Held in high esteem by many, Johnny Greaves [3-91-0] has consistently been putting in valiant performances for several years. If ever there was a journeyman who’s far better than his record would seemingly suggest, it’s Johnny.
Unlike the typical journeyman, he has sound technical skills to complement his durability and represents a stern test for any would-be prospect.

He finally intends on calling it a day after another 6 fights and will sorely be missed by those who have had the pleasure of enjoying his performances at small hall shows up and down the country. 

Next up for him is a meeting with Martin Taylor in Motherwell, Scotland on March 8th.

Johnny is an active user on Twitter and well-worth a follow @johnnygreaves 
How did you get into boxing?
I got into boxing really when I was about 10 years old. Me and my brother, Carl, were given 1 pair of gloves. We’d pull on a glove each and just go at it. I found I could hit, duck, dive and not take too many back. Just had the knack. My older brother, Frank, would always win without the gloves, or glove, ha!
What were your goals when you turned professional?
My goals when turning pro were simply to earn a bit of money for my family. I had already taken to being the away fighter on unlicenced shows and was earning regularly. Some of these guys were a lot bigger than me and I still won most of those fights, or at the very least put on a great show. So after doing well on the unlicensed circuit, I figured that going in with the pros for more money was right up my street.
Any boxing legends that you admire?
I admire quite a few old fighters, but Marco Antonio Barrera was always my favourite. The guy could both box and fight, I loved his syle. He also turned pro at 15, so that told me this guy was one hard little git!
How did you feel when you picked up your first win against Sergejs Rozakmens in 2008? Most enjoyable moments in the ring aside from that?
The feelings I had when winning my first fight were obviously great, but a a couple of fights I had lined up straight after that were then cancelled. After the initial feeling of happiness, I was suddenly short of cash, so maybe winning wasn’t in my interests! My best nights in the ring have come from hearing the final bell in fights where I was put in there to be bashed. Just being tough, ring savy and going the distance have been my wins. Going in with Jamie Cox for my 3rd fight at the O2 was great for me in particular. Without the confidence I got from that, I doubt I would have gone on to do what I have. 
Remarkably you had 17 fights last year! How did you physically manage it?
When you box every other week, your fitness just stays with you. The 17 fights I had last year felt like quite a slow year to be honest. I’d be happy boxing 52 weeks a year. Think of the wonga, ha.
What’s the longest notice you’ve ever had?
My longest notice? Two or three weeks, maybe a month. It’s not so much the notice that matters for me, but whether there are any fights lined up within the next 28 days. There’s the dilemma of if you get cut or stopped, you’d lose wages. So then you go a bit negative in the match to try and make sure you stay on the next bill.
Considering how important journeymen are for the development of prospects, would you say you’re under appreciated?
I don’t feel under under appreciated at all. I’m never going be treated like a star, but people who know the game are always respectful of what I’ve done and that’s enough for me.
Has there ever been a point where you reconsidered your future in the sport?
There was never a point I reconsidered my future. I never turned to be a champ, I was on the road from day one. I’ve always accepted my role in boxing. These boys with aspirations live like monks! I enjoy living my life and enjoying things that most fighters wouldn’t dream of indulging in.
Approximately how many times have you felt infuriated at the end of a fight when you knew full well that you had outworked or outclassed your opponent? Does the result at times feel like a formality no matter what you do?
There have been many times where I knew I had done enough to win, but I fully understand how this game works and always have. Boxing the home boy, you just don’t get the nod no matter what, simple as that. I’ve scored knockdowns that were called slips, and beat guys up yet allegedly not won a round. Some of these guys knew I won and I’m happy with that. They may have it on there record but deep down, they know they didn’t beat me! 
To say you’re in demand as a test for young up-and-comers would be an understatement. What in all would you say has made you such a popular choice as an opponent?
I think I’m in demand because I always put on a show. Even against boys who are too good for me, I put on the show as the panto villain. I’m not your average tuck up, stink the gaff out journeyman. I give most guys a good test and put smiles on the crowds faces. I also enjoy going in with the novices and showing them a trick or two. On my day, I’m extremely hard to nail cleanly.
Being a journeyman isn’t exactly lucrative, so what keeps you going? Do you just love to fight?
The boxing isn’t very lucrative, no, but it’s a half decent living doing something I still enjoy doing. Every other week you have a rollercoaster of emotions; you certainly know you’re alive! 
Off the top of your head, have there been any lads over the last couple of years that have impressed to the point that they might have the potential to win titles?
To be honest, I don’t really remember the names of most of the kids I’ve boxed recently. The last kid I boxed in Blackpool (Jack Catterall) was very good though!
In terms of your boxing, is there anything you wish you could have done differently with hindsight?
Are there things I’d do differently with hindsight? Yes but hindsight is a wonderful thing. I would never have started smoking at about 11 and may have had a real go, because even with the way I’ve done things, I’m not a million miles away from being a good fighter! 
When you eventually move on from the sport, are you still going to be involved in some capacity? If so, what kind of role(s) would you like to pursue?
I’ve got my trainers licence and am already working with a lad called Ricky Stock. My brother is busy with fighters and I really would like to work with Frank bringing fighters on. I know nearly everything about being on the road. Maybe I could be the next Nobby Nobbs? Haha.
Any message to fans?
I’m fighting twice in March. I’ve nearly reached my dream of 100 professional fights and I will definitely calling it a day after that. I’m determined to go out on a high. I really want to enjoy the time I’ve got left in this game.
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