DO OR DIE FOR GLEN JOHNSON NEXT FRIDAY:
‘IF I LOSE I PROBABLY WON’T WANT
TO DO IT ANYMORE’
Glen “Road Warrior” Johnson (51-16-2, 35 KOs) is working hard with trainer Orlando Cuellar, co-Trainer Hamlet McKenzie and strength and conditioning coach Steve Arintok at Thump Boxing Gym in Miami.
The still-dangerous former world champion is putting the finishing touches on preparations to face Chicago’s “The Polish Prince” Andrzej Fonfara (21-2, 12 KOs) in the 10-round main event of 8 Count Productions and Warriors Boxing’s “CROSSROADS”, boxing event at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago and live on ESPN Friday Night Fights next Friday, July 13.
In the co-main event that night, former world champion Jose Luis “EL Terrible” Castillo (63-11-1, 54 KOs) will face Chicago fan favorite Ivan “EL Marro” Popoca (15-1-1, 10 KOs) in a 10-round welterweight battle.
“Training went well,” said Johnson. “I feel good. I’m going to come out and look good next Friday. I feel sharp right now. I’m feeling real relaxed and energetic. I’m excited about going out there and showing the things I can do and re-establishing myself.”
Johnson says he’s happy about the choice of opponent for his return, and true to his always-considerate nature, not just because he thinks he can win.
“I know he’s a big aggressive kid, who uses his jab and comes forward with the right hand and the hook. He’s just an aggressive guy, basically. I love aggressive guys. They create good fights for the people.”
So why does a 43-year-old ex-champion continue to trade leather with men who could be his son? Because he can.
“I like the challenge. I’m excited about going out there and doing the things I do. I’m still able to do it at a high level. People are still excited about seeing me perform, so that’s another plus. Mostly, I keep doing it because I’m still enjoying it.”
Aware of father time, however, Johnson says at this point in his career, a loss to a non-champion like Fonfara would probably spell the end.
“Oh yeah. If I lose to a guy like this, then that would tell me exactly the opposite of all I just said – that I’m sharp and ready to go and can still do it on a high level. If I lose I probably won’t want to do it anymore.”
Putting the pressure of keeping his boxing career alive aside, Johnson says he’ll probably deliver in a big way Friday.
“The way I’m feeling right now, I think I will stop this guy, but it’s always easier said from the outside looking in. I just want to get in there and see exactly what’s happening and then I’ll put my shots in the right spots. I really think I’ll stop him.”
Johnson has fought in Chicago a couple times already, but claims this is already his favorite fight in the area.
“This is my first time where I can actually enjoy the weather. Every time I went there, it was freezing ad I hated it. I’m not a cold-weather guy. I’m going there now when it’s fairly warm and the kind of weather I can deal with. I will enjoy this fight more than any other one I’ve had here.”
A die-hard basketball fan, Johnson says he’s already having a great summer because of his favorite team’s victory.
“Miami Heat. Champions. Glen Johnson is extremely excited about that. The only thing that would be better is if I won another world championship!”
Several local and national prospects are scheduled to appear on the CROSSROADS undercard.
In a six-round welterweight battle, Jaime Herrera, 7-2-0 (4 KOs) of Franklin Park, Illinois, will face Tyrone Chatman (9-1-2, 6 KOs) of St Louis, Missouri; Bassett, Virginia’s Elijah McCall (9-1-1, 8 KOs), son of heavyweight champion Oliver McCall, will appear in a six-round heavyweight scrap against Jason Massie (7-2, 4 KOs), Cleveland, Ohio; popular Chicago super middleweight Paul Littleton (3-0, 3 KOs) will face Ramiro Bueno Jr., (2-2-0, 1 KO) of South Bend, Indiana, in a five-round bout; cruiserweight Junior Wright (3-0, 3 KOs) of Evanston, Illinois, will face Covon Graham (1-2-1, 1 KO) of Detroit in a four-rounder; Chicago super featherweight Juan Bustamante (3-0, 2 KOs) will go against Michah Branch (0-1-0) of Cincinnati, Ohio, in a four-rounder; Miami, Florida’s hard-punching Vilier Quinonez (3-0, 2 KOs) will take on Hesperia, Michigan’s Rogelio Saldana (1-3, 1 KO) in a light heavyweight four-rounder; and in a heavyweight four-rounder Curtis Tate (4-3, 4 KOs) of Oakland, Tennessee will face Calbert Lewis (0-1) of Gary, Indiana.
Advance tickets for “CROSSROADS”, priced at $151, $101, $51 and $31, can be obtained through Ticketmaster (Ticketmaster.com, 1-800-745-3000), the 8 Count Productions Offices, 312-226-5800 or the UIC Pavilion Box Office, 312-413-5740.
The UIC Pavilion is located at 525 S. Harrison, at the corner of Harrison and Racine on the campus of University of Illinois-Chicago.
Doors on the night of the event will open at 7pm with the first bell at 7:45 pm.