It takes a lot to get Glen Johnson angry, but when he heard that a March 14th rematch between Chad Dawson and Antonio Tarver had been finalized, he couldn't hold back his feelings.
"This is a disgrace to the sport," said Johnson, the former light heavyweight champ who is currently the most avoided man in boxing. "Didn't anyone watch the first fight? Do they think anything different will happen the second time around? HBO should have put this fight on a month earlier, so it could have been the St. Valentine's Day Massacre Part Two."
Johnson, who is currently awaiting a fight against the winner of the WBC light heavyweight title bout between Adrian Diaconu and Silvio Branco, has good reason to be angry, considering that he has already beaten Tarver and that most objective observers believe he beat Dawson as well in their controversial April 2008 match. But neither will fight him again, opting instead to rehash a non-competitive October bout that saw Dawson knock Tarver down on the way to a 118-109, 117-110, 117-110 unanimous decision win. Now they want to do it again, and on HBO no less?
"I thought HBO really meant business when they put together great, competitive fights like Margarito-Mosley, Berto-Collazo and Marquez-Diaz for the early part of 2009, but then they agree to put on a rematch of a fight that wasn't even competitive the first time," said an incredulous Johnson. "It boggles my mind, especially when the only true rematch at 175 pounds is between Dawson and myself. This type of worthless rematch robs the fans, and are bad for the sport. Whoever at HBO decided to purchase this fight, should be embarrassed."
Needless to say, a championship reign that started off with bold words and so much promise for Chad Dawson has denigrated into a money grab that will see him continuing to fight easy fights while avoiding the true contenders of the division.
"I thought Chad Dawson was going to live up to his boasts, and be a true fighting champion," said Johnson. "But it looks like I beat the fight out of him in April. Just a word of advice to Chad - you may make money now, but people will remember you later for ducking me. As for you Antonio, you're a better actor than we all thought; you actually convinced HBO and Dawson to give you a rematch."