By Andreas Hale
On November 6th, Allan Green (29-2, 20 KOs) and Glen Johnson (50-14-2, 34 KOs) will go head to head in a fight with major implications. The winner of this epic clash – which takes place as the co-featured bout on the Rafael Marquez Vs. Juan Manuel Lopez headlined card from the MGM Grand Garden – will earn a spot in the Super Six World Boxing Classic Semifinals. The tournament, as innovative as it is, has suffered from numerous hurdles dealing with boxer injuries. Jermaine Taylor, Mikkel Kessler and Andre Dirrell have all fallen victim to the menacing injury bug. With that being said, Green and Johnson have to seize the opportunity and prove that they are worth a spot in the lineup.
Green is looking to make his listless loss to Andre Ward a distant memory. It was a performance that Green still shakes his head at.
“I knew going into that fight that I was ill-prepared,” Green reveals during a conference call with media. “I knew that I was a little heavy going into to camp and I knew that I was going to have trouble getting the weight off. I knew it wasn’t going right.”
It certainly showed this past June as Green had absolutely nothing for Ward and was dominated from bell to bell for twelve rounds. Green seeks to make amends by defeating Johnson but doesn’t see this as added pressure to perform.
“I’m not putting any extra pressure on myself to perform. I’m just going to do my job,” Green says.
If any fighter knows about getting the job done, it is “The Road Warrior” Glen Johnson. The man who will fight anyone at anytime wouldn’t dare pass up on the opportunity at a world title – even if he has to fight in a weight class he hasn’t appeared in since 2000.
“I haven’t done 168 pounds in like 10 years, so I just have to commit myself and go to work,” Johnson explains. “This is what I do. This is my job, this is how I get paid. This is how I eat.”
Both fighters will enter the ring with an unrelenting hunger to prove to the world that they are worthy of being in this exclusive tournament.
The two know each other well and both admit that there is a friendship and camaraderie between the tow. Johnson sparred with a young Green prior to his first loss to Edison Miranda and Green assisted Johnson in his training camp before shocking the world with a knockout victory over Roy Jones Jr.
“I learned a lot from Glen,” Green says. “A lot of days he gave me the business, a lot of days he just put it on me. I’m not ashamed to say that I learned a lot. That helped me get a lot better.”
Johnson admits he doesn’t remember much from the sparring sessions but states that the two have a friendship that will be cast aside on November 6th. The one thing he does know is that the Green that fought Ward certainly wasn’t the Allan Green he knows.
“As Allan just alluded to, Allan and I are friends,” Johnson says. “I’ve known him for a long time and I know that was not the Allan Green that I know. I’ve sparred with him many, many times. He’s helped me get ready for my fights and I’ve helped him get ready for his fights. I know that wasn’t the Allan Green that I know.”
Both fighters will be expecting the best that the other has to offer on November 6th.
“I’m just looking forward to Nov. 6. I’m just glad to get back in the ring. I really don’t have to prove anything to myself. I just have to prove myself to the fans,” Green says.
As for Johnson, the 41-year-old knows that time isn’t on his side to achieve the greatness he desires. If a few of those controversial decisions in tough fights ended up in his favor, we may be looking at Johnson in a different light. But “The Road Warrior” must trudge on and trample everyone in his path – whether friend or foe.
“Every time I step in the ring and every time I’m training for a fight I always go at it 100 percent knowing that this could be my last chance, my last opportunity,” Johnson says. “I’m not one of those big market guys that will always get a chance and always get an opportunity, so I always give it 100 percent every time I step in there. That’s just the way I go about it. I just have to keep my spirit up because nobody else is going to do it for me.”
Allan Green Vs. Glen Johnson clash on Saturday, Nov. 6, live on SHOWTIME® (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas.