Tarver vs. Johnson Fight Predictions

BY Chris Gielty ON December 15, 2004
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The boxing writers from TheSweetScience.com make their predictions on Antonio Tarver vs. Glen Johnson.

Styles make fights, and Tarver will prove that there is a big gap between the two recent Roy Jones slayers. Tarver is tall and rangy, and won't fall victim to Johnson's often-sloppy rushes that proved so successful against the aged Jones. Look for Tarver to avoid most of Johnson's slow, arcing punches with superior speed and reflexes. At other times, he will simply tie up the bullish Johnson. Either way, Johnson will be frustrated while missing wide punches and being countered unmercifully by a younger, sharper, better fighter. Tarver by easy unanimous decision.
Matthew Aguilar

Antonio Tarver wants to known as the best light heavyweight in the world today. He has destroyed the myth of Roy Jones Jr. and he is now one fight away from cementing his claim. Tarver's opponent will be the rugged and ringwise Glencoffe Johnson. Glen also hold a KO win over Jones. Who will win and become the "King" of the light heavyweights? I believe that Tarver is on a emotional high and is at the peak of his career. He has 110% belief in himself and his abilities. Johnson is a rough, well traveled veteran. He is by no means a pushover. Still I feel that Tarver will just be too much for him and see Tarver winning by decision or late round KO.
Jim Amato

Antonio Tarver should solify his claim as the world's best light heavyweight by outboxing Glen Johnson over twelve rounds. Tarver is no kid at 36, but he's fresher and faster than the transplated Jamaican, who is really just a fringe contender on a hot streak. Tarver, 22-2 (18), blasted out Roy Jones, a feat duplicated by the unheralded Johnson, which earned him this shot, but Tarver is four inches taller than the 5-10 1/2 underdog and should keep him on the end of his speedy right jab all night long. If Tarver gets lucky, a cracking left cross, and a blizzard of leather might end it early. Johnson can also hit, and has a puncher's chance with his right hand, but Tarver is fighting better than ever, and is virtually unbeaten after reversing his two losses to Eric Harding and Jones. If Tarver sticks, moves, and circles the ring, Johnson will have a frustrating night plodding after him: but don't discount him completely: The last eight months have miraculously transformed Johnson from an aging journeyman into a legitmate title challenger, after he suffered an outrageous draw to Daniel Judah in April. He survived another bum draw with Britain's Clinton Woods, before whipping him the second time; then he shocked the world by blasting out Jones. In the last eight months, Johnson, 41-9-2 (28), has really won all his fights, despite some of the verdicts rendered. Knocking out Roy Jones has to make him confident, but you also have to remember from 1999-2000 Johnson lost four matches in a row and was just an "opponent." It's gratifying that both fighters dumped their alphabet belts, which are strangling boxing, and the winner can indeed claim to be the light heavyweight champion of the world. But why is this fight happening in Los Angeles? It belonged in Tampa, Florida -- where Tarver is from. There's going to be a lot of empty seats in the Staples Center.
Jim Brady

These fighters are not in the same class. Tarver is the real deal and Johnson accomplished what he did against Roy Jones Jr. primarily because Tarver did it first. Tarver KO 5 Johnson.
Robert Cassidy

This may very well be a case where picking with my heart instead of my head comes back to bite me in the you-know-what. But I honestly believe that Johnson has the right style - if not necessarily the skills - to pull off the upset. Many will insist that Tarver is the better boxer, better puncher, better overall fighter of the two. I disagree. He's a better puncher, but it will take more than one shot to get rid of Glengoffe. I believe that by the time Tarver is ready to get going in this one, he'll find himself about four rounds in the hole and spend the rest of the fight playing catchup. I don't believe he'll catch up enough to pull it out. Johnson by split decision, and going on to be Fighter of the Year.
Jake Donovan

Tarver will be too much for Johnson. He is too skilled, too fast, he hits too hard. Glen’s kayo of old Roy Jones won’t count for much against Tarver. Tarver will punish Johnson and finish him off late in the fight.
Robert Ecksel

I'd like to go way out on a limb for this one, but my instincts won't let me. Tarver's height, his southpaw style and his power will be too much for Johnson. Glen is a tough guy, but Tarver wins by knockout in 10.
Rick Folstad

Start by throwing out their respective performances against Roy Jones Jr. and looking at the entire body of work, and one would have to say that Antonio Tarver is the more accomplished fighter at the elite level. He must be careful not to be out-hustled by Johnson, but Tarver’s superior talent should prevail in the end. Tarver by Decision.
Chris Gielty

Tarver is too tall, slick and quick for the much-slower Johnson to contend with. Tarver won't stand in front of Johnson begging to be hit with a right hand the way Roy Jones did (I still have trouble believing that really happened!). Tarver's lack of activity will keep him from being as sharp as he could be, but he'll still have plenty on his way to a unanimous decision victory.
Randy Gordon

I'll take Tarver over Johnson in this fight. Antonio seems to show a lot of respect towards Johnson in pre-fight interviews and I suppose that's a good thing, not taking his opponent lightly. I like the fact that Tarver trashed the WBC and WBA belts and decided not to fight the WBC mandatory Paul Briggs to take this fight. Tarver shows the heart of a true champion and I don't see him losing that title anytime soon.
Sam Gregory

Tarver by decision. Unlike Roy Jones Jr., Tarver will fight back against Johnson and separate himself by the middle rounds before coasting to victory.
Tim Graham

Two guys forsaking their titles and fighting for the $$$. Both have earned the right, especially Johnson - finally getting his opportunity. Tarver will control from the onset and take the decision in a rather uneventful match.
Mike Indri

Agreed, Glen Johnson is a tough foot soldier, a ritual survivor, who's a late bloomer. Amazing what some serious confidence can do for a fella. However, maturing late and winning the big fights is also Tarver's MO of late. Johnson will try and get Tarver into a rough and tumble contest and Tarver will want to keep it about clean, long range missiles. Tarver has the much bigger punch and Johnson is the much stronger guy on the inside. Both are bald and 35-plus; so, let's say that Tarver's jab gives him the distance to punch and score the big shots. Good enough. Tarver UD12 Johnson.
Patrick Kehoe

Glencoffe Johnson will turn 36 in a few weeks - and he's the younger of these two. Tarver probably has a point when he says Johnson 'beat a dead man' when he knocked out Jones. Put it this way: Johnson rarely knocks out anybody at this level. The two Tarver fights obviously did take a lot out of Roy, but Antonio may have paid a price too. This battle of late-blooming light heavyweights could be closer than some may think, but in the end we like Tarver by decision.
George Kimball

I feel this fight is going to be a tough one, and tough to score at times. Johnson is active with a decent workrate and Tarver has shown a tendancy to start slow, despite his quick KO of Roy Jones in their rematch. Johnson has fared better at 175 and was robbed twice in his Draw against Clinton Woods and the Draw against Daniel Judah where Judah was heard saying "I thought I lost". Despite the similarity in age, Tarver has a lost fewer ring years on him and that, plus his height edge will be the difference. A close fight after 6 rounds I think Tarver will begin to time his shots and get credit for more effective blows as the fight wears on. Antonio Tarver by Decision in a tactical bout.
Joey Knish

I think one thing you can say about both of these boxers is that they are tough. They know how to handle heat in the ring and have come back from adversity. We should see some solid action with neither man backing down. I see this fight close through the first half, with Tarver eventually pulling away in the later rounds. Tarver wins by close unanimous decision.
Marc Lichtenfeld

In the fight between Antonio Tarver and Glencoffee Johnson, I see Johnson at a big style disadvantage. No way can Johnson go at Tarver like he did Jones. If Johnson goes at Tarver aggressively and tries to press the fight like he did to Jones, he would be placing himself in a very vulnerable position. By attacking Tarver, he can easily be nailed hard as he's moving in. Tarver would most likely love for Johnson to go right to him. On the other hand if Johnson lays back and tries to counter, Tarver will pick him apart. I think Tarver is physically stronger, and also a better puncher. I think Tarver can win by fighting or boxing. Johnson needs Tarver to have an off night and then make a mistake. Tarver wins.
Frank Lotierzo

Forget Roy Jones comparisons, because Johnson knocked out Tarver tenderized meat. Tarver may not get him out of there, but he should handle Johnson. Tarver by decision.
David Mayo

Who would have thought we would ever see a match in which both combatants knocked out Roy Jones Jr. in their last fights. This is going to be a good one. My prediction is divided. Either Tarver will win by knockout in the first four rounds. If it goes beyond six, Johnson will win on points.
Deon Potgieter

How can you not like two guys who told the Alphabet Bandits to stuff their phony fractional titles, and then signed to fight each other just to see which is the better man? God, it’s better than watching Ed Schuyler fight the kangaroo at The Flame in Vegas. Enough about that. Since I have always like folks in a hurry, except New Yorkers, I guess I have to go with the guy who did in less than six minutes what took the other guy almost a half hour, to put Roy Jones on his back. Tarver by decision.
Pat Putnam

Difficult. Johnson has clearly been underestimated most of his career while Tarver, if always regarded as talented, has also had to wait for his time. A throwback fight betwen two expert mechanics. I’ll go with Tarver by disputed decision that will demand a rematch.
Jonathan Rendall

Johnson, while a gamer, is going to be dominated by a Tarver anxious to validate his place as the number one light heavyweight in the world. I expect Antonio Tarver to elevate his game and score an impressive and resounding knockout over good guy Glen Johnson no later than the seventh round.
Scott Yaniga

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