Lem Satterfield

Exclusive Q&A: Johnson vows to beat Bute

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Although Glen Johnson turns 43 on Jan. 1, the former light heavyweight champ told RingTV.com that he has the skills and determination to dethrone THE RING No. 3-rated super middleweight, undefeated IBF super middleweight beltholder Lucian Bute, on Saturday night. The scheduled 12-round title bout in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, will be televised on Showtime.

To do so, it would require that Johnson (51-15-1, 35 KOs) end a six-bout knockout streak from the 31-year-old Bute (29-0, 24 KOs), a Romanian-born left-hander who lives in Canada, in front of a highly-partisan crowd at Pepsi Coliseum.

After spending the past decade fighting at light heayvwieght, Johnson dropped down from the 175-pound division to super middleweight with an eighth-round stoppage of Alan Green last November, knocking the boxer out for the first time in his career. His last fight was a unanimous-decision loss to WBC beltholder Carl Froch (28-1, 20 KOs) in the semifinals of Showtime’s Super Six World Boxing Classic.  

Though he has 15 losses on his lengthy resume, Johnson has only been stopped once — by Bernard Hopkins in July of 1997.

Johnson is hoping to put in a performance that would rival his career-best efforts, which included a run of victories in 2004 — by decision over Clinton Woods, over Roy Jones by ninth-round knockout, and by split-decision over Antonio Tarver — that earned him a Fighter of the Year nod.

He has come close to reprising that level during two decision setbacks against Chad Dawson, in April 2008 and November 2009.

Johnson was alsoin major bouts of last year, scoring three knockdowns against Yusaf Mack on the way to a sixth-round stoppage victory, and falling short in a narrow decision loss to unbeaten IBF light heavyweight beltholder Tavoris Cloud.

Now, Johnson says he’s ready to make it happen against Bute, a man with whom he has sparred nearly 100 rounds in the past.

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