posted on Jun, 5 2003 @ 03:56 PM
Associated Press - June 4, 2003
Kirk Johnson blew his first big chance at a heavyweight title when he was disqualified for low blows last year against John Ruiz. He's determined not
to let an even bigger chance slip though his hands against Lennox Lewis.
Johnson said Wednesday he not only believes he will beat Lewis, but that it will be his easiest fight yet.
``The bottom line is, when I go into this fight, if I am doing everything right, it will be my easiest fight,'' Johnson said. ``If I use my quickness,
footwork and speed, I will be ready to go 12 rounds with great success.''
Johnson will need all of those skills and more when he meets Lewis June 21 in Los Angeles. Lewis' WBC heavyweight title will not be on the line, but
Johnson will be recognized as the linear champion should he pull an upset win.
``I do not care about that, because Lewis is the man that beat the man,'' Johnson said in a conference call. ``After I beat Lewis, you will recognize
me as the world champion.''
The fight between the two Canadians was supposed to top a card at Staples Center that included Mike Tyson in another fight. But Tyson did not want to
fight, giving Johnson even more of a chance to make a splash.
Johnson is 34-1-1, with the loss coming on a disqualification for low blows in an ugly loss to then World Boxing Association champion last July in Las
Johnson, who blamed that loss on the referee, said he was the natural opponent for Lewis, even though Vitali Klitschko is the top-ranked contender.
Klitschko is on the card, and if he and Lewis win they will meet for the title later this year.
``Who is really out there for Lewis to fight besides me? Someone who has beaten every legitimate contender. The only so-called loss I have is a DQ,''
Johnson said. ``Lewis wants to show everyone he is the only man to physically beat Kirk Johnson. I am not surprised that he wants to be the first
fighter to say he beat me.''
Lewis has not fought since stopping Mike Tyson last June in Memphis, but he said last week that the layoff would make him even stronger against