Johnson-Tarver II: On common Ground

16.06.05 - By Barry Thompson: “It’s not how many times you fall down; it’s how many times you get back up.” Another tough one to pick folks… these gentlemen both know how to get back up when knocked down. Both also carry the reputation of being the only two men to ever knock out the legendary Roy Jones Jr.. Consider this: Professionally, Antonio Tarver has come back and knocked out everyone that has ever defeated him: And this: Glencoffe Johnson has never let a loss affect his next performance (those 9 losses on his record that made him appear so beatable to Roy Jones Jr.) except to work harder the next time.

Tarver is well aware of why he lost the first fight and why he will work harder the next time. Johnson makes no secret of his boxing strategy; a consistent work rate. It’s just a matter of whether Tarver can stop him from using it. Both realize the value of a good match up vice a “title” fight, and were willing to sacrifice their respective belts to work things out and match up the first time. And then there are differences:

Tarver, with an enormous ego after being the first professional boxer ever to defeat Roy Jones Jr., therefore setting the blueprint, probably underestimated Johnson based upon those 9 losses on Johnson’s record, and the fact that he was the first one to knock out Roy Jones Jr. Can Tarver get focused?

Johnson knows what it’s like to lose by gift decision (after all, he suffered a “draw” with Judah when even Judah thought Johnson had won), and will not take anything for granted. Johnson is already focused

My prediction is that Johnson will surprise Tarver and shock us again.

Special note: Roy Jones states that this match is an elimination bout to determine who he will fight, but I think Tarver and Johnson have already eliminated Roy (rounds 2 and 9, respectively).

Article posted on 16.06.2005

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