Glen Johnson (age 41; ex 175 pound champion; 51-14-2; lives in Florida) came out against Allan Green looking like age is indeed nothing but a number in a Super Six eliminator bout on Saturday night. He hustled right at Green (age 31; 29-3; from Oklahoma), got in his face, and stayed there in the TV opener to the Juan Manuel Lopez-Rafael Marquez scrap on Showtime. He had more energy, more desire on display, and in the eighth round, he had fortysomething guys puffing out their chests with pride, and he sent Green to the mat with two smashing rights. A groggy Green rose, but the ref didnt like the looks of him, and halted the contest at the MGM Grand.
The end for Green…and goodness knows, this might mean the end of his career, seeing as how this is second straight embarrassing loss…came 36 seconds into the eighth. Allan is a guy I love like my brother, he got a great heart…my only regret in this is that both of us cant move on in this tournament, said Johnson after the win, which cant be seen as a stunner but is something of an eyebrow raiser. Green did protest that he could have continued to interrogator Jim Gray.
Johnson won the stat war–the Road Warrior went 166-380, to 155-301 for Green. I had Johnson up 5-2, because he had the higher work rate, and buzzed Green several times.
He buzzed Green twice in the first, with rights, and had him discombobulated at the end of the third. A rabbit punch and an uppercut sent Green, whod started putting some decent combos together, to his stool with tweety birds clustering around his noggin.
One had to be if not surprised then mildly taken aback that Johnson, whod campaigned at 175 for the last ten years, looked like the more energized man early on. Though it must be noted that he was on weight days before the weigh in, while Green had to drop his drawers to please the scale, and hit 168 on the dot Friday.
You might know that Johnson brought in Green for sparring for his date with Roy Jones, and Johnson got the better of the work. Green figured hed gotten better,and Johnson had gotten grayer, but man, through five, it mustve felt like a bad trip of a time travel session.
Blood dripped from Greens nose at the end of the fifth, and Johnson was in his face, looking to add to the damage, as the bell rang.
Green sent word to the judges that he didnt want the fight as much, as he fought in retreat, while the 41 year old hustled after him. A long right with 50 seconds left jazzed the crowd in the sixth, and he smacked home another with 25 seconds to go. Darned if Johnson didnt look better at 168 than in many recent outings at 175 lately. His feet were lively and his handspeed even looked improved.
Johnson, never a hands of stone type, whacked his foe to the body early and often. The two danced in the trenches more in round seven. This switch in strategy mightve sent a good message to the judges, on Greens part; Im not running, Im staying in the pocket, because Im not afraid of no old man.
To start the eighth, Green again was in reverse. And then Johnson landed, a right cross to the ear, and another to the chin. Green went down, and rose, at 9 1/2 or 10, it was hard to say. Ref Robert Byrd halted the bout. Glen Johnson will move into the Super Six semis.