Training Camp Check-In: Tureano Johnson



Training Camp Check-In: Tureano Johnson

On Friday, October 30th live on DAZN, we will see undefeated WBO Intercontinental Middleweight Champion Jaime Munguia (35-0) going up against Bahamian Tureano Johnson (21-2-1).

This is a step-up fight for the young Mexican middleweight and it’s sure to be no easy task for him that night.

Looking at this matchup, I checked in with the veteran opponent Tureano Johnson, who is looking to pull an upset special that night.

AG: Tureano, thank you for taking the time out from training camp for this interview. For those that don’t know you, can you give us a BIO blast?

TJ: I am a Bahamian at heart and at will. I’ve been fighting since I was eight years old and I was the smallest out of the five kids my parents had. There were many of us as I was the oldest but the smallest. My cousin Ray Minus Jr fought “Happy” Lora back in the day but he was the commonwealth champion which is a big deal in the Caribbean island. Ray Minus Sr. had invited us to come box so that is how it all started for me. Boxing was on both sides of my family. Growing up from fighting under Ray Minus Jr through the amateurs, represented the Caribbean in many international tournaments. It all lead to the biggest moment in my career which was the 2008 Beijing Olympics. I turned pro in 2010 and it’s been up and down since then.

AG: You mentioned the Olympics and when looking at your BoxRec, your career started later than most fighters these days. Can you tell the readers why?

TJ: In 2004 during the Olympic qualifier, I won the two opening bouts but lost to Vanes Martirosyan in the qualifying round for the Olympics. Going into the second tournament, again I won the first two fights but lost in the qualifying round, this time to Colombia. My team along with Mr. Peter Nygard who was my sponsor at the time, said “Do you wish to stick around longer?” He offered to support and finance me, together with my country who has always been with me. I stayed around a little longer in hopes to get my shot and it came in 2008. If I would have qualified in 2004, I probably would have turned pro at that time.

AG:  Fast forward to recent months with the pandemic and how it’s affected some fighters, while others it has not. How has it affected you, whether positive or negatively?

TJ: I have always felt that human beings are resilient, creative and innovative. We are able to adapt regardless, and I don’t see this as something preventing life from moving on. It’s just been a new change and way of life for me. I’ve seen this as getting our backs pushed up against the wall, but it brings out the best in all of us. It is sad that many lives have been lost because of it. I pray to God that this ends soon.

AG: How did the Munguia fight come about and were you surprised that the fight was presented to you?

TJ: I am a boxer and a boxing fan. I watch how the market in boxing develops and Munguia really had no other choice. If he would have chosen anyone else, it would have been outside of GBP. I think this is the best choice GBP could have made and a smart move. You have two very good fighters and one whom they claim is a gatekeeper. It’s sad that they label fighters like myself a gatekeeper, but I will go with what they give me. When I get in the ring, they will say different. Was I surprised this fight is taking place, not really because I called him out. I told GBP, if you think the kid is that good, then let’s see him swim with a real shark. I’m a true middleweight. Spike O’Sullivan wasn’t a true middleweight.

AG: Where are you holding training camp for this fight on the 30th?

TJ: We have been moving around because of the pandemic in order to get the best training possible. We trained in Florida then Atlanta and now we are in NY. The flying isn’t such a hassle for me. My residence is in the Bahamas and that’s where all of my preliminary training takes place.

AG: You are now 36 years old and in boxing, these types of fights can be somewhat of a crossroads battle. Do you feel as though this fight is a make it or break for you?

TJ: (Laughs) Whether I’m old or young, it will not bring any pressure either way for me. Without a doubt, I’m going to win this fight. Is it make it or break it? Nah, I’m 36 now but next year I’ll turn 34. You guys are getting older as I’m just getting younger. I love the way I live. I live a reserved lifestyle with my wife and daughter.

Tureano along with his wife and Hon. Michael Pintard. Photo Cred:Eric Rose

AG: What are your thoughts on fighting in a crowd-less venue?

TJ:  It is going to make no difference. When there was a crowd, the fans would always boo me anyway. I’m going into the ring to be exciting and beat my opponent up.

AG: Outside of boxing, what are some things that are important to you that your involved in?

TJ: I have a Big Brother Outreach Ministry in the Bahamas. That is near and dear to my heart as I help young men and women, along with my wife, mother and my sister. My sister Kayla was one of the first female boxers in the Bahamas and the first female boxing coach from there. It’s a family system that has been developed for many years, where we help folks from the neighborhood. Now, we have created a foundation that no longer just focuses on boxing but uses it as a base to attract young men and men to help them with their career paths. We work with the hotels and police force in the Bahamas so that we can help hire some of these kids. I want to be able to give them something tangible instead of just talking to them.

AG: For the fans tuning into your fight on Oct 30th, what should they expect from you in the ring?

TJ: Do not be dismayed. Go back and watch my fight with Jason Quigley and you will see my intensity be ten times that on fight night. This kid I’m going up against is a world champion who is very talented and strong. He has youth on his side but come Oct 30th, I’m going to expose his weaknesses and show the world that Tureano Johnson has championship pedigree and not his opponent.

AG: Any last comments you want to make to those reading and where can they follow you on social media?

TJ: I want to give a shout out to AquaPure water company as they sponsor me and my outreach ministries. They help and support us in so many ways. Also, K. Moses Clothing Store in the Bahamas, they also help sponsor both my boxing career and my outreach program. Last but not least, I want to also thank the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism for their support. You can follow me on twitter @tureano1984 and Instagram @tureanojohnson.

My Three Cents:

Jaime Munguia has yet to score that signature win while campaigning at middleweight. Tureano Johnson has had some tough losses and is coming off of a victory over an undefeated fighter. Will the younger Munguia prove to everyone that he can convincingly beat a true middleweight, or will the veteran Johnson prove to be too much for him to handle?

Make sure you tune into DAZN on October 30th and see how this one plays out.

You can follow me on twitter @abeg718 and follow @nyfights on Instagram.

Born and raised in the Bronx, New York City, Abe grew up in a family who were and still are die-hard boxing fans. He started contributing boxing articles to NYF in 2017. Abe through his hard work, has made his way up the ranks and is now the editor at NYFights. He is also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA).