Johnson: ‘I’d be a fool to say I’m not nervous going into something where I’m out of my element’

Fighters competing on the Mayweather-Paul SHOWTIME PPV undercard previewed their respective showdowns during a final press conference Friday before entering the ring this Sunday, June 6, at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. 

Also participating in the press conference was former NFL star Chad Johnson, who will battle Bare Knuckle Boxing’s Brian Maxwell in an exhibition bout. 

Throughout his 11-year NFL career, Johnson used boxing to prepare for football, and as he prepares to step in the ring with Maxwell, Johnson expects to be a little nervous on fight night. 

“I’ve been using boxing to prepare for football throughout the years, but I’ve never done it to this magnitude,” Johnson said. “To prepare for an actual fight is something new. I’m facing a guy who does this for a living, so I’m not taking this lightly at all.

“I was always nervous before every kickoff. So I’d be a fool to say I’m not nervous going into something where I’m out of my element.”

Johnson has entertained on and off the field, and he expects to put on a show for the fans.

“One thing I’m extremely good at is when there’s lights, cameras, and a crowd is going in there and entertaining,” Johnson said.

To get ready for the Maxwell, the six-time Pro Bowler has been working with some of the top guys in combat sports, including the Charlo Brothers and Jorge Masvidal, and he hopes that will help him on Sunday night.

“I’ve been working with Jorge Masvidal a little bit, but the last few weeks have been in Houston with Jermall and Jermell Charlo,” he said. “That’s where most of my work has been. I’ve been doing everything possible to make sure I look the part Sunday night.

 “I’m out of my element, so of course, I’m approaching this fight humbly. He’s coming to knock my head off. Football is something I did all my life; that’s why I walked the way I did. I can’t be arrogant and take this fight lightly.”

You can’t play boxing. However, this is an exhibition, so no one will get seriously hurt, but it should be interesting to see how Johnson looks in the ring against Maxwell.


Photo: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME

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