By James Slater – “Road Warrior” Glen Johnson, fresh off his ultra-impressive stoppage win over fellow “Super Six” late entrant Allan Green, now looks ahead to the next step he will take in the tournament: his semi-final with WBC 168-pound champ Carl Froch.
Already, with no date yet announced for the fight, fans everywhere are discussing who will win: “The Cobra” or the seemingly ageless former light-heavyweight king..
Earlier this week, the 41-year-old future Hall of Famer was kind enough to grant me the following interview, in which he spoke about the upcoming, potentially great fight with the 33-year-old Brit who has just dominated Arthur Abraham.
Here is what Glen had to say about his next fight:
James Slater: It’s a tremendous pleasure to be able to speak with you, Champ. Firstly, we are all looking forward to your next Super Six fight, against Carl Froch. Did you see Froch’s win over Arthur Abraham and were you impressed?
Glen Johnson: Yeah, I saw it – it was a beautiful fight, he boxed smart and he did what he was supposed to do and that’s win. I didn’t have Froch winning the fight going in, but he proved me wrong. He did everything right.
J.S: Even in Britain, some people were surprised to see Froch box that well. He proved he can box and slug. You yourself can do it all in the ring and you have overcome every style. Do you think Froch will look to outbox you as he did Abraham?
G.J: I don’t know what his game-plan will be, but my job is to be ready for whatever approach he adopts and do my best against it. If he wants to box, I’ve faced boxers in the past so I don’t see any problems with that. Or if he wants to fight – either way, I will be able to adapt.
J.S: Froch said he has lots of respect for you; he said you are a rough, tough, crafty fox. He never said anything negative about you. But he did say that you will not be able to get past his jab when you fight him. Your thoughts?
G.J: Well, number one, I heard his comments, because I saw the [Abraham] fight on T.V and I heard the interview he gave afterwards. I’m very pleased he has respect for me and everything. We are all pros and all us boxers earn a living by fighting, we support our family. Whenever I face a guy who shows me the same respect as I show him, I think it’s great. As for him saying I won’t be able to get past his jab – I have my own opinion on that. Sometimes it’s easier looking into the ring from the outside, but I’ve boxed for 21 years and I know that when you step in there with a guy, that is when you find out if he is the real deal or not. Only when we fight in the ring will we know how his jab will work or will not work.
J.S: Do you have any idea when the fight will take place, Glen? We’re all excited about it over here in the U.K, and on the websites people seem to be divided in talking about it; some saying you will stop him, others saying he will stop you, others still saying it will be a distance fight! – we hear it may be March or April?
G.J: Well, I’m hearing the same as you guys, although I’ve heard about the month of March, not April. I know it will be early next year. I’m hoping it will be March, because I don’t like to be out for too long. But this fight is a great match-up, and that’s why all you guys are talking about it. When the fans are split 50-50, all over the place about who will win, that’s the sign of a good fight. If everyone knew and agreed who would win, that’s not such a good fight.
J.S: Froch, and a lot of other people, have spoken about your vast experience: do you think you will have too much experience for Froch?
G.J: You know, honestly, I never go into a fight thinking too much of myself – that is when you become too bigheaded. I always keep a level head, and I know I have to cross my I’s and my T’s. I will always stay the same and that’s why I’ve been able to fight for so long, at such a high level at this age. I never think I know it all. For this fight, I know I have to be smart; to look at it like I’m going in with a guy who is the best in the world. I’m going in with a champion, so I have to go about my business.
J.S: We know you are a guy who is always in the gym, but if the fight is set for March when will you begin hardcore training for Froch?
G.J: Probably right after Christmas. I never stay out of the gym, as I know every day is important.
J.S: Are there any particular things you will work on in camp for Froch?
G.J: There are things I see that I will work on, things that I will be able to take advantage of. But my consistency won’t change. I have to be smart, to know that I will be able to make adjustments in the fight. A guy can make adjustments himself and then he may not be the same fighter you saw in his last fight. I’m excited about this fight and I’m looking forward to it.
J.S: It’s been great speaking with you, Glen. I like Froch and I like you also, and I don’t know who to root for in this fight; maybe it’d be better if it were a draw!
G.J: (laughs). Well, I’d prefer a win obviously.
J.S: We know you have been robbed so many times in your career, but hopefully this won’t happen in this fight.
G.J: You know, I wouldn’t like to think anyone would rob me now, at this age, at this stage in my career. All the gas I have left now is so important – I can’t afford to get robbed, you know? I just hope the judges do their best, like I will be doing. But in this world you never know.
J.S: May the best man win! Thanks so much for your time, Champ. It is a pleasure to watch you fight and it is a pleasure to interview you.
G.J: Thanks a lot. You have a good one and all the best to you and your family.