(Click images above for caption and larger view)

It was confirmed by “The African Assassin” Mohammed Kayongo (18-4-1, 13 KO’s)  of Minneapolis and “The Saint Paul Kid” Antonio Johnson (11-1-1, 6 KO’s) weeks ago that the two have both signed contracts to meet in what will be Minnesota’s next big headliner on January 22nd, 2016 at the Grand Casino in Hinckley, MN.

The highly talked about cross town rivalry bout between the two Minnesotan’s is scheduled for 10 rounds and will be for the vacant MN State Jr. Middleweight title. The belt was vacated in 2015 when Corey Rodriguez announced his retirement from boxing.

Johnson and Kayongo each bring over ten years of pro boxing experience to the table as well as World traveled amateur credentials.  And both say they are planning on using this opportunity to not only to cement there names in the MN boxing history books, but also use a win to open doors for out of state opportunities.

“I am excited and can’t wait” said Johnson. “It’s going to be a great night for Minnesota boxing fans. It’s been a long time coming but I am truly blessed to be in this position to be able to put my name along side some of the other Mn greats as a state champ. I am going to be in tip top shape as always and will be training for the best version of Kayongo. I am not taking him lightly as I take no man lightly. I will be fully prepared in every way possible to do my job and bring it home, that’s the bottom line.”

Johnson spent time in Las Vegas, Nevada where he trained at The Mayweather Boxing Club (pictured above). Johnson is back in Minnesota now, putting the finishing touches on his preparation.

Kayongo is also training hard, putting in two visits to the gym on most days while also working his main job over nights. Like Johnson, Kayongo says he believes now is his time.

I don’t know a lot about Antonio Johnson but I have seen him fight” said Kayongo. “A lot of people know his name but I can’t worry about that. I’m a fighter, you know what I mean? I’ve been fighting all of my life. Him as  a fighter? He’s just another guy to me. Come January 22nd, he’s not going to bring anything different that I haven’t already seen. I will be fighting in front of my people, this is my home state and his too. So this title means a lot to me and Johnson. Now we have to prove who’s the King at 154.

Kayongo will be moving up from 147 pounds and says he feels comfortable and powerful at 154 pounds. Full interviews with both fighters to come as fight night approaches.

The rest of the card is filled with a mix of 8 other bouts that include familiar names returning to the Minnesota ring…

MN Cruiserweight champion  Phil “The Drill” Williams will be featured in a bout versus Henry Namauu who’s fighting out of Las Vegas. Namauu, (10-8) is a durable fighter who lost a fight of the year candidate to Duluth’s Al Sands 2 years ago by decision. Williams, (15-7-2) defeated Sands last August for the title.

Al “The Haitian Temptation” Sands will be making his return to Hinckley as well. Ironically, Sands will box former Phil Williams victim Gary Tapusoa. Tapusoa (7-5-1) is the current Missouri State Cruiserweight champ. Sands has been talking about getting a shot at redemption with Williams since the two fought and it looks like that fight will happen if both are successful in there respective bouts.

Former Minnesota State middleweight champion Andy “Kaos” Kolle and heavyweight Aaron Green will both see action after injuries have kept them inactive. Kolle does not have an opponent lined up at this time and Green is set to face “Dangerous” Damon Reed.

Minnesota lightweights Winston Anderson (4-1) of Cloquet and Nate Rubin (2-0-1) of Thief River Falls will meet in a 5 round bout. Fans and boxing people seem split on who will have there hands raised in this fun matchup.

Heavyweights Van Goodman of Minneapolis and Travis Fulton will duke it out for the third time in a scheduled 5 round bout. Duluth’s Ryan Watson will make his pro debut in the cruiserweight division in a four round bout. Southpaw George Carter Jr. of Illinois is scheduled to box in a six round middleweight bout against an opponent to be announced.

To view the full line up and fighter records courtesy of Boxrec… CLICK HERE