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Despite announcing his retirement after his loss to Andrzej Fonfara, Glen Johnson is scheduled to return to the ring to face George Groves 10 days before Christmas. Groves considers the opportunity an "early present".
Glen Johnson, once considered the best light heavyweight in the world and honored as "Fighter of the Year", is now 43 years old and should still be retired. Johnson announced his retirement following a 3rd consecutive defeat to up and coming Andrzej Fonfara back in July. Although Johnson put on a spirited performance and was perhaps unlucky to not escape with a draw depending on who you ask, it was clear his time had come. Johnson had not previously lost 3 straight bouts in over a decade and Fonfara was no better than the guys Johnson was losing to back then.
Nonetheless 24 year old George Groves, the current Commonwealth (British Empire) super middleweight champion, will continue to sport an impressive undefeated resume if he can defeat Johnson in only his 16th pro fight. After watching James DeGale's ring struggles post-Groves you may even argue that Glen will the the toughest opponent of George's career to date. I mean, I wouldn't, but you can. However the fight plays out the biggest question is why is Glen coming out of retirement to face yet another prospect?
Johnson has previously stated he would come out of retirement for a major opportunity, most notably a rematch with Bernard Hopkins. Even Bernard's trainer Nazim Richardson thinks that would be a good retirement fight for both boxers. But why Groves? Surely the money can't be any better than Johnson has made in the past and unless this is part of a plan to get a bigger fight afterward what could possibly convince Johnson to take it? The press release confirming the fight only disclosed quotes coming from Groves, so for now fans are left to speculate.
With 12 of Groves 15 wins coming by stoppage, he fancies himself a bit of a knockout artist. As Hopkins was the last and only man to stop Johnson all the way back in 1997, Groves relishes the chance to pull it off and put the super middleweight division on notice. Groves had the following to say about Johnson:
The man is like a tank coming forward all the time and I'll need to pull out some big bombs if I'm going to stop him. Top men like Froch and Dawson, plus Antonio Tarver and Clinton Woods couldn't halt him so it's a tall order, but I'm confident in my abilities and if I can be the first since Hopkins to stop him then it will send a strong message out to the 168 pound world champions that I'm coming for them.
Do I think Groves will beat Johnson? Sure. But will he knock him out? I highly doubt it. In any event I'm sure Groves will be content with the win by any means. And Johnson will be content with, well, I still have no idea. All I can tell you is that BoxNation will televise the fight.