Friday, March 31, 2006

Young heavyweight Kevin Johnson makes successful TV debut

By JE Grant

UNCASVILLE, CONN. --- Young heavyweight Kevin Johnson, 9-0-1 (5 KOs), Asbury Park, N.J., 237 ½, won his first televised bout with a near shutout 8-round decision over old warhorse Robert Hawkins, 21-6 (7 KOs), Philadelphia, 260 ¼, on the Montell Griffin – Norman Jones undercard.

Johnson, boasting that he possesses the best jab in the heavyweight division, relied almost exclusively on that punch throughout the contest. Clearly Hawkins, who came into the bout the heaviest of his career, was nearly stationary and hard to miss.

Hawkins trudged forward and attacked with slow, pushing punches that occasionally found the mark. Johnson move away often, choosing to shoot jab after jab and showing very little other offense.

While the 6’5” Johnson showed some hand speed his almost total reliance on the jab will not dazzle the top heavyweights. His occasional right hands were thrown awkwardly and some missed wildly. Combinations were almost non-existent.

In fairness, Hawkins, 36, did not bring enough offense to force Johnson, 26, to exhibit a world-class arsenal.

Time is on Johnson’s side given the collective ages of the top fighters of the division. He is likely two-three years away from cracking the upper echelons of the division.

Scoring of the bout was 80-72, 80-72, and 79-73. JEBoxing had the bout 80-72.


Anonymous The Cruiserweight said...

Yep JE,pretty well put.Johnson did show some athleticismgood size,and a fast jab (Thrown a bit 'precariously' though) but that was about all he showed.I mean...I was seriously starting to wonder if his right arm was hurt??? He showed no real 'arsenal' to speak of,his footwork was shoddy at times,but that being said--I DO think he has some potential.He's 26 now,perhaps at 28 he will be something to be reckoned with???

12:16 AM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

I am intrigued enough to where I would like to follow his career and see him again.Which is more than I can say about a few other young American hvy 'prospects' quite frankly.I think there MAY be some promise/potential there,but I really need to see more.(Both figuratively and literally.)

12:27 AM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

...I know this sounds like I may stating the obvious here,but I am genuinely concerned-based off of what I saw AND heard from Johnson last night-that he may be a bit too enamored and 'in love' with his jab.


6:05 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

I agree. He has this romantic attachment to the jab. He thinks that is all the Holmes and Ali had and he is soooooooooooo wrong. Holmes was an excellent combination puncher and countered better than almost anyone. Ali's right hand was strong enough to make opponents keep a little more distance than they would have liked. A one-armed fighter does not a champion make.

6:44 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

YUP.It was a bit refreshing to see and hear a hvy put so much focus on the jab,and show a promising one as well,but at the same time...It was also a bit concerning.

He intrigued me somewhat,but I'm really hoping that I see at least a little MORE from him next time.And yes,the opponent did leave a bit to be desired in that capacity,but still no 'excuse'in that regard IMO.

Enjoy the fight!


7:08 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

P.S-*Chuckling* It reminded me a bit of watching the 50-something Holmes against Butterbean,where he still (amazingly!) had his jab,but that was about ALL he had!

(Any time Holmes threw a right,or tried to throw anything remotely resembling a combination--man did it ever look ugly! LOL! And you could basically say the same about Johnson last night!)


7:24 PM  

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