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Kevin Johnson says he was injured for Klitschko loss, wants fight with Haye

By Jim Dower: Heavyweight contender Kevin Johnson (22-1-1, 9 KO’s) partly explains the reason for his lopsided 12 round unanimous decision loss to World Boxing Council heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko last December, saying that he was injured in the 2nd round of the fight and that affected him for the remainder of the bout. Johnson, now looking for his next opponent, would like to fight WBA heavyweight champion David Haye next.

The chances of that happening are extremely remote, because Johnson isn’t a huge star, and he’s not likely the type of fighter that would get a lot of attention for Haye in the UK, which is where Haye will likely fight his next bout. In an interview by Greg Leon at Boxingtalk.com, Johnson says “The target now is WBA champion David Haye. I understand that I have to reel a championship belt in order to get a Klitschko back in the ring. But I know without a doubt I would beat David Haye. No disrespect to Haye, but I believe I would stop him late. Haye is not as dangerous as Klitschko, which is probably why we haven’t seen that fight yet. I would love to fight David and see if he could change my opinion that Vitali is much better than him.”

There’s one big problem preventing Johnson from getting a fight with Haye and that’s his lack of ranking in the WBA. Johnson isn’t ranked in the top 15 by the WBA, and without the number #1 ranking, Johnson will likely continue to be ignored by Haye for the remainder of his career. It’s safe to say that Haye will never fight a guy like Johnson.

With Haye talking about wanting to retire by 31, he’s going to probably try to get the most out of the remainder of his fights before he hangs them up for good. A fighter like Johnson, who has a great jab and a defensive style of fighting, isn’t an appealing option for a slugger like Haye. Johnson showed a good chin in his loss to Vitali last December, but mostly his defensive safety first style of fighting ensured that he wouldn’t be seriously hurt by Vitali.

However, Johnson probably would have a decent chance of beating Haye if he could get him in the ring, but that probably won’t happen. Johnson is probably too dangerous for Haye, and for that reason, he’ll continue to be ignored by him. If Johnson really wants a fight against one of the Klitschko brothers, then he’s going to need to go after some of the top 15 heavyweights and try to pick up some fast wins to work himself back into a title shot.

Johnson needs to get back in the top 15 real quick, because his ranking has slipped dramatically since his loss to Vitali Klitschko last December. Johnson isn’t ranked in the top 15 by any of the sanctioning bodies despite being better than a lot of the fighters that are currently ranked ahead of him. It might have to do with his poor, non-performance against Vitali. Johnson appeared to be looking to just survive through much of the fight.

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