Andrzej Fonfara Ready For Glen Johnson At The Crossroads
By Jake Donovan
Light heavyweight prospect Andrzej Fonfara has spent the past four years proving that his last loss was a fluke. A 12-fight unbeaten streak – including a current run of nine straight knockouts – goes a long way towards restoring confidence.
Now all he has to do is prove that he’s for real.
Fonfara currently stands at the crossroads of his career, with a much clearer sense of direction to be provided after Friday’s showdown against former light heavyweight champion Glen Johnson.
The bout serves as this week’s main event on ESPN2 Friday Night Fights and takes place at the UIC Pavilion in Fonfara’s adopted hometown of Chicago. The Polish transplant has become a favorite son to the area and the venue in particular, fighting at the Pavilion for the 11th time in his past 12 fights.
“I’m glad to get this opportunity in front of my fans,” Fonfara (21-2, 12KO). “It will be very loud.”
It’s up to Fonfara to prove an old axiom true, that action speaks louder than words.
There is the train of thought that this fight comes at the perfect time – Fonfara is red hot, while the 43-year old Johnson (51-16-2, 35KO) appears to have seen better days. A ring veteran of nearly 20 years, Johnson enters the fight having lost two straight, though against the sport’s upper echelon of talent in Carl Froch and Lucian Bute.
Johnson looked like a fighter on the way out the door against Bute, losing nearly every round and not offering much in the way of a competitive fight for the first time in more than a decade. Still, most of his losses in recent past have been followed up with an impressive enough win to keep his career afloat, which leads to the intrigue surrounding Friday’s headliner.
It’s an experience to which Fonfara can’t yet truly relate. His two career losses have come against far inferior competition to the man who will stand across him on Friday evening. This fact isn’t lost on his promoter 8 Count Productions, but “that’s what this fight is all about. Adrzej is now 20-plus fights into his career. Everyone wants to see what he’s made of and it’s put-up or shut-up time. We know he’s ready, but it’s up to Andrzej to prove it.”
His modest competition level aside, Fonfara has taken tremendous strides in his career development. Moving up from middleweight - where he lost to Findley – and even super middleweight has proven wise, as his fights over the past two-plus years have shown a 24-year old fighter who has finally grown into his 6’2” frame.
Fonfara still comes across as deceptively rail thin, but has added enough muscle to where his opponents feel the difference.
“I still learn from every fight. The smartest thing I’ve done (so far) was move up to light heavyweight,” Fonfara admits. “I don’t walk around heavy at this weight, and can spend training camp focusing on getting stronger and sharper, instead of trying to get down to fight weight. That is the key for my success.”
That level of confidence alone goes a long way towards facing a wily veteran like Johnson, who possesses a flair for reshuffling the deck. Many in the media and among the general boxing public wonder how much Johnson has left at this stage of his career.
Fonfara is right there with them, as he prepares for the very best version of ‘The Road Warrior’, refusing to bank on the possibility of his opponent showing his age.
“Glen Johnson is a very tough fighter,” Fonfara acknowledges. “We trained very hard for this fight because we know he’s dangerous. I want to prove I’m ready for (the best) light heavyweights.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Tmann400 on 07-13-2012
After watching a couple of this guys fights, I have to say I don't think he has much of a chance, unless Johnson is completely done. The kid throws in high volume, he's fun to watch. But, he seems very…Post a Comment/View More User Comments (1)
Top Headlines Lara's Trainer: Golovkin Should Want To Test Himself Against Lara Frank Warren: Kell Brook Wanted No Part of Liam Smith Hearn: Ricky Burns' Last Chance To Win Gold, a 50-50 Fight Tony Bellew Smiles: I Was Always a Rebellious Little F***er! Hearn Wants Parker To Get UK Exposure To Build Joshua Bout Video: Shane Mosley Shows Off His Power and Speed at Workout Marquez Injured, Stops Training - But Still Has Eye on Miguel Cotto Barthelemy: I Want To Fight The Likes of Crawford and Broner Dela Torre Injures Right Hand, Admits Improvement is Needed Photos: Orlando Salido Closes Camp For Francisco Vargas War Mosley-Avanesyan: Winner To Receive WBA Title Shot? Parker's Promoter Vows: We'll KO Joshua, Haye, Chisora, Fury! Kauffman Rips Wilder: Took The Easy Way Out, I Beat Arreola's Ass! Jarrell Miller Demolishes Nick Guivas, Dela Torre Struggles in Win Photos: Shane Mosley, David Avanesyan - Face To Face at Weighin Video: Shane Mosley vs. David Avanesyan Official Weighin Photos: Rances Barthelemy Putting in Work For Mickey Bey Defense Chavez Jr. Says Training Pact With Freddie Roach is Stronger Now Donnie Nietes Very Happy With Casimero's World Title Victory Photos/Weights: Miguel Vazquez vs. Erick Bone, More Avanesyan's Coach: Mosley Has Declined, We'll Take Advantage Hearn: I Told Loeffler, Eubank Will Sign For Golovkin Right Now Teddy Atlas: McGregor Needs 5 Years of Training For Mayweather Povetkin's Promoter: WBC's Investigation Will Take a Few Months Casimero: I Can Drop Chocolatito Just Like I Dropped Ruenroeng! Video: Shane Mosley vs. Cruiserweight Dimar Ortuz - Sparring Eddie Hearn Believes Ricky Burns is Still The Same Fighter Whyte Says Chisora Punked Out, Backed Down From Challenge WBC Prez Applauds Pacquiao For Turning Back on Olympic Offer Haye vs. Gjergjaj Peaked at 2.5 Million Viewers For Channel Dave Hearn: Everton Event Will Be Great For Community WBO Purse Bid Ordered for Glowacki vs. Usyk Jarrell Miller Rips Joshua, Fury, Luis Ortiz, Parker, Andy Ruiz Too Joel Diaz: Bradley Had No Game Plan, Looked Lost and Confused Eubank Jr: Golovkin is Slow, Easy To Hit - His Power Can't Beat Me! Makabu Confident: Tony Bellew Has NOTHING Special For Me Frank Warren Slams David Haye's Recent Win, Briggs Fight Micki Nielsen Vows To Win Entire 'Super 4' Tournament Fury's Coach: Parker is a Very Serious Test For Anthony Joshua Steven Lewis Aims To Make Statement on Echo Arena Card
Latest Boxing Video Video: Shane Mosley Shows Off His Power and Speed at Workout Video: Shane Mosley vs. David Avanesyan Official Weighin Video: Shane Mosley vs. Cruiserweight Dimar Ortuz - Sparring Video: Joseph Diaz Discusses His Career, The Future, More Video: Sergio Mora Discusses Golovkin, Canelo, Jacobs, More Video: Ruslan Provodnikov Shows His Power on The Heavy Bag Video: Ruslan Provodnikov Details Strategy, Camp For Molina Video: Joel Diaz on Recent Defeats of Victor Ortiz, Tim Bradley Video: Justin Fortune on Khan, Golovkin, McGregor, Canelo, More Video: John Molina Talks, Ruslan Provodnikov Crashes Interview
Recent Top Stories
Latest Active Forum Threads