As you become a fan of the sport of boxing you also become a fan of certain fighters for different reasons. I was always drawn to Ike ‘Bazooka’ Quartey for his unique style in the ring as his ramrod jab and physical strength set him apart from most fighters. I loved watching Pernell Whitaker out slick and outwit his foes and was taken back by just how alert ‘Sweet Pea’ was in the ring. And when it comes to Stevie ‘Lil’ But Bad’ Johnston I have always taken a liking to him for his skills as a fighter as well as his humble nature as a person. Johnston was never one to badmouth an opponent; with him it has always been just about fighting and because of that he is without question one of my favorite fighters.
Photo © SilverHawk Boxing
Johnston is a two-time WBC Lightweight champion of the world and he’ll next be seeing action this Friday, January 27th at the Tropicana Casino in Atlantic City when he faces Steve Quiñonez. This past October Johnston returned to the ring after a two year break from the sport and he has his sights set once again on capturing a world title. Working alongside his trainer Buddy McGirt, Johnston has been getting back to form in and out of the ropes and should be involved in some big fights within the close of the year.
I was able to catch up with Stevie recently to get his thoughts on his upcoming fight this Friday, working with Buddy McGirt, his friends within the sport of boxing, and much more…
January 27th in Atlantic City…
‘Everything is going real good. I’m in shape and I’m ready. I think my speed and my boxing ability are going to win this fight for me. You can expect to see a lot of good boxing from me. I’m in shape and I’m ready to fight.
Goals for 2006…
‘This year I’m just looking to again become a champion. I’m going after one of the big belts.
Working with Buddy McGirt…
‘Working with Buddy is awesome. He’s the greatest trainer out there and I can really relate to him. He used to fight himself so he just knows what it’s like. He knows what punches to throw and when to throw them. Since he was a fighter himself it’s just easier for me to communicate with him. We can relate a lot.
One on One combat…
‘I just love the one on one combat of boxing. It’s just you and another man duking it out. It’s a one on one sport and that alone keeps me motivated. You have to be in your best condition because you know your opponent is going to be in great shape as well. I just love on one on physical contact.
‘Vegas has been one of my favorite places to fight just because it’s the fight capitol of the world. Everybody comes out to the fights in Vegas. It’s lights, cameras, action; just the Hollywood of boxing.
France was pretty cool also because I went over there to win the title against Jean Baptiste Mendy. Winning a world title was like all of my dreams coming true. My dream came true and that’s what it was all about for me.
Upsetting Angel Manfredy…
‘Beating Angel Manfredy was very satisfying for me. Angel had a big name and for me to beat him was pretty cool. Before the fight him and his wife were both talking a lot of trash and that gave me extra motivation. I think I surprised him with my toughness and strength that night. He thought I would just be a walkover but he got a big surprise.
Born, raised, and getting into boxing….
‘I was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. Growing up I played a lot of football and was into boxing as well. I had a good childhood. I came from a single parent and my Mom and her Grandparents did the best they could for me. They taught me a lot and I also learned a lot from my uncles. My uncles were fighters and my dad was as fighter as well, and because of that I pretty much got into boxing.
Fighting Jose Luis Castillo…
‘It was really tough. He’s a good fighter and he knows a lot of tricks that a lot of people don’t think he has. He’s just an overall great fighter.
‘When I’m done with boxing I want to get into real estate. I just love houses. I’ve been seeing a lot of nice houses wherever I go along with a lot of ‘For Sale’ signs. I just think it would be cool to own a couple of nice houses and rent them out on the side.
Vero Beach, Florida…
‘I spend a lot of time in Vero Beach. It’s real cool down here. It’s laid back and different. Being on the water is a definite change for me. There’s no mountains like in Denver but they have the ocean instead. Another big difference between Vero and Colorado is that my only friends down here are the fighters I see in the gym.
‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley…
‘Shane is a great fighter. I thought it would have been a great fight between us when he had the IBF title and I was the WBC Lightweight Champion. We never fought but he is a great fighter. His fight against Fernando Vargas is going to be a tough one. I think Shane will be alright as long as he is in shape.
Friends within the sport…
‘I’m friends with Sherman ‘Tank’ Williams, Prince Badi, James McGirt Jr., and a whole bunch of other guys. Another guy I kept in touch with was Diego Corrales back when I was in Las Vegas. I feel that fellow fighters are like my family in a way because they know what I go through and I know what they go through. You can relate to one another.
‘The fans are really important because if you don’t have the fans you really don’t have a career. You need your fans to come out and support you.
Special thanks to everyone at SilverHawkBoxing for making this one on one possible. For more on Stevie be sure to check out www.SilverHawkBoxing.com.
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