Sports

Johnson’s bout against Russian fighter postponed

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the postponement of the April 4 professional boxing match between Bahamian middleweight boxer Tureano “Reno” Johnson and Russian Magomed Madiev. That fight was set to take place in Moscow, Russia.

Madiev is currently ranked number two by the World Boxing Association (WBA) and Johnson is at number six.

The bout was set to be an elimination bout for the WBA middleweight title.

“I am a little disappointed that the fight would not be taking place, but understanding enough to know that this global pandemic is more than a valid reason to postpone it for a later date,” Johnson said. “I would say I was very confident going into this fight. I prepared and trained vigorously. I studied my opponent like I always do and I was prepared on all aspects – spiritually, emotionally and physically.”

A new date for the fight set has not been set as yet as promoters continue to monitor the coronavirus pandemic.

Johnson said he and his promoters were aware that the bout had to be postponed, but added that they were doing everything they can to make it happen. The postponement was made official a few days ago.

“The fight itself was to be held in Russia. If the borders were not closed, once I arrived along with my team, we would have had to be quarantined for two weeks automatically I would rather be at home than in someone else’s country during this global pandemic – I have to secure my family,” said Johnson.

Despite the fight being postponed, Johnson said he is remaining upbeat about the situation and his spirit is not dampened.

The 36-year-old boxer said he is feeling good – faster and stronger, like he is in his prime years again. He sports a 21-2-1 win-loss-draw record in his career. Out of his 21 wins, 15 were by way of knockout. Madiev is undefeated with 14 wins, no losses and one draw.

Johnson’s last bout was in July 2019 when he battered Irishman Jason Quigley who was undefeated at the time. Quigley retired in the ninth round. Johnson left the match as the North American Boxing Federation (NABF) Middleweight Champion. He was training in Cuba for a few weeks with a coach who trained him earlier in his career. The NABF Middleweight Champion said he was reintroduced to the fundamentals of the sport in Cuba.

“My training was coming along great. The coach there is an elite and world renown coach who has trained many great fighters in the amateur ranks and also professional. He trained me in my amateur years. I’m realizing now that it is ever so vital to intertwine all aspects of boxing to be successful at this particular stage of my life and career,” said Johnson.

As for the pandemic, Johnson said he and his family are following the instructions of the authorities in regard to social distancing and the national curfew. He added that he and his family are God-fearing people and they put their trust in God.

He urged the Bahamian people to pray for the leaders of the country and those on the frontline during this time. Johnson also wants the Bahamian people to keep trusting and believing in God.

The experienced boxer thanked his sponsors, namely Aquapure, Home Fabrics and Food Kingdom for their support. He said he’s also grateful to his family, church family and Bahamians at large for supporting him on his journey.

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