By Lem Satterfield
Nicknamed "The Road Warrior" for his in-your-face style, durability, fundamental foundation and willingness to fight any opponent at any time and any place, 42-year-old Jamaican-born, former light heavyweight world champion, Glen Johnson of Miami spoke to BoxingScene.com recently concerning his June 4, Atlancit City clash with England's WBC king Carl Froch.
Froch-Johnson is the second semifinal of Showtime's Super Six World Super Middleweight Boxing Classic.
Johnson (51-14-2, 35 knockouts) is coming off of November's eighth-round knockout of Allan Green (29-3, 20 KOs) of Tulsa, Oklahoma, who was stopped for the first time in his career in an effort that jump-started Johnson's career.
Johnson was unbeaten at 32-0 in July 1997 when he was knocked out for the only time in by Bernard Hopkins in the 11th round, but rebounded to named later as the 2004 Fighter of the Year after a decision over Clinton Woods, a knockout over Roy Jones and a split decision over Antonio Tarver.
Johnson will be in an intriguing fight against the 33-year-old Froch (27-1, 20 knockouts), who is coming off of a November's unanimous decision over Germany's former middleweight titlist Arthur Abraham (32-3, 26 KOs).
A boxer-puncher, Froch easily out-boxed Abraham to regain the WBC belt he had lost by close but unanimous decision to Denmark's former WBA king Mikkel Kessler (43-2, 32 KOs) in April of 2010.
In the other semifinal on May 14, WBA titlist Andre Ward (24-0, 13 KOs) easily defended his crown by unanimous decision over Abraham.
For this Q&A, BoxingScene.com caught up to Johnson in Las Vegas on May 6 at the MGM Grand, the day before eight-division king, Manny Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38 KOs) successfully defended his WBO welterweight belt by unanimous decision over five-time titlist Shane Mosley (46-7-1, 39 KOs) at the same venue.
BoxingScene.com: What do you think of Bernard Hopkins, the only man to have knocked you out?
Glen Johnson: Knock me out? I've never been knocked out. I was stopped. Right? They stopped the fight on a cut. But you're talking about Bernard Hopkins, and I would love to fight a rematch with Bernard Hopkins.
I would do that at any time and in any place. Bernard Hopkins knows that. Everybody who has ever interviewed me knows that. I have already mentioned that to Bernard Hopkins.
When it comes to Bernard Hopkins, you know, I've called out Bernard Hopkins. It's just a matter of fact that Bernard Hopkins always seems to come up with something else whenvever he hears about my name.
We're ready and willing and waiting. But right now, we're just going to take care of business on June 4, and that's what is in front of us. But we'll cross that bridge when we get there.
If there still is some interest in that fight later on, then we'll deal with it at that point in time. We will deal with it then, but, definitely, that's a fight that I would love to have.
BoxingScene.com: Did you ever lose faith that you would be in this position, not only fighting for a super middleweight title, but also, to figure potentially in bigger fights?
GJ: It took a lot of work, you know? Certainly, in spite of my accomplishments, as a man, I am not made of stone or metal or steel anything like that.
I certainly have my feelings of being overlooked and falling short of some injustices throughout my career. There have been different down times and different opportunities that have come and gone.
But at the same time, it doesn't matter what happened in the past, I knew that I would have to stick with it and to the only way to end it was to quit.
But we didn't want to quit, so we worked and we were able to achieve our goals.
BoxingScene.com: Are you anticipating Fight of The Year type of performance opposite Carl Froch?
GJ: From Carl Froch? I've seen a couple of tapes of Carl Froch. Obviously, he's a guy who comes and has kind of given up his advantage in height and wanted to brawl at times.
He can come in and fight hard, and we're ready for that style. Also, we saw where he has used his size, his length and his height the way that he is supposed to use it against Arthur Abraham.
But we're also ready for that style. So, we're really not sure how he will come out, exactly. I believe that he's going to start out trying to fight the way that he fought Arthur Abraham because he had so much success.
With that style, the way that he beat Arthur Abraham, that's most recent in his mind. He got a lot of compliments for that and we're ancitipating that he might try to do something similar against me as an option.
It worked well. We believe that he may start out that way. But again, everybody has a game plan until they get hit.