EDITED PRESS RELEASE:
Promoter Dino Duva says he was impressed with heavyweight Kirk Johnson’s performance and attitude against Yanqui Diaz last week. “I think Kirk looked really good for someone who has been off for a year,” said Duva of Johnson’s fifth-round technical decision over Diaz (scores of 49-42, 49-42 and 49-43) at the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, California. An unintentional head butt ended the bout prematurely, but not before Johnson had Diaz down once in round two and twice in round five. “Kirk has always had as much natural talent as anybody out there. What impressed me most was his attitude and the way after the fight he said he wanted to get right back in the gym,” explained Duva. “If he keeps busy, he should be able to get back in the title picture fairly quickly. I still believe in Kirk’s potential. With him, it was never a question of the physical. Kirk’s problems were always mental. I think he has the right attitude now." The next step, says Duva, is to help the 32-year old Johnson get rated by the world organizations. “I think we’re going to get him back in the ring in August or September against someone a notch up from Diaz. Maybe we’ll put him in with a contender to start him back on his way up the rankings. I still have big plans for him if he can keep that positive outlook.” Boxingtalk rates Johnson at #17.