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What's next for Glencoffe Johnson?

Feb 10, 2004: By Wayne Richardson
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After Friday’s win over Clinton Woods it seems that newly crowned IBF 175 lb champ Glencoffe Johnson has at long last shed the image as the “tough break kid”. Although he has a registered nine losses there’s been no doubt in many observer’s opinion that at least six of these decisions could have easily gone in Johnson’s way and that Middleweight King Bernard Hopkins has had the only convincing win over him with an eleventh round stoppage. Finally in his fourth attempt at securing a world title he has managed to emerge victorious, but more importantly he wasn’t again the victim of the biased or bad judgement that has dogged him throughout his career and this couldn’t come at a better time for Glencoffe.

At an age when most fighters are facing the downside of their careers and resign to becoming name opponents for young prospects looking to boost their reputation, Glencoffe has enjoyed a small resurrection of his status in the boxing industry. With his impressive win over Eric Harding and subsequent draw and victory over Woods, Johnson has put himself in the position to be involved in some interesting match ups that are sure to be lucrative for the thirty five year old and deserving of North American airtime.

A fight that hopefully will be made is with Joe Calzaghe. The tough super middleweight has thought about moving up to 175 after realizing that a fight against Bernard Hopkins was not going to happen. He is also looking to make his U.S debut soon and while he is considering facing Antonio Tarver, it would make more sense for him to challenge Johnson who has a belt and is regarded as an easier opponent. This pairing would be fantastic for fans because of the style of each fighter is a busy come forward type where neither boxer would be willing to give any ground, both are good punchers and have solid chins. The action would be continuous and showcase both in a positive manner to the U.S market win or lose and with no real problems with managers or egos from either side it’s a fight that can be made most likely on Showtime.

Another man who can be put onto the list of possible challengers is none other than the former title holder Antonio Tarver. If he can’t make a rematch with Jones, this would be a great fight for him to make. He can possibly regain his belt and continue to dominate the division and look at making his name in a division that has had many notable champions. This is another fight that benefits the fans because of the two styles matching up well. Tarver’s speed against Johnson’s unrelenting pressure makes for a slugfest where neither fighter will look at going to the scorecards.

Glencoffe could also look to other lesser name opponents if these fights can’t be made right away, he could face Julio Gonzalez who just lost his WBO title to a relatively unknown Zsolt Erdie or he could face Dariusz Michalczewski. Both these fighters are known former champions and would be a good match ups for Johnson, but the best fight out of these type of challengers would have to be a rematch between himself and Silvio Branco. The pair originally faced off in April of 2000 for an insignificant belt with the result being a controversial decision for Branco, now that they both have recognized versions of the title it would be a great time to meet again.

In this talent deep division there is many choices for Johnson and whoever he does choose to face first can be guaranteed they will be facing a tough champion who has earned his right to the title. Glencoffe has come a long way from his first title attempt against Hopkins and despite many setbacks along the way he has finally reached what he has been gunning for since 1993 and hopefully the respect he deserves is now also going to come his way. So Sam Garr, Lovemore Ndou and any other person ever stung by a bad decision take inspiration in Johnson’s road to the title and know that the old saying “if first you don’t succeed try try again” does ring true.

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