Kevin ‘Kingpin’ Johnson has branded Anthony Joshua MBE has a ‘hype job’ ahead of their clash on a bumper night of action The O2 on Saturday May 30, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Johnson wants to make it an unlucky 13 for the Olympic gold medal hero who has blasted away all of his first 12 opponents inside three rounds since his debut at the Greenwich venue in October 2013.
‘Kingpin’ has never been stopped in his career and took Vitali Klitschko the distance in their World title fight in 2009 and went the full 12 with Joshua’s domestic foes Tyson Fury and Dereck Chisora – and the Georgia man says he is in the best shape of his career and will expose the London fans’ favourite.
“He is a media hype job and let me tell you this, once this dude is out the way I’m going to show you that the future of the Heavyweight division is right here,” said Johnson.
“I’ve said it before, I’ve got the antidote for this guy. It’s something all of these amateur Olympic guys have in them, you’ll see come Saturday – that’s all I’m going to say on that.
“I’ve been here for two months now and not remotely homesick – I’m hungry for something, and I know what I’m about to get.
“My training has been in a highly classified location, we been keeping everything under wraps and under the hat, so nobody know about that. We don’t want to be scaring people off.
“I’ve been ready for two weeks. Let me tell you this – I’ve been a pro since 2003, this is the best shape and condition I’ve ever been in during my whole career
“For the last two years I didn’t even train and I didn’t even care. The days of hurting my career are over. I blew it by not training and just turning up – but not for this, not for this right here!
“I’m going to give the fans exactly what they deserve, something I’ve had deep down inside of me. It’s taken for someone over here in the UK to bring that out of me. I’m not going to complain.
“Let me tell you how real it is – this preparation tops Vitali Klitschko preparation – that guy was then the biggest in the world. That was supposed to be your biggest preparation right there. For Vitali I was 60 per cent, this I’m 100 per cent so I don’t know what else to say. I’m really afraid of myself to be at this point right here, I’m going to be explosive.”
Johnson’s meeting with Joshua is part of a massive night of action in London with three World title fights at the top of the bill.
Sheffield’s Kell Brook defends his IBF World Welterweight title against Birmingham’s Frankie Gavin, Londoner Kevin Mitchell challenges Jorge Linares for the WBC Lightweight belt and Welsh stylist Lee Selby attempts to take the IBF Featherweight crown from Evgeny Gradovich.
There are three great domestic title bouts on the undercard with John Ryder tackling Nick Blackwell for the vacant British Middleweight strap, Scotty Cardle and Craig Evans tussle for the vacant British Lightweight belt and Dave Ryan defends his Commonwealth Light Welterweight title against John Wayne Hibbert. Former World champion Nathan Cleverly is in action and Lucien Reid makes his pro debut.
Limited tickets remain on sale for the bumper night of boxing at The O2 priced at £40 and £60 from www.theO2.co.uk and on 0844 856 0202.