Sports

Tureano eyes Canelo Alvarez

Bahamian middleweight boxer Tureano “Reno” Johnson is known for wanting to take on the big bouts and it is no surprise that he wants to go after Mexican boxer Saúl “Canelo” Alvarez sometime this year.

Johnson revealed this in an interview with Golden Boys’ reporter Jess Rosales in her special feature of him on “Catching up in quarantine with Tureano Johnson”.

“I believe I am the best option for Canelo,” said Johnson. “I don’t believe in any sense of the word, a champion, that any one of those other guys can stand with Canelo. I believe that they are all going in there for that money and they are not going to give an extraordinary show. You put Tureano inside that ring and I will fight my heart out because that is what I do best. I am a passionate man as a fighter but I am an even greater fan of boxing.

“You have seen me fight and when I bring it, I bring it all and I am going to leave it all inside that ring. You give me Canelo, you give me that opportunity to step into the ring with Canelo Alvarez, you will get non-stop action and an explosive fight. You give those other fighters – and to be honest, I have seen them in recent times and a lot just lay down. Tureano isn’t laying down; I am coming to fight.”

The Bahamian last stepped into the ring in July of 2019 when he took on defeated Irishman Jason Quigley. With that win, his record now stands at 21-2-1 (win/loss/draw). He won 15 of those bouts by way of knockout.

In the World Boxing Association (WBA) middleweight rankings, the former Olympic boxer is ranked at number six.

Alvarez is more experienced, fighting 56 bouts and winning 53 of those fights – with 36 of those by way on knockout, losing one and two finishing in a draw. He holds the WBA Super Middleweight title.

When asked by Rosales as to who he wants to fight if he gets the call now, a confident Johnson replied: “If this phone rings right now, I am hoping that this call would be Canelo Alvarez saying, ‘Tureano, get ready. September 12 we are going to collide in Las Vegas.’ And I will say, ‘September 12 can’t come any sooner’.”

September 12 is the date that Canelo is set to fight but an opponent has not been chosen as yet.

Johnson said that although he is a prized fighter, he is looking to leave a legacy because when the legacy is established, the money will follow. He also stated that he is not like those fighters who are looking for that opportunity as a big payday.

During this COVID-19 pandemic, a number of athletes had no clue when they were going to compete again. That can put a damper on their passion for the sport, but that was not the case for Johnson.

“First of all, I am a Bahamian,” Johnson said. “We have only had one world champion and that was Elijah Obed, who was a world champion almost 40 years ago. I have the weight of my country on my back. I have my wife and my daughter whom I have to provide for. I have my family who looks up to me. I have myself and I could not live a day in my life knowing that I had the opportunity and I missed it.

“My focus right now is to be a world champion, put that belt around my waist. It makes me a bit irate to listen to fans say John Ryder, Callum Smith and Jermall Charlo deserve a shot. To me, all of those guys are paper champions – put me in a ring with them and I would dispose of them easily.”

During the first wave of the pandemic, Johnson was still working out, even before the Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis gave the approval for professional athletes to resume their training beyond their neighborhoods back in May. Johnson said he is able to spend some quality time with his wife and daughter during this time of the pandemic, and he is grateful for that.

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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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