by RENALDO DORSETT
Just a day away from his debut with Roc Nation Boxing, Tureano Johnson is prepped for what he called the most important fight of his career.
Johnson will defend his WBC Continental Americas middleweight title and fight for the WBC Silver middleweight championship and the vacant WBA International middleweight championship on January 9 in Madison Square Garden against Alex Theran.
The ten-round bout will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1.
“Holding the WBC Silver title, which is one of the titles that we are fighting for – that is a prestigious title. It is a title that will enable you to fight the no. 1 contender or the world championship. So yes indeed, this is the biggest step of my life. This is the most important fight of my life and this I don’t take lightly,” Johnson said in a conference call promoting the card, “In this fight the fans can expect to see the most explosive Tureano Johnson they have ever seen before. This is a big fight for me personally.
It is going to tell me just where I am at in the boxing world – whether I will be a world champion.”
At 17-1 (KO 12), the 30-year-old Johnson, is currently ranked at No.9 in the WBC and No.12 in the World Boxing Organisation.
He will face Theran, a native Colombian native who also sports a 17-1 (KO 10) record.
“Yes we did a lot of research and we are doing more research on my opponent. He is a boxer / puncher but doesn’t like to mix it up so much but can if he gets the opportunity. My plan when I get into the ring is to pretty much out-box him,” Johnson said, “I like to go in here and I like to bang to try to get the knockout. We want to bring more spice to my boxing technique. I am a boxer also and I am going to try to use a little more technique that I have learned over the years. Many folks haven’t seen me do much boxing and not many have even seen me use the jab. You should see more graceful boxing inside the ring on Friday night. But my whole intention is that if I get the opportunity, I am going to knock him out.”
Michael Buffer will be the ring announcer and Gus Johnson blow-by-blow alongside Rich Morotta. Special guests at the fight include JAY Z, Rihanna, Carmelo Anthony, CC Sabathia, Victor Cruz, Sam Dew, Sentigold, Melany Fiona. Wardell and Big Sean.
Johnson said the addition to the Roc Nation Sports lineup will bring a new level of exposure to his career.
“While with Gary Shaw as my promoter he has been very generous to allow me to fight on many occasions even fighting back in the Bahamas. Now with the merger of Roc Nation and Gary Shaw, leaves me with phenomenal possibilities. It is the biggest move in the boxing world today,” he said, “I think with the publicity with Jay Z and Roc Nation, they are out there with all of the sports and all of the entertainment they are going to grab a lot of attention as well as with Gary Shaw and his knowledge in boxing. I believe it is the most dynamic move in my life – the merger being complete and actually happening.”
Theran has had strong words for Johnson, questioning his skill in the ring.
“I am very excited and very motivated. I know this is a very important fight here in New York and I am very well prepared,” Theran said, “I am very well prepared and know that he will come at me with big punches. I am ready for the strong rounds and it is going to be a very entertaining fight. I notice that his technique lacks. I saw he is a slow mover compared to me – I am very quick.”
The lone blemish on Johnson’s record is loss to Curtis Stevens back in April, an experience that Johnson said has made him a better fighter.
“The fight in itself was a disaster. It crashed and burned, the biggest accident that ever happened in my life. What has it done for me lately? There is no doubt it still leaves a bitter taste in my mouth but indeed it has made me more eager and given me more energy. But it has also given t=me the energy to say ‘you know what Tureano? You are not from the United States. You may reside here and live here as an American but the fact is you are not fighting in your backyard so every time I fight expect no one to be on my side. My whole intention is to go in there with blood in my eye. I want to make a dominant decision, winning every single round if it has to go to a decision but my goal is to knock out my opponent and not leaving anything to the judges. So yes, I am more eager and determined, and I say again, I have blood in my eyes and I will never again be gassed out inside the ring,” he said, “I am going to be three times the Tureano I was in the Curtis Stevens fight. In fact, if you look at me now compared to when I fought Curtis Stevens, I was a nice boy. This time Tureano is going to come out meaner, stronger, more faster, more smarter, more slicker. I am going to come out even more dangerous and the fans can expect an exciting fight. Non-stop, fist throwing, and sorry to say, it is going to be a nasty, blood-shedding kind of fight and I will agree on that one