Allan Green vs. Glen Johnson conference call quotes
Hard-hitting, world-ranked Allan Green and veteran contender and former world champ Glen ďThe Road WarriorĒ Johnson participated in a national media conference call to discuss their must-win Super Six World Boxing Classic bout on Saturday, Nov. 6, live on SHOWTIMEģ (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas. Green and Johnson were also joined on the call by promoter Lou DiBella.
Article posted on 22.10.2010
The winner of the 12-rounder between Green (29-2, 20 KOs), of Tulsa, Okla., and the Jamaican-born Johnson (50-14-2, 34 KOs), of Miami, Fla., will earn a spot in the tournament Semifnals.
A veteran contender and former light heavyweight world champion, Johnson is a replacement for the injured Mikkel Kessler.
Green, who was outclassed in his Group Stage 2 bout against Andre Ward, can overcome his uninspired performance that he blamed on over-training with a win over Johnson in Group Stage 3. Green, who replaced the injured Jermain Taylor, was already in intense training camp for Kessler and was not deterred by the change in opponent. No matter the opposition, Green needs to win in Group Stage 3 to advance.
Johnson, who has appeared in seven world title fights and has defeated some of the best prizefighters of this era, including boxing legends Roy Jones, Jr., and Antonio Tarver, now has an opportunity to reestablish himself as one of the worldís elite prizefighters.
In the second half of the excellent Nov. 6 SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING doubleheader, undefeated World Boxing Organization (WBO) featherweight champion Juan Manuel ďJuanMaĒ Lopez (29-0, 26 KOs) of Puerto Rico will defend his title against two-division world champion Rafael Marquez (39-5, 35 KOs) of Mexico City.
What the fighters and DiBella had to say on Thursday:
DIBELLA: ďUnfortunately, weíve faced a lot of challenges in this tournament, but I want to commend SHOWTIME for sticking with it and finishing out this tournament. I think itís necessary. I think the format proved itself to work by virtue of how often the favorite has changed, by how many times guys who have lost matches and went on to win the next. You just canít anticipate injuries and the kind of things that happen in our sport. But Iím very happy that Ken (Hershman) elected to continue with the tournament. Itís presented a tremendous opportunity to Allan and Glen Johnson because this fight takes on enormous significance with the winner having the opportunity to get into the Semifinals.
ďAllan is one of the best 168-pounders in the world, but heís coming off one of the poorest performances heís had in a while and he has a lot to prove in this fight. Heís gone back to the drawing board, heís made changes in his corner, and I know heís more committed than ever.Ē
GREEN: ďIím just looking forward to Nov. 6. Iím just glad to get back in the ring. I really donít have to prove anything to myself. I just have to prove myself to the fans.Ē
JOHNSON: ďIím extremely excited about the opportunity. I thank SHOWTIME for making me a part of this prestigious event. Iím just happy to be a part of it.Ē
Glen, how do you expect dropping down to 168 to affect you and what was your reaction to being offered to join the tournament?
JOHNSON: ďMy first reaction was ĎWow, what a great opportunity.í This is, I think, the best tournament in boxing. When the possibility to be a part of it came up I was extremely excited. I immediately started doing what I need to do to get down to the weight. I havenít done 168 pounds in like 10 years, so I just have to commit myself and go to work. This is what I do. This is my job, this is how I get paid. This is how I eat. Thatís how I look at it. I just went about my business to take care of my job.Ē
Allan, how disappointed were you in the loss to Andre Ward?
GREEN: ďIt was very disappointing. I had to make a lot of changes, but going into the fight, I knew I was ill-prepared. I knew things werenít going to be right. Iím just eager to get back in the ring and I just had to make some changes. I had to go back to my roots and do everything right the way I used to. Now I feel great and Iím looking forward to Nov. 6.Ē
How are you going to deal with Glen Johnsonís activity level?
GREEN: ďI know Glen very well; Glenís a friend of mine. Heís one of the first top guys I actually sparred with coming up. Heís not an easy guy to fight by any means. Heís not an easy fight for anybody. But I have my own game plan and Iím not going to reveal that.Ē
Glen, what did you gain from Greenís performance against Andre Ward?
JOHNSON: ďI watched that fight once and that was right when it happened. As Allan just alluded to, Allan and I are friends. Iíve known him for a long time and I know that was not the Allan Green that I know. Iíve sparred with him many, many times. Heís helped me get ready for my fights and Iíve helped him get ready for his fights. I know that wasnít the Allan Green that I know. I didnít take much away from that. I didnít give it that much thought. I thought, maybe he had some problem or something. I didnít watch it another time Ė it was painful for me to watch it the first time. I knew something was wrong so I didnít look at it again.Ē
Glen, how have you managed to maintain such a high level of performance?
JOHNSON: ďI donít know. Iíve been asked that question a lot. I donít know if itís the fact that I donít smoke and I donít abuse my body. Maybe itís because I donít take drugs or drink. Maybe itís because I train all the time and try to get better. Maybe itís a combination of all of those things. All I am is thankful and grateful that it happens to me and for me.Ē
Allan, do you feel extra pressure to perform well in this fight after the performance to Andre Ward?
GREEN: ďI knew going into that fight that I was ill-prepared. I knew that I was a little heavy going into to camp and I knew that I was going to have trouble getting the weight off. I knew it wasnít going right. I donít like to put pressure on myself. My job is to go out there and perform. Iím not putting any extra pressure on myself to perform great or anything. Iím just going to go do my job and thatís it.Ē
Would you agree that it appears that both times you stepped up to a high level of opponent that you didnít perform well?
GREEN: ďOf course I can understand that. It only makes sense. I had my big opportunity and my performance was subpar, so I can completely understand that.Ē
Glen, can you be specific on when you guys sparred?
JOHNSON: ďI know that Allan and I sparred when I was getting ready for Roy Jones, but we sparred a number of times after that. Iíve gone into his camp and helped him out when he was getting ready for other fights as well.Ē
GREEN: ďYeah, he helped me get ready for the (Edison) Miranda fight and I helped him get ready for the Roy Jones fight.Ē
Is there anything that you guys take from the sparring sessions?
GREEN: ďIím an honest man. I learned a lot from Glen. A lot of days he gave me the business, a lot of days he just put it on me. Iím not ashamed to say that I learned a lot. That helped me get a lot better. I had my times, too, but for the most part he got the better of me. It was a good experience for me getting ready for the fight.Ē
Allan, how is your weight now and what are some changes youíve made after your last fight?
GREEN: ďAfter the Ward fight got postponed because of knee injury I kind of fell into a funk and got real depressed and started eating a lot and not really training. I just started blowing up because I didnít think that fight would happen. So I had to play catch up when I came into camp. I think I ended up having to lose 28 pounds in three weeks. I donít know how I did it. But this time, I stuck to my diet Ė Iím a vegetarian Ė I stuck to my diet, ate the right things. This time when I wake up in the morning I weigh around 176 pounds.Ē
Glen, how do you continue to perform at this level and not get disappointed with some questionable decision losses?
JOHNSON: ďWell, I just donít want to quit on myself. Everybody else is quitting on you, the last thing you want to do is quit on yourself. I always look at it that way: Every time I step in the ring and every time Iím training for a fight I always go at it 100 percent knowing that this could be my last chance, my last opportunity. Iím not one of those big market guys that will always get a chance and always get an opportunity, so I always give it 100 percent every time I step in there. Thatís just the way I go about it. I just have to keep my spirit up because nobody else is going to do it for me. Thatís the way I look at it and thatís the reason I perform the way I do.Ē
Allan, do you see any type of scenario where Glenís weight loss will be negative?
GREEN: Itís a possibility, but Iíve seen Glen work Ė heís a hard worker. Heís not a very big light heavyweight anyway. As far as it affecting his performance, I canít say that. I really donít know.Ē
Glen, you fought Bernard Hopkins 13 years ago. If I told you 13 years ago that youíd both still be active, what would you have said at the time?
JOHNSON: ďIíd still be laughing just like Iím doing right now. Life is funny, man. You never say never. I remember when I first got introduced to boxing and George Foreman was the old guy in boxing. I was like ĎMan, when is this guy going to stop before he gets hurt?í You know what, he did it and he did it well and he earned a lot of money. He had the last laugh at the end of the day. I really didnít think that I would last this long in boxing. When I first started boxing all I wanted to make was $10,000 so I could make a down payment on a house. Once I got my first compliment I was hooked. I just kept trying harder to get another compliment and it turned into this career. Iím just thankful.
ďIím the most excited guy right now to be a part of the most prestigious tournament in boxing. I was happy when I heard Allan was a part of it. The fact that things happened the way things happened and now Iím a part of it, Iím happy for me. Iím just going out there and doing what I have to do to move on.Ē
Allan, what would be your ideal scenario for this fight?
GREEN: ďJust to win. Just to win and moving on in the tournament and getting my revenge against Andre Ward and winning the tournament. Just to win. Just an impressive win.Ē
Lou, do you think there is a future for this tournament style?
DIBELLA: ďI hope so. I think that there will always be challenges in the sport to a tournament because anything that takes any length of time presents difficulties. You have your legitimate difficulties with injuries but you also have your political difficulties. This tends to be a sport of immediate gratification. People donít tend to look down the line; they look at the immediate payday. The tournament concept is a difficult undertaking. But if weíre not creative in boxing and we donít take chances, weíre going to head even more into the shitter than we already are. I really, really honestly do believe that we have to take these types of chances; we have to go for this type of innovation.
ďI applaud Ken Hershman for this concept and I think it is proving itself to work. It started out and you had Kessler as the favorite, then Abraham became the favorite and now Ward is the favorite. It kept changing. Had everyone stayed in I think obviously a lot of people would be happier. But I think still you have excitement on the horizon. Youíre going to have two terrific fights coming up and I expect that the Semis will also be real good fights. Iím glad that they stuck with it. Look, anything that takes a long time in boxing is hard to do. Weíve got to be innovative. Weíve got to take chances even if those chances create challenges and difficulties.Ē
GREEN: ďIím just happy to be back in the ring. I have a lot of respect for Glen Johnson; heís a great guy, great fight, great friend. Iím just looking to get in there, come out with a victory and move forward.Ē
JOHNSON: ďIím ready. Weight is not an issue, we took care of that. Iím looking forward to going in the ring and giving the fans a good show. Somebody mentioned what would be a perfect scenario? I would say that Allan and I both get in the tournament Ė that would be my answer to that question. I love Allan Green, no doubt. Itís just a circumstance where we have to face each other in this tournament, but may the best man win. Do what you got to do and I will as well.Ē
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