By Lem Satterfield
Jamaican-born, former light heavyweight world champion, Glen Johnson, of Miami, told BoxingScene.com moments ago that he will face England's WBC super middleweight titlist Carl Froch on June 4 in the Adrian Philipps Ballroom of Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall in Showtime's semifinal of the network's Super Six Super Middleweight Tournament.
Nicknamed, "The Road Warrior," for his rugged and relentless style as well as his willingness to face an opponent any place, and at any time, the 42-year-old Johnson (51-14-2, 35 knockouts) is coming off of a Nov. 6, eighth-round knockout of Allan Green (29-3, 20 KOs) of Tulsa, Oklahoma, who was stopped for the first time in his career.
On Nov. 27, the 33-year-old Froch (27-1, 20 KOs) easily out-boxed Germany's former middleweight titlist, Arthur Abraham (31-2, 25 KOs) during a lopsided, unanimous decision that regained for Froch the WBC belt he had lost the same way to Denmark's former WBA king Mikkel Kessler (43-2, 32 KOs) in April.
"Yeah, it's going to be June 4, in Atlantic City. I haven't fought in Atlantic City in quite a while," said Johnson, who last fought in that gambling town in January of 2008, when he stopped Hugo Pineda in the eighth-round at Bally's Park Place Hotel and Casino.
"It's been a long time. Probably three, four years. I'm glad that the fight is going to be in America," said Johnson. "I'm excited. Obviously, I believe that the people in America know me more than they will know Carl Froch."
Froch has fought twice in America, stopping Henry Porras in the eighth round of a fight at the Avalon in Hollywood, Calif., in April of 2005, and, also, knockout out Jermain Taylor in the 12th round of an April, 2009 bout at Foxwoods Resort, in Mashantucket, Conn.
"Here in America, they should certainly know more about me than they know about him," said Johnson. "But, you know, he's coming from England, where he's got great support. So, you know, those people travel well, and that could make it a great fight in a wonderful, rocking arena."
Johnson-Green, and, Froch-Abraham took place as part of Group Stage No. 3 of Showtime's Super Middleweight World Boxing Classic tournament.
Froch-Abraham was the first bout of Showtime's split-site double-header that also featured WBA titlist Andre Ward (23-0, 13 KOs) -- who dethroned Kessler in November of 2009 -- making an out-of-the-tournament defense and earning a unanimous decision victory over Sakio Bika (28-5-2, 19 KOs) from Ward's hometown of Oakland, Calif.
Ward and Abraham are to meet in the other semifinal on May 14, with the winner to face the victor of the Froch-Johnson bout later in 2011. Kessler withdrew from the tournament with an eye injury in August, with his replacement being Johnson.
Johnson suffered a November, 2009, unanimous decision loss to then-unbeaten, WBC interim light heavyweight king, Chad Dawson (29-1, 17 knockouts), which was the second loss to Dawson of Johnson's career.
And after turning 41 years old in January, there were many in the fight game who viewed Johnson as little more than an aging warrior rather than his nickname.
But Johnson has silenced the naysayers and rejuvenated his career, this, following respective performances against then 29-year-old Yusaf Mack (28-3-2, 17 KOs) of Philadelphia in February of 2010, unbeaten, 28-year-old IBF light heavyweight king Tavoris Cloud (22-0, 18 KOs), of Miami in September, and, then, Green.
Johnson scored three, sixth-round knockdowns against Mack before the referee stepped in and called a halt to their IBF title eliminator at 2:21 of the sixth for the knockout. Mack had won five straight bouts with three knockouts.
Against Cloud, Johnson lost a unanimous decision, 116-112, on all three of the cards of ringside judges, Mike Fitzgerald, Pat Morley and Fran Bechen. In defeat against Cloud, Johnson failed to become the oldest man to win a light heavyweight world title.
Later in September, however, Johnson was named to the Super Six tournament to replace Kessler, whose injury scuttled a Sept. 25 bout with Green.
Johnson was required to drop weight for Green, whom the veteran out-worked throughout most of the contest. Then, Johnson used a crushing, right-left, right combination to score a knockout at 36 seconds of eighth-round.
Green went down from two, crunching, overhand rights that were sandwiched around a short, crisp, left uppercut. His equilibrium mostly gone, Green then failed to beat the count of referee Robert Byrd, rising to his feet, but being
bent-over with both gloves still on the canvas as Byrd waved an end to the bout.
Green led, 67-66, on the cards of judges Dick Houck and Jerry Roth, while Johnson was ahead, 68-65, on that of Bert A. Clements.
Johnson's history with Green involved Green's once serving as his sparring partner in preparing Johnson for a ninth-round stoppage of Roy Jones Jr. in September 2004.
Johnson was unbeaten at 32-0 in July 1997, when he was knocked out for the only time in his career by Bernard Hopkins in the 11th round. Johnson was named the 2004 Fighter of the Year after a decision over Clinton Woods, the knockout over Jones, and a split decision over Antonio Tarver.