Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree granting citizenship to a number of prominent foreigners. Renowned US boxer Kevin Johnson, who moved to Russia last year, settling down in the southwestern city of Samara, made it on the list.
Johnson was hosted by RT to mark the occasion; the boxer spoke about his experiences in Russia, what prompted him to move, and his feelings about his new country.
“I’ve always wanted to live in Russia. I’ve had custody of my daughter, so it wasn’t the right time to move here to Russia,” the boxer explained, adding that since she has reached adulthood, nothing was actually holding him back now. Finally getting citizenship effectively made him feel like a man reborn, Johnson relayed.
“It’s my new birthday. I’ve called my mother immediately – cancel my birth certificate, this is my new birthday. Literally, this is my new birthday, this is the day when I was reborn again,” Johnson stated.
The boxer brushed off concerns that moving to Russia might affect his career, dismissing the ongoing efforts in the West to cancel everything Russian as “a childish game played by a bunch of adults.”
“Only person who can affect my career is God. Men – I’m not worried about,” he stressed.
Russia is becoming an increasingly popular destination, with many prominent foreigners now considering obtaining citizenship. The trend is not surprising; the boxer, who has repeatedly visited the county over the past 16 years, suggested, given the “completely different taste” and “great aroma” a Westerner experiences in Russia.
“People are smart, people are waking up, people are noticing things,” Johnson said.
Johnson also showered praise on the country’s president, reaffirming his reputation as a big fan of Putin. Last year, the boxer even started using the Russian-style patronymic ‘Vladimirovich’ to honor Putin, admitting the move was a “shocker” to many in America.
“He’s the type of a person I want to know is my president, not a bunch of people controlling people as puppets from behind the scene,” Johnson stated.
The 44-year-old boxer also signaled his intent to get into politics himself once his sports career was over. “No matter how young I feel, there comes the day when you have to say goodbye to boxing. I really want to get into politics, that’s my thing,” he said, adding that his potential political effort would revolve around bringing together the “great people” of the US and Russia and mending the differences between his two countries.