Glen Johnson was defeated by journeyman / fringe prospect Andrzej Fonfara on Friday evening in Chicago, in the headline event of the week’s Friday Night Fights card. He promised before the bout, if he lost, he would likely retire, and indeed, he did.
Once the fight was over and the verdict was in, Johnson announced his retirement from the sport, ending a career which spanned nearly 20 years, and saw Johnson compete in 70 professional bouts all across the globe. His final record stands at 51 (35) – 17 – 2, and of course, that ledger includes numerous defeats which “The Road Warrior” likely deserved to win.
Fonfara surprisingly defeated Johnson with relative ease. The scorecards read 99-91, 97-93 and 97-93 in his favor, as he improves to 22 (12) – 2, and scores by far the biggest win of his career. We’ll have to see whether this snowballs into future success for him, or whether or not he simply was able to capitalize on this unique opportunity.
For Johnson, one has to wonder whether or not he was really into this fight before it even took place. When you’re murmuring about retirement should you lose in the lead up to the fight, that’s probably not a good sign.
Johnson goes out losing his last three fights, and six of his last 10 overall. However, besides this loss to Fonfara, the others were all to top flight competition – Chad Dawson twice (the first of which could have potentially gone his direction, although I believe Dawson deserved the win), Tavoris Cloud, Carl Froch and Lucian Bute.
He’ll always be best remembered for his stunning, crushing KO victory over Roy Jones, who had been trying to come back from his KO loss to Antonio Tarver way too quickly, and way too haphazardly. Johnson continued his run with a win over Tarver, sealing up Fighter of the Year honors for himself in 2004.
In earlier action on the same card, Jose Luis Castillo defeated Ivan Popoca. Popoca was sent down early, and then had a bad cut from the 3rd round on. He gamely fought on, but Castillo just had too much skill, experience and strength for him. The referee halted the action after the 8th round.