Veteran heavyweight Kevin Johnson has stepped into face Martin Bakole on Saturday at Utilita Arena, following Gabriel Enguema’s withdrawal.
Bakole (13-1) was scheduled to face Enguema (10-9) on the undercard of Lewis Ritson’s bout with Robbie Davies Jr, however the Spaniard has pulled out through injury allowing 40-year-old Johnson to replace him on two days’ notice.
‘King Pin’ (34-14) is no stranger to British shores having campaigned in Britain eight times across a 50-fight career.
The former world title challenger took unified world heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr all 10 rounds in defeat in 2018 and was beaten on a unanimous decision by lineal champion Tyson Fury in 2012.
Johnson’s last UK outing saw him beaten on points by Nathan Gorman, in a fight he was given three days to prepare, five months after he took current British champion Daniel Dubois to points.
Whilst his only stoppage loss to a Brit came back in 2015 when he was blown away in two rounds by Anthony Joshua.
Bakole, a previous sparring partner of Joshua, has recorded successive victories since his stoppage loss to Michael Hunter at York Hall last October, including a career best win over former world title challenger Mariusz Wach in April.
Bakole’s fight with Johnson is part of a stacked Newcastle bill topped by Lewis Ritson’s grudge match with Robbie Davies Jr and Ted Cheeseman’s British title defence against Scott Fitzgerald.