Glen Johnson managed to turn back the clock early Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden.
The 41-year-old Jamaican, who has spent the last 10 years fighting as a light heavyweight, dropped down to 168 pounds and made a successful debut in Showtime’s Super Six super middleweight tournament, advancing to the semifinals with an eighth-round knockout of Allan Green.
A left hook to the body, followed by an overhand right to the side of Green’s head sent him to the canvas. Green, who had already absorbed significant punishment, was unable to beat referee Robert Byrd’s count, and the end came 36 seconds into the round.
“It’s so gratifying to win,” said Johnson, who improved to 51-14-2. “I feel stronger, and it was easier to make weight than I thought it would be.
“He had been leaning that way all night. I wanted to get close enough and I was patient. I knew eventually I would get in, get to the right spot and land those punches.”
Johnson, who last competed at super middleweight in 2000, didn’t lack power as he landed body shots that rocked Green throughout the fight. He nearly put Green away late in the third round with a couple of hooks to the ribs. Green managed to survive but was on wobbly legs as he tried to make it back to his corner.
Green tried to use his jab to outbox Johnson. But when that strategy proved ineffective, he was unable to slug with his good friend, whom he has trained and sparred with during his career.
“He caught me in the back of the head a little bit, not purposely,” said Green, who lost his second straight and dropped to 29-3. “I got up, but the referee said I didn’t.”
Johnson said he’s fine as a super middleweight for now.
“Age doesn’t mean anything,” he said. “It’s all about being in shape. I think I may fight into my 60s.”
The other undercard fights saw the Magdaleno brothers turn in impressive performances, as 24-year-old Diego stopped Derrick Campos in the fourth round, and 18-year-old Jesse won his professional debut by technical knockout in the first round over Matthew Salazar.
Diego Magdaleno, ranked No. 10 by the WBA among super featherweights, dominated Campos, knocking him down late in the first round with an overhand right and again late in the third with a sharp combination to the body and head.
When Campos went down in a heap early in the fourth round, referee Jay Nady didn’t bother to count.
“Everything was working,” said Magdaleno (17-0). “I picked up where I left off from my last fight. The better the competition they throw at me, the better I fight because I can use my entire arsenal.”
It took Jesse Magdaleno just 98 seconds to win as the Las Vegas featherweight knocked Arroyo down three times.
“Everything happened so fast,” said Magdaleno, who sent Arroyo to the canvas 20 seconds into the fight with a big right hook, then dropped him again just over a minute into the round with a combination to the head and body before finishing him off with a left hook to the ribs at the 1:38 mark. “I felt real comfortable out there, though I was pretty nervous. But once I knocked him down the first time, it helped me relax and I was fine after that.”
Las Vegas welterweight Anthony Lenk (8-1) survived a slugfest against Danny Escobar (6-1), winning a six-round unanimous decision.
Contact sports reporter Steve Carp at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 702-387-2913.