Glen Johnson got the nickname "The Road Warrior" for his willingness to fight anywhere. He has felt the brunt of fighting on the road, as on a number of occasions he has gotten a raw deal from judges.
The worst of these raw deals came in November of 2003, when he received a draw against Clinton Woods in England, a fight most believed Glen easily won. But, Johnson, as he has done so many times in his career, persevered and bounced back. He won the rematch, even more decisively in February of 2004. The win gave Johnson the IBF Light Heavyweight title. Glen then went on to shock the world, when he knocked out Roy Jones this past September. The win set up fight against the other man to knock out Roy Jones, Antonio Tarver. Both fighters had to give up their world titles to take the fight, but both were willing to sacrifice.
Glen was gracious enough to speak to me during the press conference recently held to make the fight with Antonio Tarver official. Here's what he had to say.
QUESTION: How has your life changed since knocking out Roy Jones?
GLEN JOHNSON: It's changed a lot. Everything has turned around and I'm thankful for that. A lot of people recognize who I am. Before, when I walked the streets nobody bothered me, but now when I walk the streets a few people recognize me. People want autographs now, and I'm embracing that now after struggling for so long in this business. It makes me feel good.
QUESTION: Was it hard to give up your IBF title in order to take this fight?
GLEN JOHNSON: Definitely, because I have been in this business for 15 years trying to be a champion, and finally I am a champion, and now I am losing the title without a fight. It's a tough thing to swallow, but it's a decision that I made, because I believe it was the best fight for the public, and the best fight for us. It's a fight that the people want to see, and I have no problem making the fight.
QUESTION: Have you already been preparing for this fight with Tarver?
GLEN JOHNSON: Yes, I have been preparing for the fight and I'm ready. I'm looking forward to it.
QUESTION: Are you looking at bringing in any southpaws to spar with, to prepare for Tarver?
GLEN JOHNSON: Yeah, we are still looking at bringing in some southpaws from around the country that would be beneficial to us. My manager and trainer (Henry Foster and Orlando Cuellar) are looking at doing those things.
QUESTION: What would a win in this fight mean to you?
GLEN JOHNSON: Well it's a fight that we want to have. It's a fight that we want to win. It's a fight with the two best, we both beat Roy Jones. We want to find out who the best is, and I'm definitely looking forward to it.
QUESTION: You have gone through a hard path to get here, did you ever think that you would get to this point?
GLEN JOHNSON: I knew that I had the skills and ability to get to this point. I had my doubts at times, because of judges.
QUESTION: Did you feel at some point that the powers that be would ever let you get to this point?
GLEN JOHNSON: Yeah, that's where my doubts came in, I knew I had the skills and ability. I wondered if the judges would ever allow me to get to this point. But, I always believed in myself and my skills. But, finally I am here, and I'm thankful and I'm embracing it.
QUESTION: If there was one thing that you change about Boxing, inside or outside of the ring, what would it be?
GLEN JOHNSON: Judges. (laughs)
QUESTION: Is there anything that you would like to say to the people about this fight with Tarver?
GLEN JOHNSON: You're looking at two great fighters. You got two guys who are at the top of their game, and we put a great fight together, and it's going to be a spectacular fight.
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