Thursday, April 17, 2008

Kevin Johnson Facing Terry Smith

On Friday April 18th, up-and-coming heavyweight Kevin Johnson faces his biggest test when he faces Terry Smith (30-4-1, 18 KO's). Terry Smith came up short to Jameel McCline awhile back for the vacant NABO heavyweight title, and has noteworthy wins over fighters such as Kelvin Davis, Julius Long, and Demetrice King. Kevin Johnson (18-0-1, 6 KO's) has wins over fighters of the likes of Damian Wills, Daniel Bispo, Robert Hawkins, and most recently on December 5, 2007, Jermell Barnes.

Kevin Johnson displays an excellent jab, but at a 6-foot-3, 6 ko's out of 19 fights, and a trim 238 pounds many want to see him step up with more convincing wins. When asked about why he wins by jab rather than by more convincing wins Kevin said, "I've had 19 fights, and I ain't never been hit yet. Never been down, dazed or out," Johnson said in defense of his jab-first style. "Larry Holmes always said, 'You do what you been doing that's been working, until it stops working.' And so far, I've been in there with 19 people that can't get past the shotgun jab." He also had an explanation as to why he doesn't go for knockout:

"I'm saving all that for the champions," the 28-year-old New Jersey native said. "They're going to be sitting back, studying tapes of me. They can only study 19 tapes of the jab. They ain't going to get too far."

To me this seem a little ridiculous. You need, especially when starting out your career, to fight to entertain the fans enough so they want to see you more and the promoter will want to promote you more.

Terry also said he's tired of a lot of fighters getting title shots that don't deserve them:

"I'm getting tired of what you're tired of, all these runner-ups and candidates, just coming in as an opponent for a title shot, knowing damn well they ain't the man for the job. I'm tired of it, you know? Everybody wants to fight for the title, but [really], they just want that check."

I guess we'll have to find out Friday night whether or not Kevin Johnson is on the right track. He does seem promising, but does need to step it up as far as competition and more convincing wins. The fight will be shown on ESPN's Friday Night Fights, and live at the Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Oklahoma.

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