Klitschko plods past Johnson

By Francis Walker, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: December 13, 2009

NEW YORK (BASN) — WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko (39-2, 37 KOs), making the third defense of his crown in 2009, won a 12-round unanimous decision against previously unbeaten WBC No.

6 world-ranked American challenger, Kevin Johnson (22-1, 9 KOs) in Berne, Switzerland on Saturday.

The judges scored the bout 120-108 (twice) and 119-109 for the champion.

Since lifting the WBC title away from Samuel Peter in October 2008 following a four-year absence, Klitschko has previously defeated the likes of Juan Carlos Gomez and Chris Arreola.

Amazingly, Johnson, fighting in his first world title fight, became the first fighter in nine years since Timo Hoffman to last the 12-round distance with Klitschko.

Overall, Klitschko, the 38 year-old from Ukraine, improved to 9-2, 8 KOs in world title fights. Klitschko, recognized for his devastating knockout power, appeared off.

From the opening bell Klitschko plodded forward with his left jab and had a difficult time setting-up and landing his right hand.

Johnson, from Atlanta, struggled as well.

It took him four rounds before he had enough confidence to throw his left jab consistently. What kept Johnson in the fight was his head movement.

Johnson moved his head and bent at his knees. This made it difficult for Klitschko to throw his right hook. Klitschko was forced to throw his overhand right, but the problem was that Johnson kept moving.

Klitschko’s timing was off most definitely, but Johnson didn’t have the skill-set to take advantage of the mistakes the flatfooted Klitschko made. Johnson lost because he waited too long before using the left jab – his biggest asset.

When Johnson did jab he simply didn’t double-triple it until late in the fight. Johnson retreated toward the ropes and plodded backwards throughout the entire twelve rounds which is why he didn’t win a single round on one of the judges scorecards.

Johnson’s jabs were just as effective as his taunts. The two did jaw, jab, and taunt one another throughout the twelfth and final round. Klitschko-Johnson was equivalent to a glorified sparring session.

It was Vitali, who landed the cleaner, harder shots, and deserved to win the decision as widespread as he did.

Nevertheless, the legend of the Klitschkos continues to grow as Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko are the only brother tandem in boxing history to simultaneously hold pieces of the world heavyweight championship.

Timothy Bradley vs. Lamont Peterson

Timothy Bradley continues his sure of defeating one tough fighter after another. Bradley (25-0, 11 KOs) successfully defended the WBO junior welterweight championship with a convincing 12-round unanimous decision win over previously unbeaten Lamont Peterson (27-1, 13 KOs) on Saturday at the Agua Caliente Casino in Rancho Mirage, CA.

Bradley appeared too strong for Peterson, who went down following an accumulation of punches in round three. Bradley’s strength, body punching, and constant pressure proved too overwhelming for the highly-skilled, but inexperienced Peterson.

Bradley nearly pitched a shutout on the scorecards: 120-107, 119-108, and 118-110.

Since defeating Junior Witter to capture the WBC 140-pound title in May 2008, Bradley has since beaten Edner Cherry, survived two knockdowns to unify the WBC/WBO titles against Kendall Holt, stopped Nate Campbell, but that bout was changed to a no-contest, and beat a young, hungry, world title challenger in Peterson.

Bradley is one of the most dangerous fighters in boxing because he can fight, always in shape, and continues to improve.

Vic Darchinyan KO 2 Tomas Rojas

Vic Darchinyan (33-2-1, 27 KOs) successfully defended the unified WBC/WBA super flyweight championship against Tomas Rojas (32-12-1, 22 KOs), via knockout at 2:54 seconds of round two. Darchinyan vs. Rojas was the 1,765th championship fight in the 47-year history of the World Boxing Council.

Since moving up to 115 pounds, Darchinyan has been smash mouth. Darchinyan has used his devastating KO power to starch guys like Dimitri Kirlov, Christian Mijares, and Jorge Arce.

Searching for new challenges, Darchinyan moved up to 118 pounds to challenge IBF bantamweight champion Joesph Ackbeko in July, but was soundly outclassed through twelve rounds and dropped a unanimous decision.

Darchinyan vowed to return to 115 to continue his title reign and he did it in spectacular fashion.

Rojas, who hadn’t lost in more than two years, entered the contest having been unbeaten in his previous seven bouts.

Rojas, a perfect 4-0, 3 KOs in 2009, didn’t last long. Darchinyan landed left hook that landed perfectly on Rojas’ chin. It was a spectacular one-punch knockout that flattened Rojas beneath the bottom rope.

Jean Pascal W 12 Adrian Diaconu

The WBC light-heavyweight championship was on the line Friday. Defending champion Jean Pascal (25-1, 16 KOs), the 34th light-heavyweight champion in WBC history, successfully defended his title of the second time with a repeat unanimous decision win over fellow Canadian Adrian Diaconu (26-2, 15 KOs) at the Bell Centre in Montreal.

The bout was also the WBC’s 16th world title fight in Canada.

In their first encounter in June, Pascal used is speed and movement to outbox Diaconu in a very entertaining slugfest to take the WBC 175-pound title. Pascal, making the second defense of the WBC 175-pound crown, lifted the championship away from Diaconu in June.

Pascal, who injured his left shoulder in the rematch, was able to rely on his speed and combination-punching to outwork Diaconu once more. The judges scored the bout: 118-110 and 117-111 (twice).

People should really take notice of Pascal. Not only did Pascal beat Diaconu twice, but he once gave WBC super middleweight champion Carl Froch a run for his money.

Pascal is next mandated to fight interim WBC light-heavy champion, Chad Dawson.

Pascal has a lot of skills and would be a great test for Dawson, arguably the best fighter at 175.

Pascal is fast, he has a lot of skills and a fight with Chad Dawson would be very intriguing. Dawson, following not one, but two pairs of victories against 40-year-old former world champions Antonio Tarver and Glen Johnson, is considered one of the best light-heavyweight in the world. Pascal, because of his youth and athleticism, can easily be considered a step-up in class prime and ready Dawson.

Other News – Malignaggi & Ortiz win

Paulie Malignaggi (27-3, 5 KOs) won his rematch with Juan Diaz (35-2, 17 KOs). Many felt that Malignaggi soundly out-boxed Diaz in their August showdown, but ended up on the wrong end of the decision.

Malignaggi blamed Diaz win on the fact that Diaz as fighting at home in Houston and was given a hometown “gift” decision. One of the judges’ scorecards was a delusional 118-110.

The site of the rematch was on neutral ground. The UIC Pavilion in Chicago, IL played host to what was arguably one of the finest victories of Malignaggi’s career.

Malignaggi was just as effective in the rematch as he was in the first bout. He was also credited with a knockdown in round ten, as Diaz’ glove touched the canvas following an exchange.

Malignaggi led by scores of 116-111 on all three judges scorecards for a unanimous verdict.

Also, fighting for the first time since his wild slugfest against interim WBA junior welterweight champion Marco Maidana in June, Victor Ortiz (25-2-1, 20 KOs) defeated Antonio Diaz (45-6-1, 27 KOs). Ortiz was dominant from the start. He floored Diaz in the third round.

Ortiz proved to be too much, as Diaz retired on his stool after the sixth round.