GL: You've got a fight coming up this Thursday night and it's been a while since our last coversation so fill everyone at Boxingtalk in on all the latest.
"I'm just glad to be getting back in the ring after a long layoff. I broke my hand in my last fight against Gilbert Martinez. But that wasn't the only reason for such a long layoff. We were supposed to fight Cedric Boswell on three of four different times, but then we found word that he didn't really want to fight us. We were waiting for that fight to get right back in the mix, but he wanted to go in another direction so we decided to fight Yanqui Diaz."
"I've seen him fight once, when he fought that African guy. He's a tough awkward type of fellow but I plan on getting in there and taking care of business. You know, in looking at the heavyweight situation out there today, Lamon Brewster is coming off a very impressive win over Golota. Golota never moved his head at all though. Then there's Chris Byrd of course and Ruiz is still there for some reason, but I don't know why. And of course there's also Klitschko so after my next fight or two I'm going to be looking for any and all of the title holders.
"My conditioning is great and I'm back focused and I just feel good. I just hope I get out of this fight without an injury so I could move forward with my career and take the fights that I want to take."GL: How much will you weigh for this fight with Diaz?
Kirk Johnson: "I plan to come in at anywhere between 242 and 245. I'm not going to skip my breakfast or anything like that. I'm going to eat before I get on the scale, I'm not going to do no more drying out. Today I weighed 243 but my weight is fluctuating two to four pounds each day."GL: Do you look back at the fight with Klitschko as a blown opportunity?
KJ: "No I don't. I look at it as a situation where the managers called and said you have to fight at this certain time. It's not that I didn't want to fight that fight because Klitschko was so bad, it was because I knew that at that particular time I didn't have enough time to get ready for that kind of fight. I was coming off an injury and I didn't have enough time to get right. I'm not making no excuses because Klitschko was the better man that night and he beat me fair and square. He did what he had to do, but there was a lot of inside fighting with management. They were telling me if I didn't take it HBO would never want me again and things of that sort. They came with the date and I told them I couldn't get ready for it but I got pressured into taking the date. But I just picked up the pieces and moved on."GL: How important is it for to you make a statement against Diaz in order to be taken seriously as a heavyweight contender in the world title mix?
KJ: "To be truthful, I'm not going into the fight trying to make a statement. I'm not going to be in my dressing room pressuring myself into looking great. I'm going to get in there and do the best I could do. Whenever I do my best, it's always been good enough. I fought Klitschko like I had to knock him out real quick to get respect from my managers. I went in there to knock his butt out and as soon I fought in anger for someone else, look what happened. When I get into this fight I'm going to be myself and whenever I be myself, good things happen. Deep down, I want to look great. In fact, I want to look as good as Lamon Brewster did against Andrew Golota. Then I could call Lamon out out and say, 'hey, we both looked good now let's do this!"GL: What do you think about James Toney testing positive after his fight with Ruiz?
KJ: "I think James was getting shots to help himself get through the injury. It wasn't to enhance himself during the fight, they brought the date up on him too soon and he was tested for drugs and he lost the title because of it. But I think he was pressured into taking the fight on April 30. If that fight would have happened when it was supposed to there wouldn't be any problems."GL: Is there anything you'd like to say in closing?
KJ: "I want all my fans to realize that I'm coming back and this year is going to be a great year for Kirk Johnson and his fans."
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