Glen Johnson won't be remembered as the most gifted boxer who ever lived, but there have been few who were nearly as willing as the 2004 Boxing Writers Association of America Fighter of the Year.
Johnson has taken on all comers in all parts of the globe in his 21-year career. He's now 45 and is winding down.
Still, his opponent for a Feb. 21 card in Lincoln, R.I., raises at least a few eyebrows. Johnson, a former champion who fought for the IBF super middleweight title as recently as 2011, will meet 41-year-old Jamie Velasquez at the Twin River Event Center in an eight-round bout.
Velasquez, though, hasn't fought since Bill Clinton was president. His last bout was on July 29, 1999, when he lost by sixth-round technical knockout to Richard Grant. Velasquez last won a match nearly 16 years to the date from when he's slated to fight Johnson. He defeated Jose Williams -- who entered their bout 7-26-1 -- by decision on Feb. 20, 1998, in a fight at The Roxy in Boston.
Still, Peter Timothy of the Rhode Island Department of Licensing and Regulation, which oversees boxing, thinks Velasquez is OK for the fight.
"I have been watching him carefully in the gym and he's looking good," said Timothy, who was involved in the boxing program at the Foxwoods Resort for 17 years. "I think he's going to surprise a lot of people. When he left boxing, it was because he had some family issues he needed to deal with. I've been watching him in the gym and I think he's going to give a very good account of himself."
Johnson, who is 53-18-2, was 33-3 when Velasquez last fought.