Interviews

Published on January 2nd, 2020 | by Percy Crawford

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Bantamweight Contender, Joshua Greer Jr. Aims to Become a World-Champion In 2020

Reunited with his former trainer, George Hernandez, bantamweight contender, Joshua Greer Jr. poised to capture a world-title this year.

Joshua Greer Jr. has a record of 22-1-1 with 12 knockouts. He hasn’t had a blemish on his record since 2015, when he had a majority draw, and suffered a majority decision loss to now world-champion, Stephon Fulton. Since then, he has won 19-fights in a row, and has positioned himself to compete for a world-title at some point this year. Known for handing his opponents a pillow with “Night Night” stitched into it at the weigh-ins, his alias, “Don’t Blink” is fitting for the action packed 118-pound Chicago native. Now ranked in the top-ten by most sanctioning bodies, Greer expects 2020 to be the year he wraps a world-title around his waist after capturing several regional titles in 2019.

During our recent conversation, Greer explains why 2019 was such a learning experience for him in and out of the ring, he opens up about becoming a more mature person and his quest to becoming a world-champion.

You had a very busy and successful year. Three fights in a year by today’s standards is active. How do you gauge your 2019?

Joshua Greer Jr.: My 2019 was a learning experience for me. I learned a lot within the year. I learned a lot, but still winning while I’m learning which is the best way to do it. In 2020, I’m looking for it to be active.

The record of your last 3 opponents is 58-6-3. I think that shows what level in which you’re aiming for.

Joshua Greer Jr.: Most definitely! I’m fighting ranked guys. I’m not fighting guys that come to lay down. They come to fight, and I appreciate that. This boxing game is a marathon for me. It’s not a sprint. I want to be groomed to be one of the greatest to ever do it, so this is the best way to go. The matchmakers at Top Rank, Bruce and Brad have groomed some of the best fighters of all time, so I’m looking to be added to that list.

At one point you had 6-consecutive knockouts, you’re known for bringing a pillow to the weigh-ins and to the ring, do you feel like you spoiled fans because I feel like you can’t win a close fight without them feeling some type of way about the decision?

Joshua Greer Jr.: (Laughing). Yeah, I feel like I spoiled them with that. It’s like, they are not impressed unless I get the knockout. Which is fine. It comes with the game. At the end of the day, I can’t let that get to me because I have to stay focused. Knockout streaks can be started again. I can live by not getting a knockout, I can’t live by not winning.

I thought it was a great thing to see you go 12-rounds for the first time. How did you feel going those 36-minutes?

Joshua Greer Jr.: Ah man, that’s the good thing about being in shape. I work hard. It was a great experience. You have to do that. In order to be champion, you have to go 12-rounds. You gotta know what it’s like, ya know. It was a great experience for me. When I become world-champion and I get into these big fights where I gotta dig deep, I can do that because I’ve already been there.

You called last year a learning experience year. What did you learn the most about, Joshua Greer Jr.?

Joshua Greer Jr.: I learned so many things. I learned a lot about myself. Just being more mature as a person and learned a lot in being a top fighter. Actually, I’m back with my old coach, George Hernandez. Last year was a great learning experience and I’m looking forward to this year.

That split with George wasn’t the most amicable split, so that in itself shows maturity.

Joshua Greer Jr.: You know, we have to humble ourselves as people. Mistakes happen, nobody is perfect. Mistakes happened on both ends. The fighting wasn’t the problem between me and George. It was some other things. It got in between us, but at the end of the day, man, George is a different person, I’m a different person. We both humbled ourselves to work with each other again. It’s a beautiful experience. I’ve been back in Chicago working with him and we have been grinding; working. And it’s just a great experience.

You are ranked in just about every sanctioning bodies top-ten. It’s been a long journey for you. What type of opposition are you looking to be in there with this year?

Joshua Greer Jr.: I want a champion. That’s it from here. I want a world-title. I don’t want to wait. That’s what I want to do. I see that Top Rank said, “Casimero and Inoue supposed to be fighting, but I don’t know how the IBF will go about that situation. I’m looking to fight a champion. I’m ready to be a champion. 2020 is my year, let’s do it.

You fought in, February, July and October. Although you’re looking to fight title holders, would you like that same activity?

Joshua Greer Jr.: Absolutely! I’m looking to take full advantage of my youth. I want to keep it going. I want to keep this ball rolling. I want to stay active. I work best that way. I’m a fighter. I love to fight and I’m always in the gym. I’m always working. It’s not like right after a fight I’m getting all big. I’m right back in the gym, working my craft and keeping my weight down.

You snatched a few regional titles around your waist, have you even wrapped your mind around the feeling of wrapping a world-title around your waist?

Joshua Greer Jr.: Even the regional titles… sometimes people be like, “Man, you gotta be happy.” I have them at the house, but I’m not completely satisfied with those. I want those world-titles. That’s what’s really going to move me. And even after that, that’s not my end goal. I’m not going to be comfortable because I want multiple world-titles. I want to build a legacy.

I see a lot of the guys affiliated with J. Prince have surrounded themselves with other talents. You are close with, Shakur Stevenson, Terence Crawford and Jamel Herring. How important is it for you to surround yourself with like minded people and guys chasing the same goals?

Joshua Greer Jr.: It’s very important. To be around guys like, Shakur… he is one of my closest guys. He’s a champion. He’s a champion, he’s doing good for himself, and he’s making out well. To see how levelheaded, he is… you can barely catch him outside of the gym. With all of the success that he’s having, you can barely catch him outside of the gym; still working, still trying to get better and looking forward. He’s not comfortable. So, when you got that type of motivation and those types of people around you, it motivates you. All of us are trying to get to the top, and we got each other to look at for motivation. It’s real motivating and it’s like, you can watch the guys who did it before you, you can learn from them.

One thing I like about you, you never seem to get caught up in the whole “other side of the street” talk. You kind of stay away from that aspect of this game. I respect that.

Joshua Greer Jr.: I don’t believe in that. This is how I feel, if two fighters want to fight each other, they both express that feeling that they want to fight each other, they let whoever they are working with know that they want it, the fights will happen. It’s as simple as that. Look at Tyson Fury and [Deontay] Wilder. They let it be known that they wanted to fight each other. They equally both wanted to fight each other, and that fight happened and it’s about to happen for a second time. I don’t believe in that at all. I think it’s just an excuse that’s thrown around too loosely. People make that excuse to not fight the fighter that’s another champion or on another network or have another affiliation. Really, these guys egos get in the way. When you get to that level, it’s an ego thing. A person don’t want to go to this place, do or don’t want to fight on this network. So, it’s really an ego thing when it comes to that level.

What eventually separates you from the rest of the pack at 118-pounds?

Joshua Greer Jr.: I just feel like my will to win and my mental toughness. You will never see me… you watch some fights where you see some guys check out before they lose or get knocked out. You will never see me check out. You will never see me give up. My will to win is what really separates me from these guys from a mental standpoint.

It’s been an odd year because your knockdowns have come from being hit after the bell and a rabbit punch. You never faltered or complained and just kept it moving, so there is validity to what you are saying.

Joshua Greer Jr.: Hey man, I guess, God was preparing me for something big because when those things happened, I can’t get off my square. I don’t complain about them. Once it’s over it’s over. I gotta keep moving forward. So, it’s a great thing as a young fighter at my age to go through this adversity this early in my career. It’s a great thing because it grooms me for the things to come in bigger fights.

Keep doing your thing, it’s been a pleasure following your journey and I’m sure this year will be a big one for you. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Joshua Greer Jr.: I just want to give a big shout out to my team, J. Prince, Antonio Leonard and Top Rank. I appreciate you for the interview, bro. Thanks for having me.



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