Exclusive Interview With Glen Johnson - “The Lucian Bute Fight Is Definitely On My Wish List”

By James Slater - Now that IBF super-middleweight king Lucian Bute is in the hunt for a new November challenger thanks to Kelly Pavlik’s decision to pull out of the planned fight, there are a few names being suggested as the unbeaten southpaw’s next foe. Top of this list seems to be ageless “Road Warrior” and recent Super-Six participant Glen Johnson. The amazing 42-year-old dropped a close decision to Carl Froch back in June, but he is now ready and willing to face Bute. Very kindly taking the time to speak with me yesterday evening, the always-friendly warrior with the 51-15-2(35) record had the following answers to my questions:

James Slater: It’s always a great pleasure to be able to speak with you, Champ. Your name has been coming up quite a lot regarding a fight between you and Lucian Bute in November now that Kelly Pavlik has apparently pulled out. Have you heard anything, and is this a fight you’d like?

Glen Johnson: Oh, yes, that’s a fight that is on my wish list. I’ve heard that my people have touched base with his people, but no documents have come my way yet. So I think it’s just rumours right now, but as I say that fight is definitely on my wish list..

J.S: And with you being The Road Warrior, you’d have no problem going to Montreal, Canada for the fight?

G.J: Oh, sure. I’ve been everywhere else and I’ve fought everyone else, it wouldn’t make any difference going to Canada to fight.

J.S: I read that you and Bute have sparred in the past?

G.J: We sparred, yes. He was getting ready for rematch with the Mexican guy he had a close fight with the first time (Librado Andrade) and I was getting ready for a rematch also, with [Chad] Dawson. He [Bute] was successful in his, but I wasn’t in my fight. So, yes, we have worked together.

J.S: Do you think, as some others do, that Bute is the best of the current champions at 168 today?

G.J: Well, I have big respect for Bute; I rate him highly. But I’ve sparred him and I know him a little, whereas I’ve not been in with any of the other champions apart from the guy from England, Carl Froch. I’d say those two are on a similar level. I can’t say Bute is the best, but at the worst he is as good as the others.

J.S: You’ve fought everyone, we know - will you change anything if you fight Bute? He’s a southpaw and a wicked body puncher.

G.J: I don’t see the point in really changing anything. He’s a good fighter on the inside as well as on the outside. It would be a good, exciting fight. This is a fight the fans deserve. I am the best fighter on his list of potential opponents.

J.S: You’d obviously be motivated for this one, even after all the big fights you’ve had?

G.J: Oh, yes. Fighting is what I do. I never back down and I always give the people what they pay for. You know, you win some you lose some, and I always want to win. I never want to be in a bad fight either at the end of the day. When I fight, the fans never lose.

J.S: There’s no doubt about that. The Froch fight was another great fight. Looking back now, was the loss you were given fair?

G.J: Well, it was close - and I never win the close fights. It wasn’t a robbery like some of my other fights where I can see I was clearly robbed. This was a close, tough one. It all depends on what you like: whether you liked Froch’s work and gave him credit for it, or if you liked my work and gave me credit. I don’t really have any argument with the loss, but I was disappointed with myself. I believe I can do better. That’s one fight where I wish I could have it back so I could make corrections.

J.S: Are you back in the gym now, Glen?

G.J: Yeah, I’m back in the gym. I’m trying to shake off some rust and I’m just waiting to see if the paper work comes through for this fight in Canada. If it does it will definitely be a blessing and this fight will give the fans what they want.

J.S: Best wishes in getting the fight, Glen. And thanks so much for taking the time to speak with me.

G.J: Okay, bye.

Article posted on 05.08.2011

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