Friday, Dec 13, 2019
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Johnson faces tough test tonight against Quigley

The odds are against Tureano Johnson.

The Bahamian middleweight champion has not won a fight since March of 2017. He has fought twice in two years, resulting in a technical knockout loss (against Sergiv Derevyanchenko of the Ukraine) and a draw (against Fernando Castaneda of Mexico).

With lightweight boxer Edner Cherry retired, and Sherman “Tank” Williams at the ending portion of a significant career, Johnson is the biggest name active for The Bahamas in professional boxing.

The truth be told, his career could be on the line if he doesn’t look good against the undefeated Jason Quigley (16-0) tonight at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California. No, it’s not “do or die” for the 35-year-old Johnson, but clearly, he needs to rebound. His career badly needs a bounce, and Quigley, the Irishman, shapes up as a tough test for Johnson.

Johnson could do with a win. It’s that simple. His market value has dropped considerably over the last two years. Johnson was once a top-10 rated boxer.

Can he get back to where he was, and earn a world title fight?

Frankly, his career is up in the air. He is not a spring chicken and would do well to come up with a performance tonight to convince Oscar de la Hoya, the maestro of Golden Boys Promotion, that he is a product that can sell seats. Johnson was a marvelous amateur boxer. He was the class of the Caribbean before he turned pro. He is prominent in the circle of the finest Bahamian amateur boxers, which includes Nat Knowles, the first Bahamian to be victorious during the Olympic Games and the pioneer medal winner for the country in boxing; and Commonwealth Games medal winners Steve “The Heat” Larrimore, Carl Hield and Valentino Knowles.

Johnson has been an excellent sports ambassador and will be counted on, no doubt, in the future to continue contributing to national sports development through boxing.

What of his active ring career though? He will certainly have a good idea of where his career is headed following tonight’s match against Quigley. Hopefully, he will be successful and revive his career. If not, then the time for soul searching will be at hand.

Johnson has compiled 20 victories, 14 by knockout, to go with two defeats and the draw. At 5’10”, he is three inches shorter than Quigley, but has the reach advantage 73-1/2 to 71-1/2. They are both basic orthodox boxers and seem evenly matched. Quigley has recorded 12 knockouts among his wins. He has power.

A convincing win on either side could mean a big step toward at least an elimination match for one of the various world titles.

Go Tureano!

• To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at e-mail address or on WhatsApp at (242) 727-6363.

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