15.06.05 - By Malik Lee: The contractual Light heavyweight rematch of Glengoffe “Road Warrior” Johnson, 42-9-2 28 KO’s, and Antonio “Magic Man” Tarver 22-3-0 18 KO’s will take place at FedEx Forum in Memphis Tennessee this Saturday June 18. The scrap will be broadcast live on HBO at 10PM EST titled “The rematch for Light Heavyweight supremacy”. This will be the first fight for both fighters since Johnson earned a split decision last December in a 12 round bout in Los Angeles capturing the IBO light heavyweight championship belt. The first fight a close one, was determined by Judge Marty Denkins who had the bout 116-112 Johnson with the other two judges calling it a draw 115-113 one for each fighter.
The tone of the first fight was set with both fighters relinquishing belts after coming off of knockout wins of Roy Jones Jr. This fight will be about Johnson showing he is more than just the best Jamaican fighter but he is a true champion in his first title defense.
Tarver comes into the fight looking to avenge his lose to Johnson as he did with loses to Jones Jr and Eric Harding.
For the 175lb match up Johnson stands 5’ 11” with a reach of 75” fighting in an orthodox style, while Johnson stands 6’2” a southpaw fighter both fighter are 36- years old.
Steve D’Amato has dubbed Johnson the modern day Cinderella man because Johnson made his pro debut in 1993 and ran his record up to 32-0 with great promise. Glen suffered his first loss to Bernard Hopkins (TKO 11) in July of 1997. Including the Hopkins fight Johnson went 6-9-1 for the next six years. Johnson was labeled as a journeyman fighter or stepping-stone according to D’Amato. The name Glen Johnson was only mentioned as an opponent for top fighters or fighters on the rise.
That all started to change in May 2003 when Johnson upset top light heavyweight contender, Eric Harding (UD 12). In the next fight, Glen fought rugged Englishman Clinton Woods to a draw but then won an immediate rematch for the vacant IBF title. Then came the fame of knocking out Roy Jones Jr. then staked his claim as best light heavyweight in the world by beating Tarver three months later.
Much more of a Cinderella story compared to Jim Braddock losing his first title defense two years after getting the heavyweight championship belt after a shocking 15 round unanimous decision over Max Baer.
Johnson is Jamaica’s 2004 World Fighter of the year, the fight will be referred by Bill Clancy.
On the under card Middleweights Ike Quartey 35-2-1 and Verno Phillips 38-9-1 will square off with 2004 Olympics gold medal winner heavyweight Andre Ward 3-0-0 taking on Marsha Valley 4-2-1 both fights are 10 round contest.