Tyson Fury wins near shut out over spoiler Kevin Johnson

1 Dec

Alan Dawson – London

Tyson Fury emerged triumphant in a fight to forget on Saturday, December 1 at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland as, even though the British/Irish heavyweight is normally an entertainer, he was up against an opponent famed for his spoiling. Kevin Johnson did what he did best, defend, throw little and survive, but it was ultimately an ugly showing and Fury thoroughly deserved his unanimous decision.

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Dawson’s scorecard

Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Fury
10 10 10 10 10 10 9 10 10 10
10 10
Kingpin
9 9 9
9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9

Official verdict: Fury wins via UD (119-110, 119-108, 119-108).

With a name like Tyson Fury (20-0-0, 14ko) it was never going to be hard attracting attention as a prizefighter. Yet the 6’9 boxing behemoth has the style and personality to match his moniker. Making his way to the ring, Fury lapped up the attention, smiled and waved at his home fans and sang along to his entrance music. This, after Kevin Johnson (28-3-1, 13ko) played up to his role as the American import as he wore American football gear to Alicia Keys’s modern classic; New York.

The match-up was a commendable one… Johnson was a one-time world-title challenger, however, he is everything Fury’s not: he has a capable defensive system and cares not for winning the event. He is not an entertainer. He is a spoiler – and that is exactly what he once again showed in Belfast.

“I never came in to knock him out, this guy is a world class fighter,” said Fury to Channel 5 after his victory. “I boxed to a game-plan. I didn’t go in for a war. I out-boxed him.”

There was no room for introductions once the opening bell chimed as Fury immediately charged to the blue corner in order to attack Johnson, a man he noticeably towered over when he looked to jab Kingpin and keep his man at bay. Interestingly, it was Johnson who had control of the centre of the ring and it was Fury who was the mover.

Much is made of Fury being fortunate to escape with a points nod during his first bout with John McDermott, together with the notorious YouTube clip of him uppercutting himself in the kisser, but Fury… this year and last… has made incredible developments.

The man is likely one of the most improved professionals in the game and this was demonstrated against Johnson in the opening round as he kept his chin protected with a high mitt while throwing lead lefts in an astute manner. He even threw a fairly fast combination to boot – something replicated at the beginning of the second.

The second minute of the second round involved both fighters enjoying spells with the other backed into the corner. During the exchanges, it was Fury, though, who had the better say.

Johnson was his own worst enemy in the bout as there was a clear lack of urgency in his work and, because of Fury’s activity, it was something that he would be marked down on. Fury even switched postures and fought as a southpaw for moments in the third (a tactic he used exclusively versus Martin Rogan) and, punctuating his argument for the ten score in round three, combo’d well with a particularly well-placed uppercut.

In what was turning into a downright weird confrontation, Johnson stopped in the middle of the ring and dropped his fists by his waist, obviously infuriated with Tyson’s box-and-move method. Fury, undeterred, continued to circle but, the first punch he threw since Kingpin’s frustration, was a jab right into the American’s gum-shielded teeth.

Prior to the fifth, Fury confessed to trainer Peter Fury that he “felt heavy on [his] feet”, however, this was never going to be a factor in a fight where his opponent actually looked bored to be there. Even Johnson’s posture in between rounds looked like he wanted to be somewhere else as he refused to take to his stool and casually propped himself up on the ropes.

Fury boxed with renewed energy in the sixth round, varied his jabbing to the belly and to the mouth and collected another straight-forward winning score. In the seventh, he stalked Kingpin with his jab but was deducted a point for punching after the break. And, in the eighth, Johnson successfully stunk the joint out as catcalls and boos were voiced from the masses in attendance.

In the final rounds not much changed. Referee Howard Foster even implored the two combatants to actually fight: “Come on guys, you’re getting paid to fight, now fight!” He said before the tenth round got underway. His attempted motivation fell on deaf ears as Johnson ignored this to continue with his signature tactic of single jabs thrown as if each one cost him money.

Fury, to be fair to him, tried. He was the aggressor, the one throwing more shots… landing more punches and the only one who came to swap slugs and win. He did his job. He earned his pay, won the decision and enhanced his global ranking in the heavyweight division.

“Any time someone gets in the ring with me and wins he is a step closer to a world title,” said Johnson. “I’m world class. Not one time did he step to me, he boxed. When you have two boxers you have a boring fight.”

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One Response to “Tyson Fury wins near shut out over spoiler Kevin Johnson”

  1. world wide web site December 9, 2012 at 11:00 am #

    Seriously!

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