Johnson vs. Tarver: One Man’s Opinion

By Rusty Rubin
Updated: December 22, 2004

Glen Johnson
Glen Johnson

RENO, Nevada — The Glen Johnson – Antonio Tarver fight, certainly lived up to it’s billing. It was an exciting battle at light heavyweight, (something you don’t see very often anyhow) between two aging, (35 & 36 respectively) veterans.

The decision for Johnson wasn’t a bad one, although I had the same score, 115-113, Tarver, as both Harold Lederman and Roy Jones Jr.

It is a bit unusual for me to agree with one, let alone two, HBO sportscasters, and the one time we agree, we’re on the wrong side of a close decision. Harold’s a judge, Roy and I are not.

What I enjoyed as much as the fight was the respect for each other, and non-complaining these two guys showed. They displayed class and sportsmanship, something sadly not seen enough in sports these days.

I was surprised a bit by Danny Williams staying power and heart against Vitali Klitschko. Williams took everything that Klitschko had and like a Timex, came back ticking.

At least until the fight doctor wisely stopped the bout in round eight, giving the elder Klitschko a hard-earned TKO.

I suppose that Vitali may be the best heavyweight out there today, but I’m not sure if that’s saying much.

He didn’t have the power to put away Lennox Lewis, whose chin had often been questioned, and he nailed Williams with some great shots, but couldn’t knock him out either.

A heavyweight champ who can’t punch much? We’ve had them before folks, and that’s not any judgment on the ability of the big Ukraine.

Sadly, though the fans of the heavyweights love the excitement that should be created by a one-punch KO, and that’s something you probably won’t see, with the current, and in my mind, rightfully undisputed champion.