Glen Johnson: No Longer the ‘Other Guy’

By Darren Nichols


Glen Johnson: No Longer the ‘Other Guy’

It has been asked before, ‘What’s in a name?’ For years boxers have used nicknames to embody their ferociousness in the ring.  Some are accurate, like Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins.  Others are…well let’s just say others are slightly misleading.  Take the 13-158-4 (5) Donnie Penelton whose alias is “The Black Battle Cat.”  With a record like his, “The Fluffy Black Pussy Cat” would be more than generous.  For Glen Johnson, who went from being known as “The Gentleman” to “The Road Warrior” during his dismantling of Superman Roy Jones Jr. Saturday night, his new a.k.a. says it all: A warrior of the squared circle who has traveled the globe searching for anyone willing to step up to the plate to fight him.  Just days ago, Jones stepped up, but got caught looking when Johnson landed a powerful dose of Kryptonite to the side of Roy’s head, and even though he is still a gentleman, Johnson is now looking to be that road warrior.  A fighter who has gone through hardships and heartbreaks, and is now in the position to take what he wants simply because he can.  BoxingTalk spoke with Johnson last night to get his thoughts on personally ending the era of Superman’s supremacy over boxing, and what he has in store for his next opponent.

BoxingTalk: Glen, the first question I’ve got to ask is what was it like for you to knock out Roy Jones Jr.?

Glen Johnson: (laughing)  It was a great accomplishment for me.  Maybe I will finally get some recognition.  We’ll have to see where people’s hearts are at.

BT: Does your knockout victory against Jones still make you feel like you are that ‘other guy’ who is suppose to lose?

GJ: That’s how other people have viewed me, so it will probably change their view, but that’s up to them.  I’m still the same guy in my heart.

BT:  Why the change from "The Gentleman" to "The Road Warrior"?

GJ: The fact is, I’ve been all over the place trying to put my career together, and I had to be a warrior through out this whole time.

BT: You went from making $15,000 for fighting Hopkins seven years ago to earning one-million dollars this past weekend against Jones.  That had to be somewhat satisfying for you…
GJ: It feels like I finally accomplished something.  I’m happy and I’m looking forward to defending my title many times more.

BT:  Let’s talk about your fight on Saturday.  You attacked Jones unrelentingly from the first bell.  Was that your strategy all along?

GJ:  Yeah, I knew I had to go in there and get some respect.  My whole thing was to go in there, get some form of respect from Jones, and that’s what I did.

BT: By attacking Jones and getting his respect, did you know the fight would not go the distance?

GJ:  It could have gone either way, but I knew if it went to a decision I would have won it, and if it was by knockout I would win also.  I just wanted to make sure that I gave 100% in what I was doing.

BT:  In the first round Jones hit you with a good body shot, were you ever hurt by those punches?

GJ: No, it didn’t hurt at all.  I just kept staying on course.  I had something in mind that I wanted to get done, and I was going to do it by any means necessary.

BT: The way you fought Jones for those first three minutes, were you looking to get a first round knockout victory?

GJ: I was just trying to let Roy know what type of fight he was in for, and that he was fighting a real fighter who was not going to sit around and let him do what he wanted to do, I had to fight the way I wanted to.

BT: Throughout the fight you had Jones against the ropes and trapped in the corner.  Was that your preferred way in fighting Jones as compared to standing toe-to-toe in the center of the ring?

GJ: Yeah, by fighting him in close, I was able to counter his shots better.

BT: How would you rate your performance from Saturday’s fight?

GJ: I would rate myself an 8 out of 10.

BT: Do you feel you should have done some things differently?

GJ: There were a few mistakes made, but I always have to leave room for improvement.

BT: Who do you feel was hungrier for a victory coming into the ring Saturday night, you or Jones?

GJ: I don’t know how hungry Roy Jones is, I just know how hungry I am, and I know that I’m very hungry, and I’m very needy.  I have to do what I have to do to provide for my family.  I’ve traveled this far, and I want to accomplish my goal of provision before it’s too late.

BT: At what point during the fight did you know you were going to win it?

GJ: I always knew I was going to win it.  I always knew that I would beat Roy Jones if I was given the opportunity.  Of course, it has been a long road and it was difficult getting there, but I was finally there on Saturday, and when the opportunity presented itself I ceased the moment, and for that I’m thankful.

BT: When Larry Merchant interviewed you after the fight, you told him, ‘I’m not the best, I’m just willing to fight the best.’  Who do you feel you need to beat in order to be the best?

GJ: The best is who the people say is the best.  Being self-proclaimed as the best doesn’t mean you are the best.  Anything you do, you can say you’re the best, but that’s just by your mouth.  I’m not going to self-proclaim myself like other fighters do.  They win one fight and all of a sudden they are shouting, ‘I’m the best in the world, blah, blah, blah, blah, and making a lot of noise, that’s not my style.  I let my hands do the talking, and I try to take care of my business in the ring.  At the end of the night if people want to give me credit, they do, and if they don’t give me any credit, then I mosey on my way and spend time with my family.

BT: Do you want to be known as the fighter who ended the era of Roy Jones Jr.’s supremacy in boxing?

GJ: I don’t want to end nothing for anyone, I just want to start something for me.  Defeating Jones is not the only thing I wanted to do, I don’t want to end anything for him, I just want to start my own legacy and that’s it.

BT: If you had a choice between fighting Tarver or Hopkins next, who would you first choice be?

GJ: The only reason I would take Antonio Tarver first is because I don’t think I can make 168, which is what I’d have to do to fight Bernard Hopkins. Of course I would love to fight him because I feel he is the better fighter, and he is a better challenge.  He is the only person I feel really did defeat me in my career, and I’d love to rematch him to match up our skills to see where I am at.  That would be my measuring stick for me personally, but I don’t believe I could drop that weight to make that fight happen, and it would be unfair to ask him to come up to my weight to fight me, so either way I’d love to fight Hopkins, but I don’t know how it would.  I would also love to unify the light heavyweight title because that’s the weight that I’m carrying, and I don’t think I could go down anymore, so I will do anything I can to unify the light heavyweight division.

BT: Do you want Antonio Tarver next?

GJ: I would love to unify the division.  I’m a light heavyweight and I’m supposed to unify the weight class, and that includes Antonio Tarver for sure.

BT: If your next fight was to be against Tarver or Hopkins, how would you fight them differently than you did against Jones?

GJ: I would try to correct the mistakes that I made when I fought Jones.  It all depends on the guy’s style, I’ll fight them accordingly.

BT: What should people expect next from Glen “The Road Warrior Johnson?

GJ: They can expect a lot more great fights against fighters who are willing to step up and fight me.  I will produce the fights that people want to see, and if they are appreciative of what I can do, then I will give them as much of myself as I can.

BT: Glen, congratulations again on a great win and we look forward to seeing you in the ring again soon.

GJ: Well, thank you Darren.  I appreciate it.  Hopefully I will get some recognition and I am very appreciative of it.

BT: How are you going to celebrate this victory?

GJ: I’m going to go visit Hawaii, and then come back to train for whoever is on the table for me.

BoxingTalk congratulates Mr. Johnson on his big victory and wish him continued success both in and out of the ring.


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