In his first bout as a Russian boxer, Kevin Johnson lost a six round decision to fast-tracked heavyweight prospect Mark Petrovsky.

The bout headlined a card in Moscow, Russia.

The 24-year-old Petrovsky won the fight with scores of 60-54 (twice) and 57-57.

Last week, Johnson - who is from the United States - generated headlines when he declared himself to be a Russian boxer and announced his support for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

According to Johnson, he officially changed his name to Kevin Vladimirovich to honor Putin.

Johnson showed up at the official weigh-in wearing a t-shirt with Putin's picture.

The 43-year-old athlete is finalizing the paperwork to obtain Russian citizenship.

"Yes, I am dealing with documents for obtaining Russian citizenship. I want to live in Samara," Johnson said to tass.

Johnson has taken part in 60 professional fights (36 wins, 22 losses and two draws). In 2009, he challenged Vitali Klitschko for the WBC world title and lost a twelve round unanimous decision.

In 2017, Johnson won the IBO International world title, by defeating Italian Francesco Pianeta by technical knockout, but the following year he could not retain the belt, losing by technical knockout to Petar Milas. 

During the course of his career, Johnson has faced a who's who of top fighters - including Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua, Andy Ruiz, Daniel Dubois, Derek Chisora, Filip Hrgovic, and others.