Kevin “Kingpin” Johnson stops Devin Vargas in 6th round at Atlantic City!
By Ken Hissner at ringside, DoghouseBoxing (May 18, 2009) Photo © Marty Rosengarten/STARBOXING  
Star Boxing’s heavyweight hopeful Kevin “Kingpin” Johnson, 22-0-1 (9), Asbury Park, New Jersey, stopped former 2004 Olympian Devin Vargas, Toledo, Ohio, 17-1 (7), in 2:23 of the 6th round at Harrah’s Marina Hotel Casino in Atlantic City Friday night.

Johnson is the WBA #5 contender and needed this kind of work over the ESPN2 network in a keep busy fight until he steps in with another top ten contender. Joe De Guardia’s matchmaker Ron Katz moved Vargas into this fight as a replacement for Monte Barrett who pulled out with an injury. It was a giant step for the young prospect who was scheduled to move into his first 10 rounder against former WBA champion Bruce Seldon.

Vargas was able to outwork Johnson in the opening round before Johnson started showing his power in the next round. Johnson does not have that picture perfect left hook, but more of a slapping one. It did enough damage to the right ear of Vargas that he was never in the fight after being dropped by three straight left hooks in the 3rd round while having his back to the ropes. With his corner yelling to him to stay off the ropes, Vargas, nose bleeding, seemed to play the macho game and try to out punch Johnson who is not known for his punching power either. It led to his downfall. Though he came back in the 4th round by staying one step ahead of Johnson the crowd knew it was a matter of time before Johnson would trap him against the ropes again. In the 5th round Johnson did exactly that with a combination that caused a delay knockdown as Vargas was looking to his corner for help. He managed to get to his feet but the end was near. In the 6th round after absorbing three left hooks and being rocked up against the ropes, his corner threw the towel in to save the kid for another day. Earl Morton was the referee.

“This is the kind of fight that I needed. He knew how to survive and when he winked at me after that hook, I knew I hurt him,” said Johnson. “Believe me, he can punch,” he added. The Vargas corner seemed to be in shock that their previously unbeaten fighter had fallen the way he did. They kept telling him to move and he did fine when he did, but when he stood in front of Johnson, he was no match for him. “He was slapping me with that hook and hurt my ear (right) and I couldn’t recover,” said Vargas. Bottom line is Vargas has to get a couple of 10 round bouts under his belt before stepping in with another contender again.

Jorge Teron, 23-1-1 (15), of the Bronx, avenged his only defeat in winning a decision over Aldo Valtierra, 25-11 (13), of Mexico City, in a lightweight 10. Teron had too much height and reach for Valtierra who had no problem reaching him with overhand rights that a puncher would have had a field day with. Valtierra should not be fighting over 130, and at 38 years of age, may have more heart than is good for him. Teron needs to work on his defense if he is to step up in competition. Sparkle Lee was the referee.

The show opened with the former WBA champion, Seldon, 40-7 (36), as the “Atlantic City Express” had his way for four rounds over the much overweight Gabe Brown, 18-10-4 (12), of Pensacola, Florida, before turning up the heat in the 5th round and completely destroying his heavier opponent (132 lbs) with combinations to the side and head until referee Morton put a stop to the onslaught at 0:35 of the 5th round. Seldon was able to talk to the audience of well wishers after the bout from the ring and said “I am 100% Christ like and God willing I will be back soon.” He added, “at 42 that wasn’t too bad was it?” Seldon is in great shape not just for a man of his age either. The local fans still love to cheer him on and with his punching power can still hold his own with most opponents without going in with the young lions.

Former WBA light middleweight champion Carl Daniels, 50-17-1 (32), lost for the 13th time in his last 14 outings to unbeaten local favorite Chuckie Mussachio, 13-0-2 (5), losing every round on all three judges scorecards. “The Professor” as Mussachio is known, used an educated jab in this light heavyweight match that had Daniels on the receiving end throughout. He had enough left in the tank to tell his fans afterwards its party time as soon as he showers.

In a 4 round cruiserweight match John Lennox, 2-0 (1), Lincoln Park, New Jersey was lucky to escape with the win after hitting nothing but air for three rounds against Robert Brown, 0-2, of Blackville, South Carolina, in gaining a split decision over 4 rounds. A frustrated Lennox dropped Brown with a left hook in the 4th round and had him holding on in order to survive. This must have influenced two of the judges, Al Bennett 39-36 and Kasson Cheeks 38-37, while Frank Cappuccino had it right at 38-37 for Brown.

Ken at:

© Copyright / All Rights reserved: Doghouse Boxing 1998-2009