43-year-old ex-champion 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) at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago next Friday. “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 he does a continue to trade leather with men who could be his son? “I like the challenge,” says Johnson. “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.”