News – Vitali Klitschko to Defend title against Kevin Johnson in December
By Jason Kim: WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko (37-2, 36 KO’s) is reportedly in discussions for a title defense against unbeaten contender Kevin Johnson (22-0-1, 9 KO’s) in December. However, before that fight can happen, Klitschko, 38, must first get by Chris Arreola (27-0, 24 KO’s) on September 26th. That won’t be an easy fight for Klitschko to win, but hopefully if Klitschko can come out of that fight in one piece and doesn’t suffer any bad cuts or major injuries, we may be seeing Vitali back in the ring in December against Johnson.
It’s unclear what the attraction is for Klitschko with the 30-year-old Johnson, besides his unbeaten record. Johnson is far from a big star in the heavyweight division and really isn’t all that known other than to hardcore boxing fans. Johnson isn’t considered to be the best heavyweight in the division, although he is clearly one of the top fighters.
The fact that Klitschko is interested in fighting Johnson seems a comment on how bad the division is at this time. In the past, there were always at least a couple of big stars that a fighter could count on fighting in order to get a good payday. Sadly, it’s not like this now.
Unless, of course, Vitali wants to fight his brother Wladimir, he’s probably never going to get the big mega payday that he’s been dreaming of all these years. Mama Klitschko isn’t going to let Vitali fight Wladimir, so Vitali is going to have to be satisfied with fighting opponents like Johnson and Arreola.
Other than Johnson’s unbeaten record, Vitali might also be interested in fighting Johnson because he’s an American. With Johnson being an American fighter, there’s a bigger chance that a cable network like HBO or Showtime might show the fight. I don’t know why they would, because a fight between Johnson and Vitali sounds even worse than Arreola vs. Vitali. I can see both fights getting poor ratings.
The heavyweight division is totally dull right now and in need of some major stars. British heavyweight David Haye might be a future star in the division, but trying to get him to fight has become an ordeal in the past year. He’s pulled out of two fights. But he’s someone to keep an eye on in the future.
If it were up to me, I’d much prefer to see Vitali Klitschko fight someone like Denis Boytsov or Odlanier Solis rather than Kevin Johnson. Those heavyweights throw more combinations and sit down on their punches a lot more than Johnson. I think Vitali would do well against either one of them and it would be an exciting fight while it lasted.
In a fight against Johnson, there would be a lot of jabs from Johnson and slapping right hands. Johnson has a good left hook, but his work rate is low and he mostly jabs all the time. If he gets into a jabbing war with Vitali they’ll end up putting HBO or Showtime viewers to sleep. I can’t imagine that either of those networks would want to spring for this fight. I see it as a boneheaded move for either of them if they do.
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