Kevin “Kingpin” Johnson was born in Asbury Park, NJ on September 7, 1979. As a professional he has compiled an undefeated record of 25-1-1, 11KO's and has been featured on HBO, Showtime’s Shobox: The Next Generation, and multiple times on ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights”.
On December 12th, 2009, Johnson, in just his 24th professional fight, traveled to Switzerland and challenged WBC Heavyweight Champion, Vitali Klitschko in front of 60,000 fans at the Post Finance Arena in Berne. Johnson, who is known for his masterful jab, tore his left bicep in the 2nd round, severely handicapping him for the remainder of the fight, which resulted in him losing a twelve round unanimous decision.
Johnson was forced to take nearly six months off due to his injury, but resumed training later in 2010 and has since bounced back with two victories, a 4th round KO over Charles Davis in October, and an eight round unanimous decision over Julius Long on January 22nd of 2011.
On May 15th Johnson took on fellow unbeaten heavyweight contender and 2004 Olympic team captain Devin Vargas. The bout was the main event for that evening's ESPN2 "Friday Night Fights". It was Johnson’s most impressive showing to date as used his superior speed and power to dominate Vargas
“Johnson looked outstanding, taking it to Vargas from the outset, dropping him twice and finishing him to fulfill his prediction of a knockout victory. Johnson, who has a tremendous jab he can use as a weapon, dominated. At the end of the third round, he dropped Vargas for the first time in his career (pro or amateur) when he landed five left hands and a big right hand. Vargas, who was bleeding from his nose, went down to one knee. Two solid left hands in the final minute of the fifth round dumped Vargas to his backside, after which he complained to his corner that he couldn't hear out of his right ear. It turned out that Vargas had suffered a perforated ear drum, but still he fought on. Johnson was hammering him in the sixth round and when Vargas was rocked yet again and on visibly wobbly legs, his corner threw in the towel, forcing referee Earl Morton to stop it at 2:23. Johnson has always talked a big game, and in this fight, he talked and was entertaining. He just might be the best American heavyweight,” stated ESPN.com Boxing Analyst Dan Rafael.
Johnson was first introduced to boxing in 1997, at the age of 17, by Neville Nelson, a well-known manager and promoter in the music industry. Impressed by his size and athleticism, Nelson introduced Kevin to boxing trainer Freddie Johnson of AC Dukers Gym in Newark, NJ.
Under the tutelage of Freddie Johnson, Kevin began his amateur career in the winter of 1998 by competing in the New Jersey State Diamond Gloves Tournament in the novice heavyweight division, making it all the way to the finals before losing a disputed split decision. In 1999, Kevin entered the NJ State Diamond Gloves Tournament again, this time, reaching and winning the finals in the novice heavyweight division.
In the fall of 2002, Kevin was introduced to former Heavyweight Champion of the World and boxing legend Larry Holmes, by mutual friend, former NBA star Darryl “Chocolate Thunder” Dawkins. Impressed with Kevin’s skill, athleticism and charisma, Holmes took Kevin under his wing, working with him in his Easton, PA gym exclusively for several months, before securing him his first professional fight.
On February 13, 2003, Johnson turned pro under the watchful eye of Larry Holmes, claiming a 4th round TKO victory over Stanford Brisbone. Kevin compiled a professional record of 3-0 under the tutelage of Larry Holmes before moving on to work with his trainers Charles “Dew Drop” Young and Dave Horn.
Johnson quickly began garnering notice from the boxing world for his pure athleticism and lightening quick hands and seemingly had every major promoter in the industry after him.
After meeting with almost every major promoter Johnson signed with Joe DeGuardia's Star Boxing in December of 2005, deciding that DeGuardia and Star were the team that would bring him to the top and help him achieve his ultimate goal of becoming the heavyweight champion of the world. At the time of his signing Johnson was 8-0-1, 5KO.
Born into a family of seven, four sisters and two brothers; raised by a single mother and his grandmother. His mother is his inspiration. Before every fight, she is the last person to speak to him, calling and praying for him before he enters the ring. He is a single parent, raising his daughter Fatimah since the death of her mother in 2002.
Outside the ring, when not training for a fight, Kevin works in real estate and property management throughout New Jersey.
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