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Johnson Destroys Pineda, Earns Shot At Dawson

Two-time light heavyweight champion Glen Johnson (47-11-2, 32 KOs) was too much for his limited opponent Hugo Pineda (39-4-1, 28 KOs), stopping him in the 8th round of a scheduled 10-round fight on Saturday night at the Bally’s Hotel & Casino, in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The 36 year-old Pineda was taking severe punishment by Johnson on the ropes in the 8th when Pineda signaled to the referee that he’d had enough and wanted the fight to be stopped. The referee David Fields then moved in and halted the fight at 0:49 of the 8th round.

Johnson, no spring chicken himself at 39, knocked Pineda down in the 7th round, and had him hurt badly from the 5th to the 8th rounds. The bout wasn’t meant to be a competitive one, as Johnson was using it as a tuneup for a potential match with World Boxing Council light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson. Yesterday, it was announced that Johnson, ranked #1 in the International Boxing Federation, will indeed be fighting WBC light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson on April 12th in Florida.

Johnson methodically took the veteran Pineda apart in rounds 1-4, loading up with single shots, mostly hooks, to the head and body. It seemed as if Johnson could take Pineda out at any time if he put on a sustained effort but he didn’t seem interested in doing that. Instead, Johnson was content with hitting Pineda over and over again with monstrous shots, which he would land in a clubbing fashion. At the end of the 5th round, Johnson staggered Pineda with a huge hook to the head. However, the round ended before Johnson could finish him. In the sixth round, Johnson started off stalking Pineda, who was moving side to side to try and keep out of harms way.

Johnson would quickly cut off the ring and then land powerful hooks to Pineda’ midsection, causing him to wince in pain. By this time, Johnson was loading up with every shot, trying to take Pineda’s head off with every punch. Looking nothing like a 39 year-old fighter, Johnson seemed to be the same fighter that viciously stopped Roy Jone Jr. in the 9th round in 2004, as he relentlessly pressured Pineda, giving him no break from onslaught.

In the 7th round, Pineda actually found the courage to throw back a a half dozen half-hearted punches in the round, but they did little to slow down Johnson, who continued to pour in vicious hooks to the body and head. Near the end of the round, Johnson hit Pineda with a big left hand followed by a chopping right that dropped Pineda to the canvas. Upon getting up, Pineda was given a standing eight count by referee David Fields.

The round ended moments after the eight count, with Pineda staggering to his corner, and having difficulty sitting down because he was still groggy from Johnson’s left-right. In the 8th round, Pineda again attempted to move from side to side, but Johnson quickly cut off the ring on him, and began to savagely attack him with big hooks to Pineda’s midsection, causing him to retreat to the ropes. While taking severe punishment on the rope, Pineda motioned with his left hand to the referee, signaling him to stop the fight. David Fields, the referee, obliged and quickly stopped the fight.

It was an impressive punching performance by Johnson, who showed that despite getting up there in age, he can still punch with a lot of power. If he can pressure Dawson the way he did with Pineda, he might have a chance against the younger fighter. However, he’s got the odds stacked up against him, as Dawson does everything well – defense, foot movement, power punching and throws punches with blinding speed. Even in his prime, Johnson would have little chance at beating Dawson, as he’s just an overall more highly developed fighter with much more superior skills. Johnson’s going to have to attempt to pin Dawson against the ropes and try to force him to fight at close quarters, because if he gives him any room to fight, Johnson will be boxed silly and will lose a one-sided decision.

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