medal winner – and as the heavyweight division grows more exciting for the first time in years – the options for Watford’s Matchroom Sport fighter are numerous.
A future clash for the commonwealth title with New Zealand prospect Joseph Parker, while unlikely at the moment would potentially be a great fight. A clash with it’s current holder Lucas Browne in the future may also appeal as the Aussie is with Hatton Promotions in the UK.
There are guys like David Price and Dereck Chisora also providing good enough benchmark fights post Johnson domestically too.
We will know soon enough what will happen in his future, yet right now – the big punching Joshua cannot afford to look too far ahead. Not just yet anyway…