By Dennis 'dSource' Guillermo
At 42-years-young, "The Road Warrior" Glen Johnson is still hitting the concrete, punching-in the time clock fight in, and fight out, providing aspiring boxing stars a litmus test and serving as his division's proverbial gatekeeper.
A look into his resume` of victims, and those who barely escaped with either a controversial decision or a close one, is like going through a filter that divides the truth from the pretenders.
I caught up with the former world light heavyweight champion and BWAA fighter of the year, to talk about his career, his legacy and the current state of boxing. Johnson also filled me in on details regarding an agreement he reached to fight Lucian Bute in Canada in November and his thoughts on a couple of other big fights coming up between Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Victor Ortiz, and the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez trilogy.
Check out the chat transcript of highlights from our interview below:
dSource - "Let's talk about your contract to fight Lucian Bute; are you happy with the terms? Lets talk about that."
Glen Johnson - "I'm pretty happy with the terms. Everything worked out. I still haven't the contract yet (as of interview date) but all the terms are agreed upon. We're looking forward to a wonderful fight; an exciting fight. I'm excited for the fight, and I'm looking to come out victorious.
dSource - "At this stage of your career, how important is this fight for you and what does it mean?"
Glen Johnson - "This fight means everything to me, and it's extremely important for my career. At this stage, you can't take a step backward. I just came off a fight, even though it was a tremendous fight, it was not a successful one because I did not get the victory. I don't think I can ever really take back-to-back losses at this stage of my career."
dSource - "It was said that you were willing to take less money that people perceive that you deserve, just to be able to fight Bute"
Glen Johnson - "I really didn't want to waste the opportunity. I didn't want to sit back and nitpick a lot, because from how I look at it, if it doesn't change my zip code, I don't see why I really have to go crazy about it. The opportunity means more to me more than anything else."
dSource - "Do you think that at this point in your career, do you think you're getting the respect that you deserve. I know I spoke to you a few years back after your first fight with Chad Dawson, you felt that you always get robbed. How about now? You had a successful campaign at the Showtime Super Middleweight tournament."
Glen Johnson - "You know what? I'm very thankful for the career that I have. I can see a lot of different ways that my career could've gone, even my life outside boxing could've went differently. As much as I didn't have the career that I would've liked to have, but I am very proud and happy with the career I have. I carved out a pretty good one for myself. I felt like if I was on even ground, even playing field, I would've done better. But nevertheless, that gave me a wonderful life, a wonderful career and for that I am thankful."
dSource - "Are you trying to do anything different against Bute? Have you scouted the way he's fought and his weaknesses?"
Glen Johnson - "I know Bute well. I know him very well. He knows me as well. I believe that we will come out with a wonderful game plan, I believe he will as well. The people will get a treat. They'll see who can do the best. It's going to be a wonderful night of boxing."
dSource - "Can you talk to us about what else is there left you that you want to accomplish in your career, and also the accomplishments veteran guys like you and Bernard Hopkins still contribute in boxing."
Glen Johnson - "I still want to accomplish everything that I already accomplished; Fighter of the Year, World Championships, the status that I had in '04 and the years after that. And as far as fighters over 40 that still doing wonderful things in boxing; Bernard Hopkins a man that I'm very proud of, and he's doing a wonderful job. And I'm extremely proud of myself. There's something to say about taking care about yourself and living your life the right way and the things that you can still accomplish when you're past the age of accomplishment in sports. But you go about your life the right way, there's plenty to accomplish still. I'm just happy that we two are maybe the two frontrunners in boxing that able to show the people that it can still be done at a high level right now. It's something to be proud of and another accomplishment in my belt and something I hold very proudly."
dSource - "You and Bernard are still on that high level as fighters.Both of you aren't just fighting in your 40's, both of you are still on top of the game. So how about a rematch with Bernard?"
Glen Johnson - "I've been asking for a rematch with Bernard, probably for some 7 years now, but it hasn't materialized. But again, when that day comes, hopefully it will come, we can get in the ring and give people what they pay for and what they deserve. I'm looking forward to that day to happen."
Johnson's thoughts on Pacquiao vs. Marquez trilogy:
Glen Johnson - "I believe it's a wonderful one. I believe each fighter has that one guy that gives them that toughest fight that they can't deal with, and Marquez might just be that guy for Pacquiao. It's going to be a treat, an excellent fight. I'm looking forward to seeing it, but I'm still going for Pacquiao. It's hard for me to pull away from him when I have not seen anybody compete with him, even when I heard this guy did."
His thoughts on Mayweather vs. Ortiz:
Glen Johnson - "I believe that's a more even fight. Victor Ortiz looked pretty good. We still have to have some questions what Victor Ortiz will show up; the one who quit in some fight back, or the Victor Ortiz that looked like a world beater not too long ago. And again, Floyd Mayweather didn't look so good against Sugar Shane Mosley, and Sugar Shane Mosley proved in his last two fights after that fight, to have nothing to represent himself like the Sugar Shane Mosley that he once was. So that puts a question mark in my mind where Mayweather is right now, and I haven't seen him box in a while so I really don't know what to expect from him. Victor Ortiz is a guy that I've seen recently, so I have to make that fight more even than what it should be, but I still want to believe that Mayweather should come out of it victorious, but I think it's going to be a tougher fight that people think it will be."
Glen Johnson- "I don't know how long I can keep doing it, but I know I am having fun doing it right now. I'm excited about it. Just looking forward to showing the world what I can still do, and hopefully in 10 years I can still do the same thing..."