TO GAUGE just how much of a step up Tureano Johnson represents for Jason Quigley, a look at the only two losses of the Bahamian’s career is in order.
By Chris McNulty in Indio, California
Johnson has lost just twice in 23 fights, although he has won just one-in-three since a lopsided destruction of Dungiven’s Eamonn O’Kane in New York in October 2015.
The 35-year-old (20-2-1, 14KOs) has been beaten by genuine world level opponents in the form of Curtis Stevens and Sergiy Derevyanchenko.
He dominated Stevens for nearly ten rounds, but was halted by a controversial final round stoppage in 2014, while Johnson was stopped by Derevyanchenko in 2017 in an eliminator for the IBF middleweight title.
Johnson was ready to take on a former sparring mate of Quigley in David Lemieux last December. Johnson-Lemieux was due to be the co-main event of the Canelo-Rocky Fielding card at Madison Square Garden, but severe dehydration saw Lemieux withdraw from the bout.
When Johnson returned to the ring in February, it was for a disappointing draw against Fernando Castaneda at Fantasy Springs.
“I overlooked my last opponent somewhat and we didn’t train correctly for that fight so I have made sure that I don’t make that mistake again,” Johnson says.
“Things have been a lot different since then and I have taken the necessary steps to win this fight.
“We took the last fight on short notice and I was nowhere near my best but this fight will be like watching a different fighter I can promise you that.”
Quigley (16-0, 12KOs) puts his NABF middleweight strap on the line when he faces Johnson in the headline fight of a card at Fantasy Springs on Thursday night.
The belt was won via a unanimous decision win over Glen Tapia in March 2017 before he defended it with a UD verdict following a tough ten-round scrap with Freddy Hernandez last October.
Johnson has not been shy about talking up his chances.
He says: “I am very excited to have the opportunity to fight Jason Quigley
“Quigley is an excellent boxer with an excellent record, but I will come to the fight prepared to give and to take. I will give him his first loss and take his NABF belt.
“Quigley is a dangerous opponent, he can really fight, but I am excited about this fight as it’s going to be a great fight for the fans and one that I believe I will win in an entertaining fashion.”
Johnson cut through O’Kane at Madison Square Garden in one of the support bouts to a meeting between Lemieux and Kazakh king Gennady Golovkin. Quigley was a spectator in the audience as Johnson eased past O’Kane to earn a mandatory shot at Golovkin, who stopped Lemieux in the eighth round.
A shoulder injury, sustained during his clash with O’Kane, forced Johnson out of a meeting with Golovkin. That Johnson was even ready to go toe-to-toe with Golovkin is enough to outline the levels he’s been at.
Johnson has worked with Andre Rozier as he looks to give Quigley the first loss of his pro career.
He says: “I am very fit, I feel far better conditioned for this fight than I have in the past as I have taken a more scientific approach to training for this fight. I have felt a massive change and I feel that I will show a different and a far better version of myself on July 18.
“I found a really good balance for this camp and that is where I am getting my confidence from. People still haven’t seen the best of Tureano Johnson and I believe they will see it against Jason Quigley.”Tags: