Sports

Bahamian champ Johnson ripe for Commonwealth middleweight crown

Tureano Johnson is the Bahamian Middleweight Champion.

Edner Cherry, the long-time solid world campaigner as a lightweight, has retired, and so has super featherweight/lightweight Meacher Major.

Sherman “Tank” Williams, the national heavyweight king, is getting on in age at 47, and there are no other area or world championship calibre boxers (at the moment) carrying the Bahamian flag.

Last week, the Commonwealth Boxing Council (CBC) held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Kent, England, and one of the feature agenda items during the two-day (October 16-17) parley was the selection of contenders for the various weight classes.

Johnson was unanimously selected as one of the top contenders for the CBC Middleweight Championship. The crown is now held by Felix Cash, a native of England, which has become one of the world’s hotbeds for boxing. For the first time in many decades, boxing in England particularly, and the broader United Kingdom, rivals the competitive action in the United States and the rest of North America.

The time is appropriate for Johnson to set his sights on the Commonwealth title. I think he is the best middleweight in the Commonwealth of Nations today. However, at 35, although he looked incredibly good in his last fight, the window of prime years understandably is closing.

At the CBC’s AGM, he was accepted readily, as should have been the case, as one of the prime contenders for Cash’s title, and pun intended, the moment is at hand for Johnson to “cash” in on an opportunity I feel would springboard him to an authentic world championship bout.

In dismantling the previously unbeaten top-ranked Irish Jason Quigley (now 16-1) in his last fight, Johnson was at his best. He has never looked better since turning pro nine years ago. It was a near perfect performance. Johnson’s ring management was excellent. He disrupted Quigley’s strategy and pounded the pride of Ireland into submission.

Johnson is ripe to be showcased on a Commonwealth Boxing Council stage. With a 22-2-1 win-loss-draw record, his ring record is highly marketable. His people should point him in that direction. I think he can win a world title and join the late Elisha Obed (World Boxing Council – WBC – Junior Middleweight Champ), and Freeman Barr (World Boxing Organization – WBO – Middleweight Champ) in that elite circle of Bahamian boxers.

Presently, the CBC avenue is well-suited for Johnson. It would be good if his handlers could network with one or several British promoters, to put Johnson in the elimination process for an ultimate shot at the title.

Johnson sounds as though he is at a very good place regarding his career.

“I’m doing very well. I feel good and I’m just waiting for that big opportunity, but, I have to have patience and take it one step at a time,” said the Bahamian boxing king.

After two disappointing losses, he is back on track and regarded as one of the finest middleweights in the world. A Commonwealth title would be an ideal product to supply leverage for one of the various world title crowns. A Commonwealth title would enhance his growing ring legacy.

Best wishes to the champ, going forward! He just happens to be the most relevant item in local boxing to embellish the national sports brand.

Go Tureano!

• To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at e-mail address sturrup1504@gmail.com or on WhatsApp at (242) 727-6363.

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