Interviews

Interview | Tureano Johnson Wants the Toughest Fights

Roc Nation Throne Boxing Open Media Workout - Marilyn Paulino (2)
Photo by Marilyn Paulino/RBRBoxing

Boxing is a means to provide for my family, a way to make my country proud. I fight because it’s what I was born to do.”

Tureano Johnson (18-1-0, 13 KOs) provided the most exciting action of the night when he stopped Alex Theran in the fifth round of a one-sided fight to open Roc Nation Sports‘ first ever televised boxing event back on January 9, 2015.

His performances in 2014 were impressive as well, winning three out of four fights. His only loss came at the hands of Curtis Stevens, a controversial last-round stoppage in a fight that Johnson was up on all three scorecards.

“I have no grudge or beef with Curtis. I have a big beef with the referee.  Curtis didn’t stop the fight, the referee did… That being said I know I won that fight.  I would love a rematch,” Johnson told Round By Round Boxing this week.

Johnson grew up on the island of Nassau in the Bahamas. He started fighting at the age of seven when his Mother’s second cousin, Ray Minus Sr., put him and his two younger siblings, Brandon and Kayla, in a boxing ring for the first time.

Johnson was physically smaller than his younger siblings, but stood out to Minus, a former boxer himself who had previously discovered Bahamian former Middleweight champion Elisha Obed.

Johnson is slowly building a following among boxing fans on social media, who consistently praise him for his entertaining style. Not afraid to brawl from the inside and constantly applying pressure to his opponents.

“My fighting style is a mixture of variety and styles. A Mexican style, which can wear you down and an American style that can get away with speed. That’s what I am still working on now.”

We asked Johnson if he’d compare his style of fighting to anybody from boxing’s past.

“I do try to mimic Joe Frazier, Marvin Hagler and Mike Tyson. Those are some of the fighters I adore and whose styles I follow.”

Johnson struck lightning in a bottle when Gary Shaw Productions merged with hip-hop artist Jay-Z’s, Roc Nation Sports. Johnson, along with fellow boxers Andre Ward, Bryant Jennings, and Dusty Hernandez-Harrison among others, now have an opportunity to fight for an up-and-coming promotional company with plenty of money and exposure.

“I’m very happy to be signed by Roc Nation. I was a little nervous at first because this sport usually eats up new promoters, but Jay-Z is one of the biggest superstars in the world. There are a lot of boxing people running the show with lots of experience. The biggest difference with Roc Nation is the size of the stage, I really don’t see money being an issue and I think they are going to get big TV dates.” – Tureano Johnson

RBRBoxing talked to Johnson about some of the big fights that are signed for the near future. Fights like Wladimir Klitschko vs. Bryant Jennings (a stablemate of Johnson’s), Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs. James Kirkland and even possibly Lucas Matthysse vs. Ruslan Provodnikov, which is currently being negotiated, are all big cards coming to HBO that will need exciting undercard fights.

“All of those cards sound great, I’d love to fight on the Matthysse vs. Provodnikov card if it gets made. Like I said on Twitter, if HBO puts me and David Lemieux on that undercard it may be the most violent, entertaining night of boxing in a long time,” said Johnson.

He went on to talk about how HBO contacted Roc Nation Sports and asked if he would be open to fighting Lemieux.

“My answer was an immediate YES! But we haven’t heard back since, maybe Lemieux has cold feet. This fight has so much potential, I want the fans to want it and demand it,” exclaimed Johnson.

Roc Nation Sports - Throne Boxing - Marilyn Paulino (29)

We asked Johnson about some other names who he would be interested in fighting in the future. He didn’t hesitate to mention the biggest and toughest guys in the division.

“I would say my top three targets are Lemieux, GGG and Peter “Chicken” (Peter Quillin). I see a fight with Lemieux as an elimination fight for GGG. Lemieux says he’s not afraid, so let’s get in there and mix it up. The winner would be a legitimate threat to GGG. I would break Lemieux down and take his soul, and GGG is the best fighter in the division and obviously I want to fight the best.  As for Quillin, it’s become personal even though we don’t know each other. He needs a lesson on how to behave as a professional boxer, he should apologize to the fans. If you want to be a businessman, go to business school. I’m a fighter, and I need to teach him a lesson.” – Tureano Johnson

Johnson shows great respect for current WBA and IBO Middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, who’s been knocking out any opponent willing to step in the ring with him in recent years. The problem for Golovkin is a lot of the high profile fighters in the 160-pound division, like Miguel Cotto or Quillin, have no desire to risk taking a fight with him.

“GGG reminds me right now of the situation with old Mike Tyson opponents who were scared when they walked in the ring. I won’t back down. I’ll still come forward, I don’t know any other way,” said Johnson.

As far as moving up in weight, Johnson made it clear that he’s comfortable at 160 and has a lot of business to take care of there.

If you haven’t seen Johnson fight before, you should make it a priority to do so. He’s an exciting, easy to watch contender in a division that is getting richer and richer.

Now with the help of Roc Nation Sports, he’ll certainly obtain the exposure and be given the opportunity to move up the ranks. Earning himself a potential big pay day and possibly even a title shot.

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