After being sidelined more than a year due to a shoulder injury, Bahamian boxer Tureano Johnson (19-1, 13 KOs) is back and is expected to make his return to the ring in late January.

Johnson injured his shoulder in a unanimous decision win over Irishman Eamonn O’Kane on October 17, 2015. With the win, he became the mandatory number one contender for the International Boxing Federation’s (IBF) middleweight title.

However, Bahamian super middleweight champ Johnson further damaged his shoulder just ahead of his scheduled fight with IBF middleweight champ Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin. That fight was set to take place on April 23, but Johnson was forced to pass on it, to undergo surgery.

Johnson, 31, will now make his return on the Francisco Vargas-Miguel Berchelt card, which is scheduled for January 28, at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California.

In a recent interview, Robert Diaz, the head matchmaker for Golden Boy Promotions, said they’re looking forward to getting Johnson back in the ring.

“Tureano’s coming back. He had an injury and he had surgery. He was out on the shelf rehabilitating, but now he’s ready to get back in the picture,” said Diaz. “He’ll have a good fight to test the shoulder to see how he’s doing. And them from there, he’ll take on his position as the IBF mandatory.”

Johnson’s opponent for his return fight hasn’t been named as yet, but according to Diaz, he will be announced in the coming weeks. Johnson was originally set to fight Golovkin (36-0, 33 KOs) on HBO pay-per-view on April 23 of this year, but Johnson was forced to pass on the fight because of the nagging shoulder injury.

Prior to calling off the fight, Johnson said that he was confident he would have been the one to dethrone “Triple G”. He’s hopeful for another opportunity.

“He (Golovkin) is one of the greatest power punchers ever,” said Johnson. “He has the highest knockout percentage in professional boxing, but I have an iron chin, so the challenge is going to be for him to knock me out. That’s a very tough task. I just have to focus. Once I could go in there and be the best Tureano I could be, then it would work in my favor.”

Johnson has won his last five fights, with two coming by way of technical knockout. His only loss was to American Curtis Stevens in 2014.

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