Glen Johnson Stops Montell Griffin In 11th - Get Ready For Woods-Johnson IV

glen johnson16.05.07 - By James Slater: Glen Johnson, “The Road Warrior,” as he is known, last night set himself up for one more crack at a world title before his long and hard career finally ends. Stopping fellow veteran Montell Griffin in eleven rounds in Hollywood, Florida, the thirty-eight year old earned himself a meeting with IBF 175 pound champ, Britain’s Clinton Woods. And, oh, how these two guys know one another. Currently all square at 1-1-1, a fourth match will settle the score with regards to who is the superior. Firstly, though, Clinton, now aged thirty-five, must get past another tough guy in Julio Gonzalez. Gonzalez is yet another fighter Woods has already shared a ring with - out pointing him in defence of his world title, back in 2005. And on June 23rd, on the under card of Ricky Hatton-Jose Luis Castillo in Las Vegas, Clinton meets him again.

It is very much a case of Woods going over old ground then. Should he do as expected and beat Gonzalez for a second time ( a repeat points win for the Sheffield man if you ask me) Clinton, 40-3-1 (24) will then be obligated to meet the man he knows so well in Johnson - his mandatory challenger courtesy of last night’s victory over Griffin.

The two men may be sick of the sight of each other by now, but Woods and Johnson’s previous three meetings gave us some pretty good fights - the third bout especially was a thrilling battle. Having the chance at seeing them do it again, probably late this year, will more than likely please most fans. But will a fourth match-up please Clinton Woods?

The reigning IBF champion was pushed to the limit by Johnson, now 45-11-2 (30) in all three encounters. Deemed lucky by many to have escaped with a draw in their initial encounter, Clinton was then soundly out pointed in the return. After that fight, however, he seemed to definitely improve as a fighter, and finally got his hands on that elusive world title with an impressive fifth round KO over the then unbeaten Rico Hoye. Then came two successful defences, which included the win over Gonzalez, and then the rubber-match with “The Road Warrior.” Victory over his arch rival was at last Clinton’s in this meeting, and now they’re set to go at it again.

Of course, just as Clinton may not exactly relish the idea of having to go through hell with Johnson yet again, that same train of thought could well be one that applies to the man from Miami. He too knows how hard and grueling fights one, two and three with Woods were. Judging from reports of last night’s fight, however, Glen looked quite fresh and sprightly. He certainly is not done yet, that’s for sure. A fourth fight between the two bitter rivals - and there was a fair share of bad blood both before and after their last fight - might come down to who has the most left, both skill-wise and hunger-wise. That will very probably mean another painfully hard slog for both fighters. Clinton certainly is in no mood to give up what he worked so hard and for so long to attain, whereas Glen appears equally determined to reach the very top once more. Both guys have had long and
quite draining careers, especially the man with the nickname apt in describing his well traveled and no favours given fighting life. But who will be able to dig that little deeper this time around?

It will be interesting to see where the fourth fight takes place. All three previous meetings were held in the British boxer’s home country. Will Johnson get this advantage this time around? We will have to wait and see. Still, it’s interesting that Woods’ next fight will be in Las Vegas. Should he get the taste for fighting there, as plenty of fighters do, of course,
fight four just might take place there. If Clinton gets past Gonzalez and there are no silly games played by anyone, that is. Heck, a Johnson-Woods IV hasn’t even been signed yet, and in boxing, until signatures are put on paper, nothing is certain. For that matter, even when signatures are put down things aren’t always certain then, either. But if justice is done, and if Clinton comes through okay on June 23rd, the two will fight again and, excluding a draw, find out who is the better man.

It is not clear which guy will be looking forward to a fourth fight the most, but if a battle as good as their last one is a possibility the fans will definitely be looking forward to the decider. Wherever it takes place.

Article posted on 17.05.2007

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