Glen Johnson Calls Out Joe Calzaghe

December 23, 2008

Boxing historically has been a sport of colorful personalities and interesting characters. From Muhammad Ali to Ricardo Mayorga, there is a long list of fighters who have entertained both in and out of the ring.

Glen Johnson is another such personality. Always a great post-fight interview, Johnson is an intelligent, classy guy who candidly speaks his mind.

We now know that he has comedic talents as well.

Johnson recently provided to the media his own personal letter to Santa. Here is what he wrote:

Dear Santa,

It's that time of year again, when I know you're getting tons and tons of letters from people around the world asking for gifts this holiday season. I've got to be honest with you though -- with the exception of a horrible injustice done to me in Florida on April 12, I've had a great year. I knocked out Hugo Pineda and Aaron Norwood, was crowned people's champion again after the robbery against Chad Dawson, and I've got good friends and a great team around me.

Considering that Santa, I truly believe it's better to give than to receive, so I'd like you to give the following to my friend Joe Calzaghe:

• Some old calendars, to remind him of the number of times he's pulled out of fights with me in the past. Hint: it's more than once.

• Some gold polish, so he can shine up his championship belts and keep them shiny in case he decides to put them at risk against me.

• A pack of tissues to dry his tears when he talks about the decline of boxing, when he can fight me and help revive the passion in our sport.

• A DSL or cable Internet connection, so he can read what boxing fans are saying about the fight they really want to see.

• A DVD copy of Dawson vs. Tarver I, so he can replay it and see what will happen in Dawson-Tarver II in March.

• Running shoes, so he can be comfortable whether he jogs off into the sunset or trains for his fight with me.

• A new suit, hat, and sunglasses -- the suit and hat to wear at our prefight press conference, and the sun glasses for the post fight press conference.

• A trans-Atlantic phone card, so he doesn't have the pay for the call when he contacts my promoter, Seminole Warriors Boxing, to tell them that he's going to take this fight.

• Good Luck, in his new career, if he decides not to fight me, as there really is no one else for him to fight.

Come on Joe, let's do this for the sport, and let's leave boxing with a classic fight that your fans in Wales will never forget.

Merry Christmas,
Glen Johnson
The people's light heavyweight champ

Let's hope Santa comes through on this one.

Johnson is one of boxing's true road warriors, as he is willing to fight anywhere. While old by boxing standards, Johnson's fight with Chad Dawson proved that he still has elite-level stamina and a granite chin. A tough, thinking man's throwback fighter, Johnson makes every fight competitive.

Meanwhile, Calzaghe has had a less than stellar past 2 months. First, his fight with an over-the-hill Roy Jones did little to help his legacy. Although Calzaghe dominated most of the fight, he still suffered a first-round knockdown to a fighter who was a shadow of his former self. Roy proved to be a mere name, and nothing more. In contrast, Johnson fought a younger Jones and knocked him out much more impressively.

Second, Calzaghe bashed the entire sport as being on the decline. The hypocrisy of such a notion is astonishing, as this is the one guy who year after year avoided making the tough fights that could have actually elevated boxing's profile. Only recently, in 2008, has Joe chosen to leave Wales. Conveniently for Calzaghe (or perhaps intentionally), his opponents in the States have been well past their prime.

For now, Calzaghe remains non-committal about his future. Should he postpone retirement, the most obvious fight for him would be with pound-for-pound contender Dawson. In the alternative, a rematch with Bernard Hopkins would also be interesting. Such fights are unlikely however, as the risk-averse Calzaghe seems to have no interest in either man.

Ultimately, nothing is as important to Calzaghe as maintaining his undefeated record, and that's precisely why the Johnson fight could occur. Johnson is just the type of fighter who Calzaghe might underestimate. Johnson's not flashy or overly fast, and for Joe, he might seem safe, easy pickings.

However, Johnson, much like Calzaghe himself, is a wily veteran who figures things out during fights. He adapts to his opponents quite well, and can turn a fight around in a hurry.

His ability to adapt enabled Johnson to handle a faster and better skilled Chad Dawson. Presumably, that same unorthodox defense and constant pressure that Johnson used to counter Dawson, also could work effectively for him against Calzaghe.

Calzaghe essentially could end up signing up for a cakewalk, only to find himself in a real war.

Now that actually would be something to halt boxing's "decline."

By Mike Elliott
Staff Editor for TheDailySportsHerald

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