It was not the way Bahamian middleweight boxer Tureano “Reno” Johnson envisioned his year to end, but on doctor’s orders, he had to cancel his December 20 World Boxing Association (WBA) contendership elimination bout against Russian Magomed Madiev at the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona, USA.
Johnson (21-2-1, 14 KOs), who is ranked number 10 in the WBA, suffered a grade one hamstring injury, and consequently, had to call off the fight.
“The fight was canceled due to a first-grade hamstring strain. My doctor thought it would be in my best interest to turn down the fight – get adequate rest along with some therapy,” said Johnson.
Madiev (14-0-1) is ranked at number four in the WBA. Johnson and Madiev are currently looking at another fight date.
The Bahamian pugilist said it was not the best feeling as that is his livelihood. However, he said he doesn’t regret the decision.
“Well, this is how I pay my bills,” said Johnson. “Training also cost a great deal, that’s how important it was not to take that fight. Had I taken it and looked bad, lost, or even worst get injured, that would work against me. It is now that every fight must be fought with the best chance of winning.”
Johnson said he had already studied his opponent and was mentally prepared for the fight. This year has been a good one for him. He was victorious against previously unbeaten Irishman Jason Quigley back in July to win the North American Boxing Federation (NABF) middleweight title.
“This year was a good year for me after a long hiatus from the ring. I was able to make a return from multiple injuries. Winning the North American Boxing Federation middleweight title against Jason Quigley, an undefeated champion, was a milestone accomplishment for me. That fight meant I had something to prove and I did just that. I made it clear that I am still relevant in the middleweight division,” Johnson said.
For the fight against Quigley, Johnson said his camp was focused on condition. He added that he did not have enough funding to have a great camp for the proposed fight against Madiev like what he had for the Quigley fight.
Looking forward to next year, he said he is looking to challenge more top 10 boxers and wants to be the unified middleweight champion.
“In the upcoming year we are going to achieve our goal as the unified middleweight champion,” Johnson said. “We are challenging all top 10 middleweight champions. We want them all. I feel stronger, faster and you can tell I’m not smarter. I am forever grateful and thankful to God for giving me the strength and ability to be able to box.”
The NABF champion thanked his wife Natania Johnson, daughter Tatiana Johnson, his father Irwin Johnson and his mother Ikenna Johnson for supporting his dream. He thanked his other family members and his church family for their support.
He also thanks his numerous sponsors for backing him. Johnson said he is also very appreciative of the Bahamian public for supporting him over the years.