Best Underdog - 2009
Every other sport is just a metaphor for boxing. If Nadal serves an ace against Federer or D-Wade dunks on Yao Ming, they are imposing their will against an opponent — figuratively. Glen Johnson imposes his will against an opponent literally. With his fists. Five years ago, the light heavyweight beat Roy Jones Jr. and Antonio Tarver back to back to become the International Boxing Federation champ and Ring Magazine's Fighter of the Year. But that year was an anomaly. Before and since, he has spent his career taking any fight thrown his way, doing whatever he can to make a living. He was absolutely robbed last year against Chad Dawson, and most of the big names refuse to get in the ring with the bruising Johnson. But at 40 years old, the Jamaican-born, South Florida-trained pugilist has managed to position himself for another title fight. And he did it by brutalizing Aaron Norwood at the end of 2008 and pulverizing Daniel Judah in February. So what should the next man brave (or stupid) enough to get in the ring with Johnson expect? He should expect to be imposed upon.