The Joshua Spree (No. 2)

Welcome to The Joshua Spree, in which we track the progress of heavyweight super prospect Anthony Joshua as he walks the yellow brick road to a title shot by mowing down vastly inferior opposition, step by lucrative step.

Joshua, who, if Eddie Hearn is to be believed, will win the heavyweight championship and then singlehandedly take Syria and Iraq back from ISIS, faces Kevin “Kingpin” Johnson today in London. At 29-6, with no knockout losses, the plump-faced American was chosen to give the young lad a hard chin to test his oversized muscles against. What better way of proving Joshua’s exceptionalism than by stopping someone who went the distance with Vitali Klitschko and domestic rival Tyson Fury? Short of lifting Big Ben out of its foundation, whipping the tough but punchless American might be Joshua’s best immediate option.

Anthony-Joshua 2
Johnson, left, as little chance of upsetting Joshua, right (or Hearn, middle).

It’s our objective to remain on top of Joshua’s career so that once he inevitably becomes champion, we can’t be accused of coming late to the party. Here are the vitals in advance of today’s fight:

Location: O2 Arena, London, United Kingdom

Anthony Joshua Kevin Johnson
Hometown Watford, Herfordshire, United Kingdom Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Age 25 35
Height 6’6 6’3
Weight 248.8 225.5
Reach 82” 82”
Style Orthodox Orthodox
Record 12 (KO 12) – 0 29 (KO 14) – 6 (KO 0) -1

My guess is we’ll see Eddie Hearn made uncomfortable in a Kugan Cassius interview before we see Joshua bothered by a journeyman. Even if Johnson manages to survive by dancing and jiggling his way around Anthony’s right hand, it will amount to little more than a protracted butchering in which the young man lands unobstructed power punches that ripple the American’s loose skin, after which, if a unanimous decision verdict is announced, pundits can praise the Englishman for having “gone rounds.” Such is the mechanized nature of building a heavyweight champion.

Put another way, ponderous heavyweights who can’t punch don’t pose issues for phenomenally conditioned ones who can. They are checkboxes used to round out an upstart’s résumé.  “Kingpin” is playing the role of the peon.

But, maybe there’s a silver lining to this routine fight? In light of recent reality TV scandals, a win tomorrow will go a little way towards restoring the glory of the name “Joshua”. So, yes, solidarity with our fellow Joshuas: if watching a token beatdown isn’t enough to pique your interest, seeing a biblical warrior’s name rehabilitated surely is!

 – Eliott McCormick

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