Filip Hrgovic out-points late replacement Kevin Johnson
Croatian heavyweight star Filip Hrgovic (7-0, 5 KOs) continues his World title hunt with a unanimous points win over former World title challenger Kevin Johnson (33-12-1, 17 KOs) last night at the KC Drazen Petrovic in Zagreb.
The WBC International Champion dominated Johnson over the eight-round distance. It came close to stopping the durable American in the second round with an overhand right landing flush and buckling the Kingpin’s legs.
Johnson beat the count but offered little resistance as Hrgović continued to control the fight in the later rounds, and the decision was in no doubt when the scorecards were read out with all three judges favoring the Croatian, 80-71.
Hrgović, the 2015 European Amateur Championship Gold Medallist and 2016 Rio Olympic Bronze Medallist, end 2018 on a high, having previously recorded victories over Sean Turner, Filberto Tovar, and Amir Mansour.
“I would like to thank everybody who has supported me,” said Hrgović. “I would also like to thank Kevin Johnson. He is a good fighter, and he has my respect. I hit him with some big shots, and he did not go down.
“I now plan to have a short break and enjoy Christmas with my family, and in the New Year, I look forward to getting back in the gym and continuing my World title quest. In 2019, I was coming for all the belts!”
Promoter Nisse Sauerland was ringside watching as Hrgović recorded his seventh career win and said he was impressed with his fighter’s display.
“That was a good performance from Filip,” said Sauerland. “He will have learned a lot from those eight rounds. He has already shown great development as a professional, and he can now enjoy a well-deserved rest before a big 2019.”
On the undercard, two-weight female World Champion Ivana Habazin outpointed Eva Bajic, avenging her 2013 defeat. Rising German star Leon Bauer climbed off the canvas to claim a unanimous points win over Jorge Silva.