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WATCH: NJ prospect Anthony Johns on March 25 fight, facing bigger opponents

Photo from Johns' Instagram
Fighters Network

NEWARK, N.J. — Anthony Johns will have a rare luxury for his next fight on March 25.

The flyweight prospect Johns (5-0, 4 knockouts) will face Ramon Velasquez (7-6) in a six-round bout at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. It’s a rare opportunity for the Newark, N.J. based prospect to face a fighter his own size, as there are few flyweight boxers on the east coast.

Johns, who won the 2019 National Golden Gloves title at 108 pounds, has fought opponents as big as 118 pounds, including one who outweighed him by five pounds.

“Almost every time they come in overweight. It’s always something but I don’t let it get to me. I train for this, I spar bigger guys, I’ve been fighting bigger guys all my life,” said the 29-year-old Johns.

Velasquez of Quellon, Chile will be making his U.S. debut as he tries to snap a 6-bout losing streak.

“He’s a short stocky guy, comes forward, hands up, slow pace. I’m gonna put a little pressure on him, box him, be on my toes and then bring that dog out,” said Johns, who is trained by his father, former amateur standout Anthony Williams.

The fight will be the first for Johns in 2023, and he says he is aiming for 4-5 bouts in the calendar year. Johns, who  will contend at 108 pounds when he gets to the championship level, says he isn’t worried about who is at the top, he just wants their belts.

“I just want the belts. Whoever is in the way, they’re getting slimed,” said Johns.

The March 25 card will be promoted by Rising Star Promotions. The main event features Kristian Prenga (12-1, 12 KOs) against Samuel Crossed (11-3-1, 7 KOs) in a ten-round bout, and will also feature N.J. prospects like Derek Starling and Justin Figueroa.

Ryan Songalia has written for ESPN, the New York Daily News, Rappler and The Guardian, and is part of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism Class of 2020. He can be reached at [email protected].