Carl Froch and Glen Johnson aren't the quietest fighters in boxing.
Froch made his name outside of the ropes by calling out Joe Calzaghe for years, talking trash about the Welsh star in an attempt to land a fight almost nobody actually thought he could have won at the time. Johnson, though he is seen rightly as a gentleman, has never been quiet when he thinks he's gotten the shaft, and those times have not been few.
But there's little angst right now between the two fighters, who face off in Atlantic City on June 4, in the semifinals of the Super Six World Boxing Classic.
"Glen Johnson is a blue-collar fighter who always gives his best and is a gentleman outside of the ring," said Froch. "He commands respect and I give him respect."
"The guy is a two-time champion," Johnson said. "You do it once then you can say maybe it's a little luck but to do it twice you know he deserved it. I have tremendous respect for Carl Froch."
The two then skipped away together, warding off villains on their way to getting cocktails. Well, maybe not that far.
"I don't just plan on beating him," said Froch, "but I plan on halting him in style. Our styles gel very well for a competitive battle for as long as it lasts and I'm looking forward to it. I have a date in the final of the Super Six and I won't be overlooking Johnson in any shape or form - which will spell bad news for Glen."
Johnson offers no such grand prediction, but does, as always, expect to win. "I know when [the Super Six] was first put together I remember thinking to myself, ‘Man, I wish I was a super middleweight.' But I'm in right now and I'm here to win the entire tournament. I believe I'm in it for a reason and that's to win it."
Both men will go into this fight knowing what would await the victor in the Super Six finals later this year. On May 14 in Carson, Calif., Andre Ward puts his undefeated record on the line against struggling Arthur Abraham, who has made it this far entirely on the strength of a first stage knockout win over faded American Jermain Taylor, who has not fought since. If Ward wins that fight as expected, Froch and Johnson will be gearing up for one another, with an eye toward the future chance at knocking off arguably the only legitimate, current rising star in American boxing.
Johnson's promoter Lou DiBella expects to see the good fight that is being advertised. "Glen Johnson and Carl Froch are two of the most fan friendly fighters in boxing. Both are proven winners who have earned fans the ole fashioned way, by entertaining fans fight after fight. Glen is known as ‘The Road Warrior' because he isn't afraid to go to someone else's turf for a big fight, and Carl's biggest wins have come outside the UK.
"Everyone knows that both men will leave it all in the ring in Atlantic City for the right to advance to the Super Six final."