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Kevin Johnson ready to KO Anthony Joshua

joshua8By Scott Gilfoid: 35-year-old American journeyman Kevin Johnson (29-6-1, 14 KOs) has been picked out to be the B-side opponent for #7 WBC heavyweight contender and 2012 Olympic super heavyweight gold medalist Anthony Joshua (11-0, 11 KOs) for their May 30th fight at the O2 Arena in London, UK.

Johnson sees weakness and a number of flaws in the game of the 6’6”, 245 pound Joshua. Johnson isn’t saying what those flaws are, but he’s obviously seen a big enough weakness that he feels like he can stop him.

It’s likely that Johnson has spotted a lack of hand speed and a problem with mobility, which would appear to be a problem due to the 25 pounds of muscle that Joshua has put on his frame in just a year and a half since he turned pro in October 2013. Putting on 25 pounds of muscle in that short of a time period is bound to slow a fighter down, and it’s unknown at what point Joshua will stop putting muscle on.

“Anthony is so big that the KO is going to look so good. He is very confident with the start he has made, but I am confident I will knock him out,” Johnson said via “I am going to knock him out. When I was 3-0 I boxed another Olympian and really beat him, because all these Olympians that turn over have one thing missing – I saw it with him and I see it with Joshua.”

If Johnson is going to score a knockout over Joshua then he’s going to need to sit down on his shots in this fight and make sure he throws enough punches to have a chance of getting the stoppage win. I mean, Johnson has lost four out of his last five fights in defeats against Tyson Fury, Christian Hammer, Dereck Chisora and Manuel Charr. In all four of those losses, Johnson failed to pull the trigger with his shots and this led to him getting outworked by them. To me, it looked like Johnson didn’t have the stamina to let his hands go in the way that he needed to for him to have a chance of getting the victory.

Johnson has a great jab, and a nice left hook, but he’s never been considered a knockout puncher. But he’s facing a guy that is looking really slow and plodding in Joshua now that he’s put on even more muscle on his frame, and this gives Johnson a chance of getting the win.

Joshua might be extended the distance in this fight because Johnson has a great chin. It’s unclear how many rounds the fight is scheduled for, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn is making this an 8 rounder in case Johnson is able to take Joshua’s shots and take him into the deep end. The last thing that Hearn needs is for Johnson to get Joshua into the 11th or 12th rounds, and then show potentially that all of his weight-lifting muscles tire him out.

Before Joshua faces Johnson, he has another tune-up fight this one against Raphael Zumbano Love on May 9th in Birmingham. I say another tune-up because really all Joshua’s fights up to this point have been tune-up type affairs with him facing guys that weren’t even close to being in the same class as him in terms of talent.
As for as the Joshua-Johnson fight card goes, it’ll have IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook defending his title against fellow Matchroom Sport fighter Frankie Gavin in a fight that figures to be a one-sided affair from start to finish. Kevin Mitchell will be facing WBC lightweight champion Jorge Linares in a title shot for Mitchell. Lee Selby will be challenging IBF featherweight belt holder Evgeny Gradovich.

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