Taureano Johnson at pivotal point in once-promising career

Tureano Johnson

Tureano Johnson has a 20-2 won-lost record and is still thought of as a creditable boxer. However, it must be acknowledged that his stock has dropped over the last year.

Saturday after next, August 25, will make exactly a year since Bahamian Middleweight Champion Johnson last fought.

In that hard battle against Sergiv Derevyanchenko, Johnson could not sustain the pace of the tough Ukraine opponent and lost via a technical knockout in the 12th and final round. Once ranked within the top 10 of significant world boxing bodies, Johnson has dropped to No.15 on the World Boxing Council (WBC) list. He is not included in the top 15 of the World Boxing Association (WBA), International Boxing Federation (IBF), or the World Boxing Organization (WBO).

He is no doubt at a pivotal point.

Johnson was scheduled to step back into the ring late July on an Uprising Promotions’ (New York-based organization) show, right here in The Bahamas. However, a number of issues developed and it is understood that the proposed show has now been put back once again. The Bahamas Boxing Commission had given clearance for Uprising Promotions to proceed with preparations for the show.

I spoke to Johnson on the occasion of the funeral of the late, great boxing legend Elisha Obed, a few weeks ago, and he seemed excited and ready to resume his once-promising career. The facts are though, his re-entry into competition has been delayed and that does not bode well for the former Olympian and No 4. ranked welterweight amateur boxer in the world.

This marks the second lengthy absence from the ring for Johnson.

After his bruising victory over Irishman Eamonn O’Kane on October 17 of 2015, Johnson did not fight again until March 23 of 2017. He defeated Fabiano Pena to set up the clash with Derevyanchenko.

It is essential that he gets back in action. As an amateur, Johnson had a lengthy and substantive career. He missed a medal in the 2008 Beijing, China Olympics by a whisker and the fate of being matched against a Chinese boxer in the quarter-finals.

I was present and thought Johnson did more than enough to earn the victory, but that did not happen. In China, the edge went to the Chinese fighter.

Johnson utilized excellent boxing skills with a lot of head and shoulder movements to offset his opponents throughout his amateur tenure. As a pro, he evolved into a forward-moving brawler, not overly concerned about taking a few shots in order to get inside and apply punishment to his foes.

He is ferocious and a hard puncher with both hands. However, while he can overpower most, it has been proven that against such as Curtis Stevens and Derevyanchenko it is necessary for him to be more evasive. Because of his brawling style, it is important for Johnson to avoid ring rust that would hamper the timing and accuracy of his punches. He needs to be able to hit his opponents much more often than being the target of heavy blows.

Perhaps, the time has come for Johnson to make a bit of an adjustment to his style.

Whatever though, he needs to get busy. At 34, there is little time to waste.

Hopefully, Uprising Promotions will get sorted out soon and conclude the plans for the proposed show.

(To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at sturrup1504@gmail.com or on Whatsapp at 727-6363).

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