By James Slater: “Super Six” rivals Carl Froch and Glen Johnson participated in an international conference call yesterday, to promote their upcoming June 4th semi-final. Both men had some interesting things to say. There was, as expected from two classy gentlemen of the sport such as these two old-school warriors, no trash-talk at all, only respect from both sides.
But while “The Cobra” and “The Road Warrior” spoke of their upcoming fight with interest, it really did appear as though both guys, Froch especially, were looking ahead to other fights. Froch went as far as to say he would have rather been fighting Mikkel Kessler next, purely from a revenge motive. While Johnson spoke of his hopes of getting a return match with fellow ageless wonder Bernard Hopkins.
Kessler is the only man to have beaten Froch as a pro, and Hopkins is the only man to have ever stopped Johnson. As much as both the 33-year-old and the 42-year-old are focused on facing each other and of winning the “Super Six,” it’s clear both warriors feel the need to avenge these two defeats.
“As far as I’m concerned, I’m an unbeaten fighter coming into this fight,” Froch said. “I still consider myself unbeaten. That loss (to Kessler) was maybe a little injection, a kick in the ass, whatever you want to call it, to get me back to where I was when I beat Jean Pascal. I come in to this fight very, very confident and strong. The one thing about Glen Johnson is I won’t have to go looking for him. I think I’ll get my vengeance against Glen Johnson. He’s a great fighter and I won’t disrespect him. He knows what he’s doing but I would have rather fought Mikkel Kessler just purely for the revenge.”
Hopefully, Froch will not make the mistake of looking past Johnson as he thinks instead of a return meeting with Kessler.
Johnson, too, has thoughts of revenge – with a return against new light-heavyweight king Hopkins being very much on his mind.
“Carl Froch is a great fighter and I have no disrespect towards him,” Johnson said. “This is a business and I’m going in there to win the fight. I’m not too concerned with what Carl Froch’s plan is or what he’s going to do to be honest with you. I have a winning formula and I don’t think Carl. Froch can tell me different. Bernard Hopkins is definitely an inspiration to us old guys. I want it (a rematch). I don’t know if Bernard wants it though. I just have to take it one fight at a time and see what happens.”
It really would be some amazing story if Johnson were able to get past Froch, then upset “Super Six” favourite Andre Ward and THEN land a return with Hopkins, who stopped him down at middleweight way back in 1997. But this is Glen Johnson we are talking about, and nothing can be deemed impossible for such a superb fighter.
Froch, though, has as much motivation as Johnson does; both for his next fight and for after the Boxing Classic is over with. Whoever loses on June 4th, they can forget about gaining future fights with the Hopkins and Kesslers of the world.
The stakes really couldn’t be higher going into the anticipated war at The Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City!