Froch v Johnson pictures, press quotes from conference call
World Boxing Council Super Middleweight Champion Carl ďThe CobraĒ Froch, Glen ďThe Road WarriorĒ Johnson and promoter Lou DiBella held an international media conference call on Wednesday to discuss their upcoming Semifinal bout in the Super Six World Boxing Classic on Saturday, June 4, LIVE on SHOWTIMEģ at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) from Adrian Phillips Ballroom at Atlantic Cityís Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J.
Froch (27-1, 20 KOs) will defend his World Boxing Council (WBC) title against Johnson (51-14-2, 35 KOs), a former world champion. The Froch-Johnson winner will advance to the tournament Final to face World Boxing Association (WBA) champion Andre Ward, who secured a Final berth with a dominating victory over Arthur Abraham on May 14 in the other Semifinal bout.
The tournament champion earns the inaugural Super Six World Boxing Classic Cup and global recognition as the worldís No. 1 168-pound fighter.
The event is co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment, Warriors Boxing and Carl Froch.
Here is what the principals had to say on Wednesday.
ďIím in great shape and have been in New York for the better part of two weeks which should give me plenty of time to get acclimated to this fight. Itís quite hot and humid but itís the same in England. I should be getting the time difference out of my system here over the next few days and just look forward to the fight next week. I canít wait to put on a great show in the Super Six Semifinals.
ďAs far as Iím concerned Iím an unbeaten fighter coming into this fight. I still consider myself unbeaten. That loss (against Mikkel Kessler) was maybe a little injection or a kick in the ass, whatever you want to call it, to get me back to where I was when I became champion against Jean Pascal when he was firing on all cylinders because he didnít look like he was the other night. He let that fight slip away from him (against Bernard Hopkins) and didnít seem to be in condition. Since that fight (against Pascal) Iíve only fought against top opposition: Jermain Taylor, Andre Dirrell, Mikkel Kessler, Arthur Abraham and now Glen Johnson.
ďI come into this fight very, very confident and very strong. Iím in my prime. Iím 33 years old and fitter than Iíve ever been. Iím quite meticulous and a perfectionist about my workouts and training regime. Iím hitting times on my runs that I was hitting when I was 26, 27 years old. Iím doing the same amount of push-ups and sit-ups and pull-ups all in the time frame. Iím just feeling really, really fit and like I did when I fought Arthur Abraham. Never mind 12 rounds I can go 25 rounds right now. Thatís how great I feel. Iím looking forward to this fight and Iím looking forward to putting a show on.Ē
Youíve had three fights and Green slipped in with one against a substitute fighter in the Super Six. Do you think that will make a difference in this fight?
ďIíve had three fights but I made easy work of two of them. I made easy work of Andre Dirrell. Iíve done more damage shaving myself than what Andre Dirrell did. And against Arthur Abraham I made easy work of that. I mean the only fight that was hard work was the Mikkel Kessler fight and that was my own fault. I stood in front of him for four or five rounds and made a fight of it which I shouldnít have done and thereís reasons why I did that. I donít think we should worry about how we got to this stage of the Super Six but the fact is we are here and in the Semifinals and Iím sure it means just as much to Glen as it means to me and itís just as important to him. So weíll forget about the past and worry about the here and now.
ďI donít want to talk too much tactics but the plan is always to hit and not get hit. The one thing about Glen Johnson is I donít think Iíll have to go looking for him. I donít think heís going to be on his back foot looking to jab and pick me off. He doesnít have the speed or the skill to match me. So heís going to come straight ahead.Ē
What do you think about Andre Ward?
ďHeís got some skills. Heís an Olympic gold medalist but having that doesnít win world titles all the time and weíve seen that recently. These top amateurs donít always make top pros. Heís obviously won some great fights and he beat Mikkel Kessler which is a fighter I was close to so heís got that. But other than that if you look at his record I havenít been too impressed with him as far as who heís fought or how heís won. Wardís definitely a threat and someone I have to take seriously but I know I can beat Ward. One thing heís lacking is punching power and thatís a big factor in the professional ring.Ē
Will you be boxing Johnson or will you be looking to use your power punches?
ďIíll do a little bit of both. Iíll box around him and jab, chop, jab, chop with a lot of combinations. I donít think it would be wise for him to sit in front of me for too long. If he walks into me heís going to be taking on some shots. Weíll see how much the referee thinks he can take. Itís going to be brutal if he keeps walking forward and taking shots. Heís only had one fight at super middleweight and that was against Allan Green who is not a super middleweight, heís too tall and too big. I watched that fight and Allan Green was dead from round two and three and he managed to take Glen to eight rounds. Iím going to be fresh and fit and strong and powerful with fast combinations from round one to round 12. I really wish this fight was 15 rounds.
ďI think Iíll get my vengeance against Glen Johnson. Heís a great fighter and a war horse and I wonít disrespect him. He really knows what heís doing but I would have rather fought Mikkel Kessler just purely for the revenge. Iím a warrior myself. Itís a big thing for me to have lost that fight against Mikkel Kessler because Iím serious about this business and that blemish on my record, Iíd love to get that corrected before I retire. Someday after I hang them up I want to be able to say I lost that decision to Kessler but I won it back. Iíve avenged that defeat. I think if he fights (Lucian) Bute in Montreal heíll lose but if he gets it in Denmark I think heíll win so letís hope he gets that fight in Denmark.
ďThe final person to hold the Super Six Cup will have withstood the test of time. This tournament has given boxing fans and the press a lot to talk about and has given us a lot of fights that might not have happened. So itís been a great thing. Thereís been some negative things but all that negativity is totally unnecessary. Itís been a fantastic tournament with some top-level fights and fights that would not have happened. Big accolades have to go to Ken Hershman and all of the promoters and Lou DiBella who has had three fighters in this tournament.Ē
How you fought any one in your career style-wise like Carl Froch?
ďNot really. Heís a tall guy that really kind of fights short sometimes. But in his last fight he actually fought tall and used his reach and boxed the way heís supposed to box and the way heís built to box. Iíve boxed tall guys before but never guys who have scrunched down and tried to be a short guy. But we are prepared for either style that he shows and weíre looking forward to an exciting fight.
ďMy advantage is being Glen Johnson. I think I know boxing inside and out. Iím going to go in there confident and use my skills to my potential and youíll see me come out victorious. Carl Froch is a great fighter and I have no disrespect toward him. This is a business and Iím going in there to win the fight. All the talk and all the other stuff goes out the window. This is for all the marbles so weíre going in there to win the fight.
ďI wish I would have listened to my manager a long time ago and gone down there (to super middleweight) sooner. But I think things happen for a reason. Iím just really, really excited for this opportunity.Ē
Why did you resist your manager?
ďThe main reason is that I didnít think I would be able to maintain that weight. I always felt like super middleweight wasnít who I was and I didnít want to put the strain on to make that weight.
ďIím not concerning myself too much with what Carl Frochís plan is or what heís going to do to be honest with you. Iím more concerned with what Iím going to do. Iím focused on my game plan and what I have to do. I have a winning formula and I donít think Carl Froch is the one who can tell me different.Ē
Are you approaching this fight like a last-chance fight?
ďI definitely feel a little bit of urgency for this fight. I mean, Iím not getting any younger. Iím not going to take any fight for granted. I know I have a lot of skills and talent left in me and Iím looking forward to showing that to the people. Iím here to show the people what I can still do and want to walk away from this tournament being the champion. I know there are people still skeptical about what I can do at my age but I actually get excited when people mention my age and focus on my age because that means they are not focused on my skills and what I bring to the table.Ē
Did Hopkinsí win over the weekend give you some inspiration?
ď(Laughing) Bernard fought a wonderful fight and congratulations to him for the win. I knew he was definitely going to win the fight but I didnít know if he was going to get a decision. Kudos to him. Heís definitely an inspiration to us old guys.Ē
Do you think youíll get a rematch with him?
ďI donít know. I want it. I donít know if Bernard wants it though. I just have to take it one fight at a time and not be the problem and weíll see what happens.Ē
ďI think we have a terrific fight ahead of us. Carl Froch is a tremendously exciting champion and has only been in good fights and the same could be said of Glen Johnson.
ďI think Carl Froch is one of the most under appreciated champions in the world. Heís a tremendous talent and has great flair in the ring and a lot of pizzazz outside of it. Iím just a big fan of Carl Froch.
ďAs many have said before if you donít like Glen Johnson then you donít like boxing. I think heís one of the most widely respected fighters in the game. Thereís not another fighter in the game who doesnít respect Glen Johnson. Heís a road warrior whoís once again on the road in New Jersey. You never know what an old mad can do which is what Bernard Hopkins just showed.Ē