Glencoffe Johnson: A Gentleman Keeping Up with the Joneses

25.09.04 – By Vincent van der Steen: For much of his career, Glencoffe ‘the Gentleman’ Johnson – 40-9-2 (27) – has been trying to keep up with the Joneses. He cascaded from a promising thirty-two fight unbeaten record, and prospect-status, to being a well-respected ‘journeyman’ after ‘the Executioner’ denied him the IBF middleweight title during his first title bid in the summer of 1997. Glencoffe’s since been on the wrong end of the beating stick on more then one occasion.

Whether that meant being part of controversial decisions, losing his second title bid for the IBF super middleweight against Sven ‘Das Phantom’ Ottke – 34-0 (6) – or controversially drawing in his third title bid for the IBF light heavyweight title against Clinton Woods; this is a man that has seen ‘all’ that pugilism has to offer. By the time of his fourth title bid, a rematch for the IBF light heavyweight title against Clinton Woods – 35-3-1 (21), most fight fans were more than appalled by the tough hand Glencoffe’s dealt in his career.

The rest is history, Johnson consequently beat Woods by unanimous decision to set up a potential barnburner with the long time WBO super middleweight titleholder Joe Calzaghe – 37-0 (30). In the meanwhile Jones Jr. shockingly lost to his long time nemesis Antonio Tarver – 22-2 (18) – (in the second instalment of their rivalry. With the potential match up with Calzaghe falling through, a modern day legend came into the Johnson picture.

Glencoffe’s Joneses:

For most of his career Glencoffe Johnson has been in good company. He fought the likes of Hopkins, Sosa, Ottke, Vanderpool, and Harding with mixed success. As a ‘journeyman’ he often had trot the globe for a challenge, never backing out of a challenge, always fighting the peripheral backyard brawls which Roy Jones Jr. – 49-2 (38) – has always tried to avoid since he controversially lost the junior middleweight final at Seoul Olympics. It was not till the 6th of February 2004 that Glencoffe finally fulfilled his dream of becoming a world champion.

So at 35 Glencoffe has finally caught up with Joneses, as it is now his time to harvest the joyous fruit of his hard labour. Tonight Johnson will see some well-earned remuneration, exposure, and yet another chance at history against one of the best fighters P4P in the world and future hall of famer Roy Jones Jr. An opponent that has long been deemed virtually unbeatable south of the 190 pound border, and who had been the longstanding undisputed champion at this weight. And once again, the odds do not favour ‘the Gentleman’.

The Jones’ to Get Down on Glencoffe?

In contrast to Glencoffe Johnson’s career, which has mostly been veiled in the shadow, Jones Jr. has always been in the centre of attention. The Val Barker Trophy was created to compensate his controversial loss of the Seoul Olympics. The Val Barker Trophy is now awarded to the tournaments most excellent boxer. As a pro Roy Jones Jr. would later win titles at four different weight classes, winning the undisputed light heavyweight title and a portion of the heavyweight title in the process – the first middleweight to do so in over a century.

Jones would surround himself with an aura of invincibility for more then decade after embarking on his professional career. The combination of lightning quick reflexes and pinpoint accuracy often proved to be too much for the overmatched opposition. His sole blemishes being a disqualification loss to the then unbeaten Montell ‘Ice’ Griffin in 1997 and second round stroke of the Magic Man’s wand in their rematch last May. Jones however, does not like to lose.

When Roy Jones Jr. is confronted with adversity, he often evokes his alter ego ‘Roy’. ‘Roy’ can be seen as the equivalent of Dr. Jekyll’s Mr. Hide. Roy Jones Jr. is a fighter who fights clinically with pinpoint accuracy, but can be ‘reluctant’ to engage a brawl. He would rather poke away at the meat till it gets sour, to simply walk away with an easy nights work after being elusive for about an hour. ‘Roy’ on the other hand knows no compassion, knows no sympathy. When ‘Roy’ rears his ugly head, Glencoffe will experience a ‘Roy’ epiphany.

In that case Jones Jr. would probably take him out in around seven, a constant reminder why ‘Roy’ has been the best fighter for the last decade between the earth and heaven. Vive le Roy!

Article posted on 25.09.2004

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