|Glen Johnson Interview: Gears up for Chad Dawson - One More From the Road
By Rob Tierney, DoghouseBoxing (Oct 16, 2009)
Throughout his entire career, Glen Johnson has been upsetting Boxing's balance of power. Whether he's upending a promoter's plans for a megafight between more marketable opponents or painting blemishes on a rising upstarts career, the "Road Warrior" is notorious for playing the role of the spoiler. On November 7th, Johnson faces judgement day once more in front of what he hopes will be an unbiased jury in Hartford, CT.
On October 14th, I was afforded an opportunity to pick Glen's brain about next month's return bout with Chad Dawson. Here is what the former IBF champion had to say about his upcoming fight.
RT: Good Afternoon Glen. How have things been?
GJ: Very Good! Thank you.
RT: Your rematch with Chad Dawson is less than one month away. How has your preparation been coming along for this fight?
GJ: The prep has been great. I feel good. Training for the fight is just about complete and we are ready to cruise into Connecticut.
RT: How do you feel physically? For instance, how would you compare your current condition to your physical state prior to previous fights?
GJ: Mostly I feel great. In fact, I probably feel better now than I have before any of my previous fights. I'm thankful for the opportunity and I am looking forward to next month.
RT: Glen, how has the fact that you were forced to wait for so long affected your mindset going into this fight? Ever since the first fight, you were basically put on ice.
GJ: I tell you what Rob, it has improved my mindset. If you want to know the truth, it's the fear inside of Dawson and his promoters that have made this return fight so difficult to make.
RT: Many people in our sport share that sentiment.
RT: Last time around, you put up an outstanding performance. However, you did not get the decision. Many ringside viewers had the fight scored very close. How hard do you think it will be to get a decision in Dawson's backyard should the fight go the distance? Do you think you will need a knockout?
GJ: Chad Dawson has already said that there is no way Glen can get a decision up in Hartford. It tells you a little about his mindset as well as his promoter's mindset going into the fight.
RT: Are you worried about homecooking?
GJ: Well, last time around it was a robbery. You never know.
RT: Glen, you have fought virtually everyone there is to fight at Light Heavyweight and you have fought most of them on the road. In comparison to others, what's different about this opponent?
GJ: The only significant difference is his age. He is the youngest in the division. For me to dominate him the way I did in the first fight goes a long way in determining his future. The way I will dominate in the next fight will also be another indication of his future. Everyone says that he is guy to beat at Light Heavyweight. Everyone says he is the next up and comer. Still, I don't believe it because the only reason he won over me last time was because of politics and crooked judges.
RT: One of the reasons the public has clamored for this rematch is because of the excitement that was evident in the first fight. Do you foresee another crowd pleasing performance?
GJ: I see this fight being even better than the first. It will be another exciting night for boxing. However, you bring up a good point. It's the crowd, the writers and the network commentators that I care most about. I look to them to criticize the judges when they are wrong. As long as they are honest and tell it like it is, then I don't need to worry about the three thiefs sitting at ringside.
RT: WOW! Excellent humor!
GJ: Thank You!
RT: Beyond this fight, what else is in store for Glen Johnson? I know you aren't the kind of fighter to look past anyone. Still, with wins over both Roy Jones and Antonio Tarver on your resume, a victory over Chad Dawson could make you a legitimate candidate for the Boxing Hall of Fame. The Ring Magazine award you achieved for Fighter of the Year in 2004 wont hurt your chances either. Have you thought about that possibility?
GJ: In all honesty, I don't know too much about the Boxing Hall of Fame. However, I'll leave that up to them to decide. All I can do is win and keep beating fighters like Chad Dawson and we will see what happens when the time comes.
RT: Is the Hall of Fame something that weighs on the back of your mind?
GJ: The Hall of Fame is the ultimate prize. It's just like any other profession. To be the best you need to beat the best. However, I don't know anything about the politics of the Hall of Fame and how it will affect me. We will see when the time comes.
RT: How much longer can fans expect to see Glen Johnson? Once again, you have swapped fists with all the greats in the division. Would a win over Chad Dawson be enough for you to retire happily or would the lure of other big paydays against the likes of Bernard Hopkins or Roy Jones be enough to keep you in the game?
GJ: I am here to surpass expectations. As long as I can perform at a high level, I will continue to fight as long as I can.
RT: Well Glen, I don't think I am alone when I say that I am eagerly anticipating the upcoming rematch. I wish you the best of luck against Chad Dawson and whatever you have in store for your future.
GJ: Thank you!
The fight between Chad Dawson and Glen Johnson will be broadcast live on November 7th courtesy of HBO. The outcome will go a long way in determining the future of not only the bout's combatants, but also the future of one of Boxing's most competitive divisions. Nevertheless, while fans can expect both Dawson and Johnson to bring their best to the ring, they can only hope that the judges will call it as they, the fans, see it.
For more from Rob, you can also visit: BrickCityBoxing.com/
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