Sports

Reno set to fight Munguia for WBO Intercontinental title

Bahamian middleweight boxer Tureano “Reno” Johnson will get a shot at World Boxing Organization (WBO) Intercontinental Middleweight Champion Mexican Jaime Munguia on Friday, October 30, at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, in Indio, California. The fight will be exclusively broadcastlive on DAZN Network. Both boxers are under the Golden Boy Promotions tag. It is scheduled to be a 12-round battle, and there will be no fans in attendance. This announcement comes after weeks of not having a confirmed date or place as to when the Bahamian would have been back in the ring. The location is the venue where Golden Boy Promotions staged the first fight after the COVID-19 pandemic ceased sports worldwide in March.

“First, I just want to give the Almighty God thanks, God has been good and this opportunity is all because of him. It’s been difficult going through camp without a confirmed date, even more difficult with expenses looming, not certain if you’ll be able to handle those bills for training. Now that I finally have a date, I can now ask for assistance from those wishing to invest and partner with team Tureano Johnson,” the Bahamian pugilist stated.

The last time Johnson fought was back in July 2019 when he pummeled undefeated Irishman Jason Quigley to win the North American Boxing Federation (NABF) Middleweight Championship belt. Quigley’s corner stopped the fight in the ninth round. Ironically, he is going after another title at the same location, looking to make it two titles in his last two fights.

“As with any awards, a belt is just another medal for me, a hardware, but the meaning of that belt puts me one step closer to my destiny of becoming a world champion,” he said. “Doing it again in California is a bit of an issue for me. I really wish it could have been home. Nonetheless, I’m going to take care of business come fight night.”

Johnson said he is focusing on the four major titles -– WBO, World Boxing Council (WBC), World Boxing Association (WBA) and International Boxing Federation (IBF) middleweight. Johnson said if he wins this fight, that will catapult him as the number one contender for all four of those major titles. He believes he can win all of them.

Johnson is focused on the task at hand. He sports a 21-2-1 win-loss-draw record, with 15 knockouts. Like Quigley, Munguia comes into this matchup as the champion and is undefeated. His record stands at 35-0, with 28 of those coming by way of knockout.

There is a 13-year age difference between the two fighters, with Johnson at age 36 and Munguia at age 23. Johnson is unranked in the WBO but his opponent is the number one contender. In the WBC latest rankings, the Bahamian is ranked at number six, and four spots higher is the Mexican at number two.

Munguia vacated his junior middleweight belts after moving up to the middleweight division in January of this year. He is a strong puncher, as evident with his knockout record.

“We are going up against a dangerous world champion. Munguia is a strong puncher – a knockout master they call him. All that makes me even more eager to square off against him. I am ready for this fight as a fighter, and as a fan, I can’t wait to see this fight. It’s going to be non-stop action for as long as it lasts,” Johnson said.

This was not the fight that Johnson initially wanted. Back in August, he said wanted to go up against Mexican Canelo Alvarez, the WBC Franchise Middleweight Champion and the WBA Super Middleweight Champion, who is regarded as the current pound-for-pound world champion.

Johnson is now in Atlanta, Georgia, training after a short stint in Florida. He will head to Brooklyn, New York, to continue training. His training intensity has increased, from two times per day to four times per day. He and his team are looking good, Johnson said. They have wrapped up strength training and are moving into the next phase – sprints.

Before he went to Florida and Georgia to train, Johnson was on New Providence training in the midst of restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic – something he called “different”. He said he experienced a number of setbacks in getting back in the gym in May when professional athletes were allowed to resume training. Eventually, he returned to the gym after finally getting access to the national boxing facility.

Johnson thanks his support system that includes his wife, daughter, mother, father, other relatives and friends and the entire Bahamas. He mentioned Apostle Phalmon Ferguson, Minister of Social Services and Urban Development Frankie Campbell, Aquapure and K.S. Moses as some of his biggest supporters.

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Simba French

Simba joined The Nassau Guardian in 2012 as a technical producer for Guardian Radio 96.9 FM. He joined the Editorial Department as a sports reporter in 2018. Simba has covered a wide range of sports stories, including the 2018 CARIFTA in Nassau, Bahamas. Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism

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