Anthony Joshua Jackhammers Kevin Johnson

SATURDAY NIGHT’S ALL RIGHT INDEED – It says a lot about the resurgent division that a heavyweight bout provided the biggest fireworks on the excellent, full house card at London’s O2 Arena this weekend.

It was not so much the contest, but Anthony Joshua alone, who created the excitement.

When Joshua pounded previously durable Kevin Johnson into quick submission, Joshua looked like he was well on the way to becoming a force in the post-Wladimir Klitschko era. He also looked like he could eventually be the force that causes the post-Klitschko era.

Johnson, now 29-7-1, showed up in decent shape. While he may not have resembled the lion on the shirt he wore into the ring, it did look like Johnson made an honest, if abbreviated stand, before one of the fiercest prospects in any weight class.

Joshua had a bombastic entrance, and took more time making his way down the ramp than he did dispatching his foe.

Their speed looked equal as they flicked jabs, but their power looked unequal, vastly favoring Joshua as those jabs landed. Joshua immediately backed Johnson to the ropes, but for half a round Johnson fired back equally and appeared unconcerned.

Not for long. Joshua maintained mountainous pressure with an impressive array of angles until Johnson was on his toes, retreating with a worried look and firing nothing back. At the end of the frame, Joshua dropped Johnson twice with sweet, short inside shots up and down. The first time, Johnson was up quickly and looked all right. The second time, it looked like he was lucky to get out of the opening round.

Johnson looked defiant but doomed as the second session began. Joshua came out calmly, jackhammered Johnson back into the ropes without resistance, and creamed him with half a dozen bricks to where he sat helpless until ref Ian John-Lewis rescued him for an official ending at 1:22.

Joshua may now find himself in a situation like Gennady Golovkin, with top contenders too careful of their ranking to risk an elimination bout.

There was babble about a possible match with David Price, but at this point that would be a very high risk move for Price.

Dereck Chisora, anyone? Kabrat Pulev or Bermane Stiverne could be very interesting challenges.

I haven’t heard much, if any, of the typical promotional boasting Tyson Fury specializes in being directed toward Joshua. Johnson went 12 rounds with Fury in December 2012. These days, Fury has a legitimate business interest in not risking anything before a shot at Klitschko, but Fury – Joshua could be classic.

Meanwhile, the list of potentially strong heavyweight battles keeps growing.

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COMMENTS

-DaveB :

Joshua looks like a very strong prospect right now. It is too early to tell much about him. He is a work in progress with only 13 fights. The biggest thing Johnson had going for him was that he had never been stopped. He has now lost his last four in a row. Joshua surprisingly ran right through him. Johnson is a survivor. There would be none of that yesterday. Fury is slated for Kltschko soon so he has bigger fish on his plate. There will be plenty of time to worry about Joshua later. It would be foolish for both men to take the bout now. Fury could get knocked out possibly as could the green Joshua. There are some interesting matches a little down the road for this young prospect. He is doing real well and being brought along correctly.


-leon30001 :

The thing I like most about Joshua, other than his youth, size, power, athleticism and pedigree, is his viciousness. He likes to hurt people. A good attribute in a prize fighter I think. Can't see anyone stopping this guy.


-brownsugar :

Kevin Johnson has now become the epitome of what it means to become a tomato can, he's lost 5 out his last 6 fights, and in each of those fights,... with the exception of the discraced Tor Hamer he's lost nearly every round. Kevin even managed to loose lopsidedly to the ultra - raw Manuel Charr. The only mystery remaining in this fight would be the end result of the "Cow Tipping experiment". Would the mammoth sized Johnson finally be up ended by the gargantuan Joshua, whose hulking presence made Johnson look like a prepubescent adolescent by comparison?... The ease at which Joshua was able to connect his powershot was reminiscent of watching the local bully take the lunch money from a kindergartner. He's better than Wilder, he may even be ready for Provetkin by early 2016. Let's see him against Manual Charr next. Just keep him in Europe for the time being.


-stormcentre :


The thing I like most about Joshua, other than his youth, size, power, athleticism and pedigree, is his viciousness. He likes to hurt people. A good attribute in a prize fighter I think. Can't see anyone stopping this guy.
Yep, agree. Right now he has no trouble coming forward. When does he fight Wilder or even Cris Areolla?


-stormcentre :

Kevin Johnson has now become
the epitome of what it means to become a tomato can, he's lost 5 out his last 6 fights, and in each of those fights,... with the exception of the discraced Tor Hamer he's lost nearly every round. Kevin even managed to loose lopsidedly to the ultra - raw Manual Chart. The only mystery remaining in this fight would be the end result of the "Cow Tipping experiment". Would the mammoth sized Johnson finally be up ended by the gargantuan Joshua, whose hulking presence made Johnson look like a prepubescent adolescent by comparison?... The ease at which Joshua was able to connect his powershot was reminiscent of watching the local bully take the lunch money from a kindergartner. He's better than Wilder, he may even be ready for Provetkin by early 2016. Let's see him against Manual Charr next. Just keep him in Europe for the time being.
Love it "The epitome of what it means to become a tomato can". Great line and award that. :) :)