With just over a week to go before he steps in the ring to compete for the right to fight for a world title, Bahamian professional boxer Tureano Johnson said that his training is going great and that he’s more than ready for his upcoming middleweight bout.
Johnson (20-1, 14 KOs), 33, will take on Sergiy Dervyanchencko in the main event of Premier Boxing Championships card on August 25, at the Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Oklahoma. The fight begins at 9 p.m. and will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1.
“My training has been phenomenal,” said Johnson. “As a matter of fact, this is the first time that my training has escalated to this level.”
Johnson, who suffered a severe shoulder injury in 2015, said he hasn’t had any issues with the shoulder up to this point. He said that he’s been able to put the injury behind him mentally as well, and that he’s moving fluently and without caution.
“I must say, my shoulder has improved in such a way that I’m training and didn’t remember I had an injury until someone asked me about it.”
Johnson returned to the ring for the first time since the injury in March, where he scored a second round knockout over Fabiano Pena. The win was his sixth in a row. Although he closed the fight out early, Johnson said it was tough dealing with conditioning issues due to the long layoff.
“The fight against Pena was truly a difficult task. I tried to take a fight before that but couldn’t make the weight,” he said. “Somehow I was able to gather my bearings and knock him out in the second.”
Johnson, who is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, originally earned a mandatory shot at middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin back in 2015, however the injury forced him to pass up on a fight with Golovkin last year. Because of his extended absence from the ring, the International Boxing Federation (IBF) decided he needed to fight in another title eliminator.
“While I don’t feel that it was entirely fair for me to have to fight again for another title shot, it is the sport of boxing and I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Johnson said. “Taking this challenge is a good move for me. I’m ready.”
Dervyanchencko (10-0, 8 KOs) earned his spot in the title eliminator after a second-round knockout wins over former world titleholder Sam Soliman just over a year ago. Like Johnson, he also fought in March, scoring a fifth-round knockout of previously undefeated Kemahl Russell.
Johnson says that he respects Dervyanchencko’s abilities in the ring, but is confident that he can come out with the win next Saturday.
“He is a formidable opponent. A decorated amateur fighter and a solid professional fighter, I have the utmost respect for him. He will be a tough opponent.
“They say that he has the right style to defeat me, but I beg to differ. I am coming into the ring as a fighter they have never seen and aren’t expecting to see. You will see more jabbing, more movement and much more technical style from me. However, I will still bring that ruthless aggression that I’m known for.”
Johnson thanked his local supporters who have assisted him up to this point, including the Food Kingdom on Carmichael Road, the Ministry of Tourism, Lynden Maycock, Commonwealth Fabrics and the Community Pharmacy.