Exclusive Interview With Glen Johnson - “Right Now, Super-Middleweight Is The Best Weight Class In Boxing”
By James Slater - Ageless wonder Glen Johnson scored a sensational 8th-round stoppage over the previously unstopped Allan Green this past Saturday, as fight fans know. And, unconcerned at the fact that Team-Green is set to appeal the win scored by “The Road Warrior,” the youthful 41-year-old is looking forward to the next step in the “Super Six” tourney he is now very much a huge part of.
Article posted on 11.11.2010
I called Glen up earlier today (he was at the airport, on his way to Texas for Saturday’s big Pacquiao-Margarito fight), and he very kindly took the time to speak with me about a number of things..
Here is what Johnson, 51-14-2(35) had to say about Green’s “rabbit punch” appeal, his next fight against the Carl Froch-Arthur Abraham winner, and other things:
James Slater: It’s a real pleasure to be able to speak with you, Champ. Congrats on the great win over Allan Green. Can I just ask you first, what do you think about the appeal Green and his team are set to launch, with Green claiming you hit him and stopped him with an illegal rabbit punch?
Glen Johnson: If you look at the punch, it wasn’t a rabbit punch. It was a punch that landed right by the ear, and the reason it landed there was because he leaned into it. So you can’t blame me for what he did.
J.S: He has a top lawyer on the case, the man who overturned Tim Bradley’s 2009 TKO win over Nate Campbell and had it demoted to a No Contest. Are you concerned at all about that?
G.J: I’m not concerned. I did what I was supposed to do in the ring. Now I’m looking forward to moving on to the next fight in the Super Six. This makes no difference to me at all. I did my job in the fight.
J.S: It was a great performance by you. You looked to be faster and more full of energy - even though some people said beforehand that you might be weakened in your first fight at 168-pounds for ten years. Were you surprised yourself how good you looked?
G.J: I did feel good. I was surprised by how easily I made the weight actually. That was the biggest surprise. Everything else was great as well, my speed, my energy. I even felt a little more youthful in there. It was wonderful, and I’m so excited now, at the rest of the tournament that is ahead.
J.S: As you know, you will fight the winner of Carl Froch-Arthur Abraham next, in the semi-finals. Have you any preference with which guy you face?
G.J: I really don’t have a preference. The only thing I would say, is I would probably prefer to fight Froch in England, as opposed to Abraham in Germany. I think they are a little more fair in England than they are in Germany when it comes to scoring a fight. But style-wise, neither one of them can beat me.
J.S: You say you made weight easily for the Green fight; did you do anything different in training for that fight, to make 168?
G.J: I did the same strength work. I didn’t do anything special. The only thing different was I had a nutritionist, and she told me what to eat and so forth. Other than that, I did my same training. Sparring, roadwork, etc.
J.S: You looked so good at 168, did you think about how it might have been had you opted to stay at that weight instead of moving up in 2001? You could have won some big fights at 168 had you stayed there!
G.J: You know, I certainly could have done that, but the opportunities came at light-heavyweight, so I moved up and took them. I have no regrets. My manager wanted me to move down to super-middleweight as long ago as two years ago. I finally agreed when the big Super Six opportunity came.
J.S: Looking further ahead in The Super Six; who do you consider to be the best fighter still in the tournament? Most people seem to look at Andre Ward as the favourite, do you agree?
G.J: I do think Ward is the most difficult of all the fighters in the tournament to beat. He’s certainly the most skilful. I think highly of him. I think he’s the most complete fighter in the tournament. The other guys have maybe one strength, but then they are not as strong in other areas. Ward is also a smart boxer, he’s smart at how he controls his boxing.
J.S: What will you do now, Glen? Take a rest and then get back in the gym?
G.J: I’ll be back in the gym on Monday (November 15th). I’m on my way to the Pacquiao-Margarito fight right now, and then I’ll be back training on Monday.
J.S: With everything you’ve done in the ring, all the styles you’ve met and overcome - is there anything else you can possibly learn in boxing at this stage in your remarkable career?
G.J: I’m still learning. Every day in the gym I try to do certain things better; even things I’ve been doing for years. If the time comes when you stop learning, or you think you have nothing else to learn, it’s time to get out.
J.S: For my final question: will you now stay at super-middleweight for the remainder of
your career, or will you go back up to light-heavyweight after the Super Six is done?
G.J: I won’t say I’ll never fight again at 175, but it would have to be a tremendous challenge, a tremendous opportunity, for me to go back up. Right now, I think super-middleweight is the best weight class in boxing, with the most talent. And I’m excited to be a part of it.
(sincere thanks to Johnny Beyrooty and Meredith Greenberg in their assistance in me obtaining this interview)
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