NEW YORK (July 16, 2007) – Two up and coming heavyweight boxing prospects, Kevin “The Kingpin” Johnson (15-0-1, 6 KOs) and Damian “Bolo” Wills (22-1-1, 16 KOs), will have their chance to make a mark on the American heavyweight picture when they meet on the renowned SHOWTIME series – ShoBox: The Next Generation, Friday, August 3, from Atlanta, Ga. In the featherweight co-feature, Eric Hunter (7-1, 3 KOs), of Philadelphia, Pa., will take on Joel Santiago (8-0, 2 KOs) of Mexico City, Mexico.
The exciting doubleheader, promoted by Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing will air on SHOWTIME (11 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast) from the Far West Rodeo, Doraville, Ga.
While Wills has defeated nearly 75 percent of his opponents via knockout, Johnson has experience against some of the most powerful punchers in the heavyweight division. He sparred against current International Boxing Federation (IBF) Heavyweight boxing Champion Wladimir Klitschko prior to his bout against Samuel Peter. Johnson also has trained with Jameel McCline, Monte Barrett and Faruq Steward.
“I have been sparring with Jameel since I was an amateur,” said Johnson about McCline, who will face Vitali Klitschko Sept. 22 on SHOWTIME. “Sparring with these guys has prepared me to fight anyone. I am ready to take on the best.”
Johnson has more than just an impressive sparring resume. He also boasts an impressive jab.
“I have the fastest jab in the heavyweight division,” Johnson said. “The fastest guaranteed. I will bet you right now half of my purse when you see it.”
The 27-year-old Wills has boxing in his blood. His father, Mark “The Big Chill” Wills, was a professional fighter in the 1980s and ‘90s, and took his son to the gym with him since he was three years old.
“This is the chance I have been waiting for,” Wills said. “To fight on SHOWTIME is an amazing opportunity, and I promise I will not disappoint.”
While he grew up around boxing, Wills did not start training seriously until he was 19 years old. That was when he began working with Terry Claybon in Los Angeles.
“Claybon taught me how to box. I didn’t know how to box before that,” Wills said. “I thought I was working out in the gym, but I really wasn’t doing anything.”
Now, with the help of Claybon, Wills is a polished fighter with amazing potential. In 22 professional bouts, he has knocked out 11 opponents in the first round.
“I can’t wait to get into the ring and show the whole world what I have,” Wills said. “I am ready to knock Johnson out so I can get a chance to continue my climb through the heavyweight rankings. I want to compete for a title fight, but first I am going to knock him out.”
Blow-by-blow announcer Nick Charles will call the action from ringside with expert analyst and boxing historian Steve Farhood at his side. The executive producer of “ShoBox” is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing.
For information on “ShoBox: The New Generation” and SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecasts, including complete fighter bios, records, related stories and more, please go the SHOWTIME website at http://www.sho.com/boxing.
About ShoBox: The New Generation
Since its inception in July 2001, the critically acclaimed SHOWTIME boxing series, “ShoBox: The New Generation” has featured young talent matched tough. The “ShoBox” philosophy is to televise exciting, crowd-pleasing and competitive matches while providing a proving ground for willing prospects determined to fight for a world title. The growing list of fighters who have appeared on ShoBox and advanced to garner world titles includes Leonard Dorin, Scott Harrison, Juan Diaz, Jeff Lacy, Ricky Hatton, Joan Guzman, Juan Urango, David Diaz (interim) and Robert Guerrero.
On July 7, 2007, Nonito Donaire and Joachim Alcine became the 17th and 18th “ShoBox” alums to garner world titles when the pair pulled off socking upsets over Vic Darchinyan and Travis Simms, respectively on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING.