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Pearson up next for Reno

Bahamian middleweight champion returns to training; will fight in November
Bahamian Tureano Johnson is ready to continue his training and is poised to get back in the ring. He is set to fight American Christopher Pearson (15-2-0) in November. TORRELL GLINTON

Now that the two-month subvention delay has been settled, and there is money once again in the kitty, Bahamian Middleweight Champion Tureano ‘Reno’ Johnson is ready to continue his training, and poised to get back in the ring.

Johnson (20-2-0) is set to fight to American Christopher Pearson (15-2-0) in November. It will be his first fight in over a year – ever since a 12th round technical knockout (TKO) loss to Sergiy Derevyanchenko, of Ukraine, in August of 2017.

Johnson returned home to The Bahamas for a week, but will leave on Saturday to resume training at his X3 Sports base in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Now 34, he knows that time is of the essence. He is prepared to take advantage of his opportunities and get back to the top.

“It feels good to be home, but I’m still training and keeping in shape. I’m just trying to stay focused and be ready for this next opportunity. This guy Pearson, he’s a good fighter but he will be defeated. I have a new coach and I feel very confident in the direction I am headed in. I’m more than ready to go. The last fight was a hard one for me, but this time it’s going to be different.”

Johnson said that he wasn’t in the best health at the time of his last fight, and wasn’t receiving the proper advice, but still went against his better judgement and took the fight. As a result, he suffered just his second loss of his professional career and fell all the way to number 15 in the World Boxing Council’s (WBC) Middleweight rankings. The fight against Derevyanchenko was an elimination bout for the number one contender spot for Gennady Golovkin’s title.

Gennady ‘Triple G’ Golovkin is the undefeated WBC and World Boxing Association (WBA) Middleweight Champion. He is set to take on number one contender Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in Paradise, Nevada, this Saturday.

“I believe that ‘Triple G’ is still going to be the guy to go after. He is still my focus, but for the moment, I’m just going to take it one fighter at a time and climb the ranks until I get to where I want to get to,” said Johnson. “I’m calling out all of the top fighters in the world. You are out there and I’m calling you out. I’m ready now.

“Against Derevyanchenko, he just did what he was supposed to do. He came in there to win and that’s what he did, and also I wasn’t at 100 percent. I learned that if I’m not 100 percent, I’m not fighting. I’ve been able to get back up thanks to the grace of God, and now I’m ready to put on a show of my own. I have the strength to get out there and overcome those hurdles. I’m going into the ring at 100 percent this time, and I’m ready to fight.”

After his last loss, Johnson dismissed his coach and training team, and now works out under the direction of Cuban coach Isidoro Nicolas Alice. He fights under the banner of Golden Boy Promotions.

He was scheduled to fight on August 25, but that fight has now been pushed back to November. He said it is likely he could return to the ring at the local boxing show at the end of the month as well, in which Bahamian Super Featherweight Champion Meacher ‘Major Pain’ Major is set to make his last appearance in a boxing ring.

“Right now, I’m number 15 in the world but I don’t look at that as too far down the rankings. With two or three more good fights, I believe that I will be a contender again or simply, a champion.

“It’s a step-by-step process. Once I win this next fight, then I’ll be back in the top 10. From there, it’s all about getting in the top five and then number one and then fighting for a title.

“I learned a whole lot from that last fight, particularly dealing with technique. There are some things that I could do differently in my next fight. Even on the spiritual and mental side, there are some things that I could embrace and learn from for the future.

“Thanks to the Almighty God for all that He has done and all that He continues to do for me. I believe this is my time, and I’m just ready to take that next step.”

Johnson also extends thanks to his family, particularly his parents. Wife and daughter, sponsors K.S. Moses and Food Kingdom Take Away on Carmichael Road, United Faith Ministries International (UFMI) and Apostle Phalmon Ferguson, and others such as his attorney James Thomas, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Sandeep Goud, physiotherapist Cordero Bonamy and strength and fitness trainer Jimmy Norius. Most of all, he thanks the Bahamian people for the continued support that he receives. His manageress and public relations director is his wife Natania Johnson.

“I would just like to see Corporate Bahamas taking a better interest, not just in boxing but in sports in general in this country,” said Johnson. “We’ve come a long way through sports, and there is so much more that we could do. Sports on the whole could combat all of the social ills that we have going on in this country. There are a number of athletes such as myself who are out there doing big things, and we could be so much further with just the right amount of financial support.”

Johnson is appealing to Corporate Bahamas to come on board with him and support his goal of becoming just the second Bahamian to ever win a legitimate world title. He will continue that trek in November when he takes on American Christopher Pearson.

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