Vitali Klitschko looks to close out 2009 with big win over Kevin Johnson
In October of last year former heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko returned to the ring to challenge Samuel Peter for his WBC Heavyweight strap. Having been away from the sport for nearly four years there were still many questions surrounding Klitschko and there was uncertainty as to whether or not he could pull off the win over the always pressing Nigerian.
From the early moments of the bout it became clear that Vitali had taken his return to boxing very seriously as he started to control the contest immedialty. Using his superior size and length, Klitschko kept Peter at bay with his ramrod jab and punished him with right hands as he came in. Precise, calculating, and cold blooded, Klitschko began to administer a beating on the gritty champion like he had never experienced before.
After eight one sided rounds Peter had seen enough and decided to call it a day. The WBC belt again changed hands and one of the division’s more recognizable faces of the past decade had reintroduced himself in a profound way. In one night's worth or work, Klitschko had went from being criticized and forgotten to suddenly being looked at as a man on a mission.
Klitschko followed that performance up with victories over former Crusierweight boss Juan Carlos Gomez and Mexican Heavyweight Chris Arreola this year. Looking to put a stamp on his notable return, Klitschko will be facing unbeaten American heavyweight Kevin ‘Kingpin’ Johnson this Saturday at the Post Finance Arena in Berne, Switzerland.
Sporting a 22-0 record with 9 knockouts, Johnson is known more so for his outspoken demeanor and skills in the ring more than his power and it remains to be seen if he can present enough of a challenge to keep things interesting.
Throughout his six plus years as a professional Johnson hasn’t engaged in the type of fights that would give us a true indication of the type of heart he possesses nor has he met the type of opponents that would make his bouts worth noticing - until now.
What Johnson does bring to the table is a huge amount of confidence, as he has never shied away from talking up his abilities. He is also very capable in many areas inside of the ropes, especially boxing from a distance, and he has one of the division’s most effective and proficient jabs.
At the end of the day though, for as much as Johnson can talk to keep things interesting, it appears to be too steep of a mountain for him to climb. Klitschko is simply bigger, more of a threat offensiviely, and has been through these type of situations far too often to bet against.
Just as the his 2009 storybook has so far gone as scripted, expect Vitali to put the finishing touches on everything with a late round stoppage this Saturday night.