Tyson gets Kingpin test

Tyson Fury will take on former world title challenger Kevin Johnson at Belfast’s Odyssey Arena on December 1.

Fury had been chasing a big name for his next outing and promoter Mick Hennessy has produced the goods in the shape of American Johnson, who fought Vitali Klitschko in 2009. Although ‘Kingpin’ lost every round to the WBC heavyweight champion, he represents Fury’s stiffest assignment to date.

“Johnson is just the kind of opponent that I want at this stage of my career,” said Fury. “We needed a world class fighter and we have got one and when I take him apart the world will sit up and take notice.

“I’m not going around getting opponents out of graveyards, fighting guys well past their best like some other heavyweights in Britain.

“I am getting closer to a shot at Klitschko myself and I’m going to show Vitali why he has to fight me because when I do a number on Johnson and get him out of there I’ll have done a better job than Vitali did on him.”

Johnson has never been put down in his 31-fight career and although he is coming off a defeat to Tor Hamer in this summer’s Prizefighter tournament, he remains in the world title mix.

“Kevin Johnson has been there and done it and he wants another shot at the world title and he sees Tyson as the route to that, that’s why he has taken the fight,” commented Hennessy.

“He’s a very dangerous opponent, he’s a clever boxer, he’s never been stopped and he can punch so Tyson has his work cut out. But I believe that Tyson is the best heavyweight in the world and he’ll show that again with the way he takes care of Johnson.”

Former WBA champion Ruslan Chagaev was initially in the running to fight Fury before highly-ranked Russian Denis Boytsov was named as his opponent.

However, the undefeated Boytsov recently pulled out with a fight between the WBC’s third and fourth ranked fighters mooted for next spring.

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