Joshua jostling to extend perfect heavyweight career start over Johnson
In a literal heavyweight showdown at the O2 Arena in London, promising British hope Anthony Joshua will put his perfect professional career start on the line against experienced American Kevin Johnson, having comprehensively won his first 12 professional bouts to date by knock-out.
The Watford-born heavyweight giant shot to stardom at the 2012 Olympic Games in the capital, when he rallied to a successful gold medal triumph on home soil, and has since rampantly battled through the division with ease.
Although, Joshua’s toughest test in the ring is sure to come on Saturday night in the form ‘the Kingpin’ Johnson, who has never been toppled in his 13-year career, with all of his six losses coming by points decision.
Current WBC International heavyweight champion Joshua is odds-on 2/9 to inflict his equally towering opponent with a maiden knock-out defeat, while 35-year-old veteran Johnson is 20/1 cause an upset in London with a stoppage victory, as both heavyweights prepare for a possible quick-fire clash.
“We squared off at the first press conference and it’s great that Johnson has no fear of me and I have no fear of him,” stated Joshua. “He’s been in with Vitali Klitschko and he’s thinking: ‘If Vitali can’t drop me, who the hell is this kid?’”
Joshua’s ferocious counterpart managed to take Ukrainian heavyweight king Klitschko 12 gruelling rounds back in 2009, but in recent fights has lacked his killer instinct, losing five of his previous six bouts and a last victory coming in April 2013.
Although, this hasn’t dashed the confident ‘Kingpin’, who has gone the distance with other British fighters such as Dereck Chisora and Tyson Fury, with the loud-mouthed American verbally bashing his next opponent and branding him “a big baby.”
“He’s nothing but a grown man in a diaper – I will expose that to the world,” declared Johnson. “I don’t rate him at all. He has no business being on my level. His corner will either throw in the towel or he’ll be stopped before they can even get their hand in the air.”
The highly-anticipated bout is being fought on the ‘Rule Britannia’ card, which is headlined by Kell Brook’s IBF welterweight defence against Frankie Gavin, and the in-form Briton is 10/3 to secure a points decision triumph, having not gone beyond the third round of a professional match-up yet.
Having clinically dispatched Raphael Zumbano Love just three weeks prior to this encounter with Johnson, 25-year-old Joshua will be gunning for a further boost of his heavyweight credentials at the O2 Arena.