Klitschko-Johnson: Tough one to call
By Peter Wells: Vital Klitschko 38-2(37) defends his WBC Heavyweight title for the 3rd time since his return to the ring, against Kevin Johnson 22-0-1(9). The American has a big task ahead of him and this will be his first big test. He may be 30 but hit his peak in his last fight earlier in May by knocking out also unbeaten Devin Vargas. Until then he hadn’t took anyone on of any note, and will need a big performance in Switzerland on 12th December. He’s never been in a 12 rounder although has gone the full 10 rounds 5 times in his career, and hasn’t been known as much of a puncher.
Klitschko on the other hand has fought some of the best Heavyweights around, before he retired in 2004 after knocking out Danny Williams. He first won the WBO Heavyweight title by knocking out Herbie Hide in just 2 rounds and lost to Chris Byrd by 9th round retirement. His next world title shot he lost in a brutal 6 rounds were he suffered multiple cuts before being stopped against British legend Lennox Lewis. Then he won back his WBC title by stopping Corrie Sanders and retired after stopping Danny Williams after 4 knockdowns. Since returning he won the title of slow and way below Klitschko’s league, Samuel Peter to win back his precious WBC crown, and has defended against tough challenger Juan Carlos Gomez, who was unbeaten in 45 fights -1 draw- whom he stopped after a tough 9 rounds. Then he beaten huge American hopeful, Chris Arreola. Arreola was beaten fair and square before pulling out after 10 rounds. Vitali has improved since returning but isn’t at all what he used to be, and age is catching up with him, and maybe one day he’ll find out what it means to properly call it a day.
So it’s a fighter who hasn’t proved himself against a fighter who’s proved himself maybe too many times. Is it Johnson’s time to shine? Has Klitschko had his day? Does Kevin have the experience to stay in there with a substantial puncher? Is Klitschko’s improvement since returning leading to another great performance?
I think Klitschko will be brought back down to reality and realise he isn’t the force he used to be. But not here, he still has at least one more great performance in him, and Johnson will be strong early on, and maybe even wobble Klitschko, but will gradually be broke down, to a sudden halt in the last round.
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