Glen Johnson: ďI certainly think I will stop Carl Froch right around the eighth round or soĒ
by Geoffrey Ciani (Exclusive Interview by Jenna J & Geoffrey Ciani) - Former light heavyweight champion Glen Johnson (51-14-2, 35 KOs) joined us for a Super Six Special Edition ofOn the Ropes Boxing Radio (brought to you by CWH Promotions) as he enters final preparations before his Saturday night showdown against WBC super middleweight champion Carl Froch (27-1, 20 KOs) in the Super Six Semi-Finals this Saturday. Here is a complete transcript from that interview:
JENNA J: It is time for our guest on this eveningís show. We have ďThe Road WarriorĒ himself, the former light heavyweight champion of the world, and the current participant in the Semi-Finals of the Super Six, Glen Johnson! How are you doing today, Glen?
GLEN JOHNSON: Iím doing good. Thanks for having me on. Itís an honor to be back on your show.
JENNA: Weíre definitely happy to have you back! So you got a pretty big fight coming up this week. How do you feel now that the fightís only a few days off?
JOHNSON: I feel great! We have a wonderful training camp, one of our better ones in awhile. So we are very excited of coming out here in New Jersey to give you guys a show, make sure the people enjoy their money, and come back with the victory.
JENNA: You know you have to get down to 168 pounds. This is the second time youíll have to do it in the tournament. How are you feeling weight-wise?
JOHNSON: Oh I feel great! You know the first time we really didnít have a lot of time to get it done. This time we had a lot of time so it certainly was easier. We got adjusted to the weight. We had time to train with the weight being down. Weíve been sharp for awhile now in training camp. Weíve maintained that and actually exceeded expectations, so we are extremely excited about coming out there and performing.
JENNA: Okay now how do you feel about the press so far for this event between you and Carl, the comments youíve said, the comments heís saidóhow do you feel about the buildup?
JOHNSON: The buildup is fine. I mean Iím not a big talkative guy who talks a lot of trash and all of that stuff. Itís not really my style. I kind of build myself up with reputation. I try to go out there and give 100% performance every time. I kind of leave that as my trail and my mark. When people see Glen Johnsonís name, I give 100% of my heart and soul and they know that. So you know as far as me going out and insulting my opponent, and carrying on, and acting crazy and stuff, Iím not really into that. Iím kind of more into things that are really kindly thought of so I can set an example for my kids. When I tell kids to behave a certain way they have to listen because of the way I carry myself and I try to lead as an example. So I kind of take that approach to my business more than all the trash talking. I know the trash talking probably sells more tickets and all of that stuff, but I believe in my fight and what I really do in the ring, and my efforts, and my heart and soul that I put into my craft to take center stage over the trash talking.
JENNA: Alright now Glen, last time we had you on you said that you felt you needed to knockout Carl Froch in order to get the victory because people somehow want to see a fight between the US and England. Do you still feel that way and do you think youíll be doing anything differently in the ring than you normally do in order to push for that KO?
JOHNSON: You know, Iím always going to look for the KO. There is a bigger market in England so I definitely think it would make probably a bigger attraction with an American guy with the big market. Thatís the boxing world and Englandís got a big boxing market. So as far as Iím concerned Iím a small market guy. Iím a Jamaican, even though I live here in the States and have become an American citizen here. But most people still view me as a Jamaican and the Jamaican market is not as big. So thatís the reason why I said what I said as far all of the people and all of that stuff, that they would prefer to see the two biggest markets get on the stage. So I do kind of have that impression that on fight night I have to go out there and do everything that I can to win it, because I never take a chance because itís possible it could be taken from me.
JENNA: Well Glen, weíre also on the line with my Co-Host Geoff.
GEOFFREY CIANI: Hi Glen. Itís a pleasure to have you back on the show.
JOHNSON: Hey! Thanks man. I appreciate it. Iím glad to be back on.
CIANI: Thank you. Glen, I was just curious, what impresses you most, when you study the fight tape and you look at Carl Froch as a fighter, what impresses you most about what he does?
JOHNSON: Just the fact that heís steady. Heís a real steady guy. You donít see anyone thing that heís doing thatís outrageous, like oh heís super fast, or this guy is defensively great, or he has that one-punch knockout type of power. But everything about Froch is just kind of right there. Maybe heís an 8, an overall 8, which is a tough guy to beat. You always want to look at a guy, and you want to find that one part of him thatís a 4, or a 2, or a 1 where you can say okay and attack that part of him. For the most part heís an 8 all the way around and that makes it a little difficult. I give Froch a lot of respect, heís a good fighter, but I believe that Iím the better fighter and I will come out victorious.
CIANI: Now one of the things that Carl likes to do is he likes to set traps and he often keeps his hands really low during the fight. Do you think thatís something that you could take advantage of when he does that?
JOHNSON: You know Iím not worrying about any traps that heís trying to set because Iím pretty good at setting traps myself. Certainly if Froch has got his hands lower than they should be Iím going to capitalize on it, but Iím going to go about it smartly. Iím not going to just go about it ignorantly like some immature fighter might do. Iím an experienced fighter. I know exactly what to do in what situation and I believe that I will capitalize on those situations and do a good job of it.
CIANI: Even though a lot of fans think this is sort of a pickíem fight thatís very even, it still seems to me the majority of the people are still favoring Froch. Does that give you any added motivation to go out there and perform at a high level?
JOHNSON: Oh certainly! I mean Iím motivated anyway and Iím extremely excited about coming out and proving myself. I believe every time you step in the ring you have an opportunity to refresh the peopleís minds of the things that you can do, because out of site out of mind. Youíre not that relevant unless youíre like a Pacquiao or youíre Mayweather or somebody like that. Otherwise from that you got to keep yourself fresh in the peopleís mind so they know exactly what youíre bringing to the table. So certainly Iím looking forward to come back here in Jersey and Showtime on the 4th and just to make a splash.
CIANI: Now Iím curious Glen, the other Super Six Semi-Finals that happened a few weeks back between Arthur Abraham and Andre Ward, what did you think of Andre Wardís performance?
JOHNSON: I think he fought a great fight. I believe he fought a smart fight. He did exactly what he needed to do for his victory. He got it done and got it done safely and came out of the fight without getting hurt or suffering any damage. You know he didnít win a close fight. He kind of ran away with it. Abraham might have had maybe three rounds out of twelve. Thatís kind of one-sided.
JENNA: Now Glen, letís turn things for a second to a fight that happened just a couple of weeks ago. Bernard Hopkins at the age of 46 became the oldest man to win a major championship when he defeated Jean Pascal. (1) Did you get a chance to see that fight and (2) if you did, what did you think about Bernardís performance?
JOHNSON: Yeah I saw it, and kudos to Bernard for going out there and doing what he did. To go in Canada and beat basically a Canadian, even though he is from Haiti he lives there and they except him as a Canadian. Basically he kind of beat him in his on town and did it one-sided, so you have to give Bernard major respect and just for him to just stick for his skills when for years he was beating guys and not looked at as a major player. Over the years he continued to break those walls and those barriers down and still go on to go longer and do better than anybody else in the history of boxing. That goes to show you, just staying with it you know the glory that can come with it.
JENNA: Okay now I mentioned that Bernard is 46, yourself youíre 42. What do you think allows fighters like you and Bernard to perform so well later into your career?
JOHNSON: Well I believe that, again, sometimes when you feel like you donít get your just due, sometimes thatís kind of a motivation to send you back to the gym to keep working on your craft. A lot of guys just work on athleticism. Thatís one of the first things to go when youíre an athlete. Athleticism is what goes when you start aging. When you see a guy like Roy Jones who was just tremendously athletic where he was just like a freak of nature. He did so many things that amazed us, but a lot of times he did it the wrong way but because he was so athletically gifted, he was able to do it and get away with it and be spectacular with it. But as you age, those gifts start to go away and then your mechanics start to show up, but if you didnít have proper mechanics early on a lot of times the longevity is not there. So guys like Bernard Hopkins and myself, we kind of both stick with the basics and kind of work on the mechanics of boxing. Even when we might have lost some athleticism, the mechanics of boxing are still the same and if you have the right ones and you know how to wrap that into a proper formula that can work, you can get longevity out of it. Thatís what youíre kind of seeing with Bernard and myself and the older guys who are still doing what theyíre doing on the big stage.
JENNA: Glen, there has actually been some talk that if you actually somehow win the Super Six that people would be interested in seeing a rematch between you and Bernard. If you got that opportunity, what do you think you would do differently in a rematch?
JOHNSON: You know I would love a rematch with Bernard. I would love for that to happen at some point, but for me now Iím just more focused on whatís at hand. I have Carl Froch on the 4th and I have to take care of that business, and after that weíll move on to the Finals and weíll take care of that business, and then weíll see whatís on the table after that. We just want to basically just stay focused on that, but a Bernard Hopkins rematch is something certainly I would have interest in. We fought and he won already and he always said that if the opportunity comes he would do it, but whenever people ask if he would fight me or who he wants next, my name was never a part of his vocabulary. So we will see what happens in the future, but for the most part Iím going to just stay focused on whatís at hand.
CIANI: Now if youíre successful against Carl Froch and you make it into the Super Six Finals as a late replacement who came into the tournament when it was already under way, what would it mean for you to be in that position to facer rising young star Andre Ward on the big stage like that?
JOHNSON: Well it would mean everything! I mean this fight and with the time since I entered the tournament, Iím still fighting the people who are ahead of me. The guy that I replaced was not undefeated in the tournament. So that guy might not have been there if I started at the beginning of the tournament. So for me Iím just staying on my course and doing what Iím supposed to do and when we get to the big stage, weíll work on that and weíll take care of business then.
CIANI: Outside of the Super Six one of the fights thatís rumored to be taking place later this year if theyíre both successful in their next matchups is a fight between other super middleweights Lucian Bute and Mikkel Kessler, and Iím just curious Glen, if those two do wind up meeting how do you see a fight between them playing out?
JOHNSON: You know that is a pickíem fight basically. You got two guys who are extremely talented. I would assume a fight like that would happen in Canada and with stuff like that you have two guys with not much to choose from. So you always kind of have to go with the hometown guy because it happens so much in boxing seeing hometown favorites and hometown guys where you have to come in there and do a really super job to come out of there with a victory. So thatís probably the way I would go and if the fight was happening in Kesslerís hometown I would go with Kessler for just the same reason. So itís all about where the fight is happening and that would be the way I would go.
CIANI: Glen if you did win the Super Six, and I know you touched on this a minute ago when you said you would love to fight Hopkins again, but is there a dream fight out there for you still that exists?
JOHNSON: If there was a dream fight out there for me it would be the Bernard Hopkins fight simply because he has a victory over me. Roy Jones had a victory over him and for a lot of years he never let the rematch happen until it was no longer relevant. I hope heís not going to do the same thing to me. I hope he will give me a rematch while people still have interest in it, so that would be basically my dream fight because I certainly feel like Iím going to do a lot better than I did when we first fought because Iím a better fighter, Iím more experienced, and he knows it as well so I think thatís probably one of the reasons why he might want to avoid this fight. I guess the other fight that I would have an interest in would be whoever wins that Kessler-Bute fight as well. So anything along those lines I would be extremely happy about.
CIANI: Now Iím not sure about this 100%, but if you actually beat Froch and win the super middleweight title I think you will have become the oldest fighter to have gone down to win a championship in a second weight class by going into a weight lower than where you won your first championship. What would that mean to you?
JOHNSON: Well that would mean a lot. I donít know as well. Iíve never looked into that history, but yeah. That would mean a lot. I mean just winning a championship means a lot to me right now. Itís been awhile since Iíve won a championship and Iíve tried at it a couple of times since I was the light heavyweight champion. So Iím just looking forward to that challenge. Iím extremely confident going in there to get this victory and to become the super middleweight champion for the WBC, and if that holds true what you just said that would just be an added plus.
JENNA: Alright well Glen we just have a few more questions before we let you off the line. Another former opponent of yours has actually been talking about this fight and thatís Antonio Tarver. He said he heavily favors Carl Froch against you and he also favors him to win the tournament in general. What do you think about your former opponentís words and also his upcoming fight against Danny Green in July?
JOHNSON: I wish Tarver a lot of success in his upcoming fight with Green. He certainly has his right to choose whoever he wants between Carl Froch and I. You know again, his opinion is just as good as another personís opinion and everybody has an opinion. Heís certainly not the first one I heard choose Carl Froch over me. So for me again, itís just staying focused and going out and doing what Iím supposed to do to be victorious.
JENNA: Alright Glen, I want to get your official prediction for your fight this coming Saturday night against Carl Froch. How do you expect the fight to play out from the opening bell to the finish?
JOHNSON: I believe itís going to be a tough fight. I believe itís going to be an exciting fight and a fan friendly fight, but at the end of the day I believe that I will be victorious and I certainly think I will stop Carl Froch right around the eighth round or so. Weíre looking forward to that challenge. Weíre looking forward to that fight and we believe the fans are going to be extremely excited in one of those not back down and stand on your feet type fights.
JENNA: Now speaking of the fans, is there anything you want to say to them and all of the ďRoad WarriorĒ fans?
JOHNSON: Oh sure! I mean Iíve got the best fans in the world. I mean there are not a lot of people who stick with fighters whoíve been through the ups and downs that Iíve gone through. People jump off the bandwagon quick as soon as you lose a fight or two, so Iím extremely proud of the people that support me and Iím happy for them. Iím glad that they are supportive of me and Iím looking forward to making them happy again on June 4.
JENNA: Alright well Glen, itís a real pleasure having you back on the show especially so close to the fight. Thank you for your time and we wish you all the best of luck.
JOHNSON: Hey, thank you so much. I appreciate your time as well.
CIANI: Thank you Glen. Good luck.
JOHNSON: Alright, bye!
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Article posted on 03.06.2011
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