Chicago’s Josh Greer, Jr. (12-1-1, 5 KOS) made a name for himself last Friday night with a win over James Gordon Smith, a formerly undefeated fighter from Detroit. A brutal right hand to the chin of Smith catapulted Greer, Jr. into the running for Knockout of The Year. The fight was the opening bout of a four fight SHOBOX card at the MGM Grand Casino Hotel in Detroit, MI.
After catching Smith with the perfectly timed knockout punch at 1:02 of Round 6, Greer, Jr. celebrated by grabbing a pillow from his corner and climbing the ropes to show the crowd and SHOWTIME cameras: “NIGHT!!! NIGHT!!! #Don’tBlink”, emblazoned in black sharpie. With his opponent struggling to recover, his display captured the attention of SportsCenter Top 10 Plays of the Night, and polarized boxing fans around the world.
We talked with Greer on Monday night after giving him a chance to reflect on his win and the subsequent attention.
HEAVY BAG BOXING: Knowing that was going to be your first nationally televised fight, could you have dreamed up a better result?
GREER, JR: I knew going in that I was going to knock him out. I was very excited with the way everything played out. I wasn’t shocked at all, but I was very happy.
HEAVY BAG BOXING: You only had 4 knockouts as a pro going into the fight, what made you so confident you’d end it early?
GREER, JR: I am a very strong fighter. I’ve been with (trainer) George (Hernandez) for two years, and the longer I’m with him, the more I learn how to use my power. I have been matched up against tough fighters throughout my career, and now I’m learning how to finish off good fighters. It’s a process.
HEAVY BAG BOXING: It’s true that you’ve been matched up much tougher than most boxers with only 14 career fights. 9 of your opponents have had winning records.
GREER, JR: That’s true. This was not the first undefeated prospect that I’ve fought, so I came in extremely comfortable because I’ve been in this situation before.
HEAVY BAG BOXING: Everybody is talking about the pillow. Did you know it was going to receive the attention that it’s getting?
GREER, JR: I actually did. The pillow thing happened because when we arrived in Detroit, they were nothing but rude to us. His team disrespected my manager, they disrespected George, they disrespected me. At the press conference on Wednesday, he kept talking about how I had no power and I couldn’t punch, so the next day at the weigh-in is when I brought the pillow. I told him I was going to put him to sleep and everybody thought I was being funny, but I knew it was going to happen.
HEAVY BAG BOXING: Now that you’ve received the national attention for bringing the pillow out while your opponent was on the canvas, are you comfortable with the fact that some fans look at you as a villain?
GREER, JR: I’m very comfortable with that. I’m sure some people look at me as a bad guy now. It doesn’t really matter to me if they are rooting for me or against me, I just want them to tune in to see what happens when I fight. I’ll give them something to watch either way.
I’m sure some people look at me as a bad guy now. It doesn’t really matter to me if they are rooting for me or against me, I just want them to tune in to see what happens when I fight. I’ll give them something to watch either way. – Joshua Greer, Jr.
HEAVY BAG BOXING: Are you back in the gym already?
GREER, JR: Yes, back in the gym already. This is just the first TV victory. My goals are bigger. I want to keep doing it over and over again, so I’m back in the gym.
HEAVY BAG BOXING: Have you watched the fight back on SHOWTIME yet?
GREER, JR: Yes, I have, and I’ll watch it many times (laughing). I don’t think I’ll get tired of it.
HEAVY BAG BOXING: Anything you see that you want to improve on while watching it back?
GREER, JR: There is always room for improvement, but I executed the gameplan exactly the way I wanted to. I wanted to come in and stay patient, stay calm, and make him pay for every mistake. I feel good about the way I executed that plan.
HEAVY BAG BOXING: Any plans or ideas for what’s next?
GREER, JR: Bigger and better. I want big fights, and I’m not afraid to take the big fights.