When Star Boxing’s undefeated heavyweight Kevin “Kingpin” Johnson (22-0-1, 9KO) faces off against Vitali Klitschko (38-2, 37KO) for Vitali’s WBC Heavyweight Championship belt on December 12th at the PostFinance Arena in Bern, Switzerland, there won’t be an empty seat left in the house. The arena which holds 17,000 people has already completely sold out all of its pre-sale tickets. And while many of those 17,000 people will consist of Klitschko’s adoring European fans, after Johnson’s recent appearance in Switzerland to officially announce the upcoming bout, there just might be more than a few fans cheering for the American Johnson.
“Everyone fell in love with Kevin in Switzerland. The press, the fans, and even Vitali was impressed with Kevin,” stated Joe DeGuardia, CEO and founder of Star Boxing, who accompanied Johnson on the trip.
The official press conference to announce the fight was held Friday at Switzerland’s famous Jungfraujoch (elevation, 11,333 feet; 3,454 meters), the highest train station in all of Europe.
Johnson was the first of the fighter’s to address the audience, thanking everyone for coming, and inviting him to their beautiful country and to Vitali for accepting the challenge.
“Vitali is a great champion, but I am not leaving this country on December 12th without that belt,” stated Johnson. “I made a promise to my daughter at home that I will be coming back the WBC Heavyweight Champion of the World, and I have no intentions of breaking that promise.”
“I know Kevin is a very dangerous and skilled opponent, much more than my last opponent Chris Arreola, and I am taking this fight very seriously,” stated the champion Klitschko. “Looking at Kevin today I can see in his eyes that he truly believes he is coming here to win my title, he has no fear of me. Kevin is going to be a champion one day, just not on December 12th.”
Following the press conference Johnson spoke with reporters and signed countless autographs for those in attendance.
On Saturday both Johnson and Klitschko were the guests of honors at the PostFinance Arena ice hockey game. The two took photos, met with more fans, and participated in the ceremonial dropping of the puck to start the game.
Following the game Johnson and Klitschko attended the post event cocktail party. At the party was where the 6’3″ 240lb. intimidating looking Johnson, who originally hails from the rough streets of New Jersey, showed a much softer side.
“Without saying anything, Kevin walks up to the pianist in the middle of the room, asks him if he can sit down and with no hesitation starts playing,” said DeGuardia. “Everyone was completely blown away. After playing for a few minutes and not missing one key or note, Kevin rose from the piano to a standing ovation.”
“It’s one of the many skills I have, just not a lot of people known about that one,” says Johnson with a laugh.
On December 12th Johnson will look to use his better known boxing skills to dethrone Klitschko, finally bringing a heavyweight championship back to the U.S.
“To all my fans out there, stay tuned because Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome is about to shock the world again. To all my haters, keep it up, I enjoy the motivation. On December 12th I am bringing the championship back to America were it rightfully belongs.”