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Former American boxer Kevin Johnson – who previously fought Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury – takes to scales in a Vladimir Putin shirt after changing his name and becoming Russian

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Former American boxer Kevin Johnson – who previously fought Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury – takes to scales in a Vladimir Putin shirt after changing his name and becoming Russian

  • Kevin Johnson recently revealed that he was now called ‘Kevin Vladimirovich’
  • ‘I am 100%, no joke, 100% Russian,’ Johnson said before his fight in Moscow
  • DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news  

Veteran heavyweight Kevin ‘Kingpin’ Johnson weighed in for his latest fight wearing a Vladimir Putin t-shirt after changing his name and becoming ‘100 per cent Russian’.

The 43-year-old has fought some of the biggest names in the heavyweight division  – including Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua – during a 20-year career.

But ‘Kingpin’ recently revealed he was now called ‘Kevin Vladimirovich’ in honour of Putin, the Russian president who is now an international pariah following the invasion of Ukraine.

‘As a compliment to President Vladimir Putin, I decided to change my name. I will now be called Kevin Vladimirovich — in honor of Vladimir Putin. Now I am 100%, no joke, 100% Russian,’ Johnson said to Russian newspaper Izvestia.

On Friday, the heavyweight takes on Russia’s Mark Petrovsky (5-0-0) in Moscow. It will be the 60th bout of a career that has included 36 wins and 21 defeats.

Kevin 'Kingpin' Johnson weighed in for his latest fight wearing a Vladimir Putin t-shirt

Kevin ‘Kingpin’ Johnson weighed in for his latest fight wearing a Vladimir Putin t-shirt

The 43-year-old recently revealed he was now called 'Kevin Vladimirovich' in honour of Putin

The 43-year-old recently revealed he was now called ‘Kevin Vladimirovich’ in honour of Putin

Ahead of the fight, Johnson tipped the scales at 238lbs after turning up to the weigh-in wearing a tribute to Putin.

The 43-year-old was decked out in a t-shirt which carried the colours of the Russian flag – white, blue and red – and a giant picture of the president’s face.

Friday’s show will be headlined by a fight between British strongman Oli Thompson and Russian wrestler Vyacheslav Datsik – a former martial arts champion and notorious neo-Nazi who was jailed in 2018 ‘after he forced 12 prostitutes to walk naked through the streets of Saint Petersburg’. 

Johnson has faced some of the biggest names in the heavyweight division such as Tyson Fury

Johnson has faced some of the biggest names in the heavyweight division such as Tyson Fury

Earlier this year, Johnson appealed to Putin to give him Russian citizenship and revealed he wanted to live in the country.

‘I would like to say to the president, the honorable Vladimir Putin, if you’re watching this and you’re listening: I, Kevin Johnson, am looking to move here to Moscow and become a full resident here to pursue my career,’ the Georgia native said in the ring. 

‘And with your approval, I would like to apply for a Russian passport where Russia can be my home.’

According to his interview with Izvestia, Johnson is a fan of ‘Russian open spaces’ and the quality of food compared to back home.