Kevin “Thunderstorm” Johnson inside of the Mayweather Boxing Club a few years ago in Las Vegas (Photo: Hustle Boss)
By Chris Robinson
When I first started frequenting the Mayweather Boxing Club in 2010, there were several faces that I would come across.
While the gym is known obviously for the body of work that it’s owner, former pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather, put in over all the years, there has always been other stories littered throughout the building.
When I first noticed young Kevin Johnson inside of the gym years back, I believe he was just 19 years old and still trying to hone his skills as an amateur. What stood out more than anything about Johnson, was just how ambitious he was towards his approach. He was always willing to spar with anyone and his style always led him to mix it up and press the fight. Still, mixed in with his aggressive style was some nice skills, and I was eager to see what the future held for Johnson.
We spoke, in August of 2012, inside of the gym, and Johnson shared his upbringing and history in the sport.
“I got into boxing when I was 17 years old and my life started changing,” Johnson, now 25, reflected. “I knew that boxing was for me from the first time I got into the ring. It fit me. I was like ‘Wow, I like this’. I was never a street fighter but I loved to fight. I could explode if somebody tried me.”
Johnson learned much of his craft early on from former two-division world champion Roger Mayweather, who he recalls fondly, upon his early days at the Mayweather Boxing Club.
“The first couple of days I came, Roger trained me on pads and he kept working with me,” Johnson explained. “When I came here, it changed. I started training hard and Roger introduced me to hard work and dedication.”
As the years went by, Johnson continued to pick up seasoning and experience on the amateur level, as he also has worked closely with trainer and former fighter Otis Pimpleton as well. Pimpleton too learned his craft from Roger Mayweather, so it’s a natural fit for him to look out for Johnson.
I was pleased to see that he had a successful professional debut in December of 2016, and has since won three more contests in 2017, to bring his record to 4-0 with four knockouts. Johnson has taken on the road warrior approach thus far with this career, as his early matches have seen him travel to North Dakota, Mexico, Philadelphia, and New Mexico to score TKO victories.
Time definitely does fly, and I’m curious to see what the sport has in store for Johnson this year.
Check below for some flashback photos and videos of Johnson during his early years in the fight game and please start following his story. He’s one to look out for.
Chris Robinson can be reached at CRobinson@hustleboss.com