With three international belts now in his possession, Tureano ‘Reno’ Johnson feels like the only one missing is a world title.
At Madison Square Gardens in New York City Friday night, Johnson pounded Colombian Alex Theran into submission in the fifth round to capture both the World Boxing Association’s International and the World Boxing Council’s Silver middleweight belts to the WBC Continental Americas belt he won over Mike Gavronski at the Little Creek Casino Resort in Shelton, Washington, on July 11.
For Johnson, who improved his record to 18-1 with 13 knockouts, the magnitude of his accomplishment has not quite sunk in yet.
“This isn’t something to be taken lightly,” said Johnson as he was greeted by government officials yesterday on his arrival home at the VIP Lounge of the Lynden Pindling International Airport.
He was met by Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Dr Daniel Johnson, Director of Sports Tim Munnings and Kevin Colebrooke, senior sports officer.
#“Right now I’m in the top five best fighters in the world. I’m getting ready to fight a world champion and so I’m just overwhelmed. I’m thrilled. I just have to continue to remain humble and give God thanks because this is bigger than myself.”
Johnson, 30, dropped 24-year-old Theran on the canvas a couple times. Johnson banked all the early rounds, pushing Theran to his pain limit with devastating right hooks that seemed to land at nearly every occasion with Johnson pulling off the victory in an official time of 0:01 in round 6.
As Theran began to slow down past the third round, Johnson unleashed a barrage of body punches that forced Theran to take a knee.
Much of the same ensued shortly after the opening bell of the fifth round as Johnson, sensing that victory was near, targeted the body once more and landed a suspicious hook to the waist of Theran that forced him down once more.
That was the last of the action as Theran was unable to make it out of his corner to start the sixth round under the advice of the ringside doctor. The official reason was that Theran had broken his ankle and could not continue.
“The fight never really goes according to plan, but hey, the whole deal was that we won the fight,” he said. “I was hoping for a clean, clear knockout, but unfortunately for my opponent, I was too overwhelming for him and he couldn’t continue so he opted not to get knocked out and just quit.”
After getting high marks from the commentators throughout the live broadcast on national television, Johnson said it’s his time to shine.
“I’m in a season of winning right now,” said Johnson, who recovered from his controversial 10th round decision to American Curtis Stevens on April 4 at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to secure his fourth straight victory. “As my pastor has mentioned, the world, not just the Bahamas anymore, can see just what Tureano has to offer. They see my potential, so I’m just getting ready to go out there and do what I do best and continue to please the fans and ultimately give God thanks.”
Before he was escorted to visit his alma mater at CV Bethel, Johnson said he was thrilled to be home to celebrate with the Bahamian people, especially in Pinewood Gardens where his family resides and he grew up. He said he’s so confident after this victory that he will have many more when he eventually becomes a world champion, very soon.
Not only does he hold three belts, but Johnson is now ranked at No. 8 in the WBC, No. 12 in the WBA and No. 12 in the IBF. Not bad for a fighter, who turned pro in 2010 after he missed out on getting a medal at the Olympic Games in what was one of the most productive amateur careers by a Bahamian.
#As significant as all three are in his progress, Johnson decided not to single out one over the other.
#“I like all of my belts,” he said. “I guess I will have to sit down and look at all of them. I haven’t had the opportunity yet. We just won the fight and I want to stay on that high horse for a while. I’m going to take a look at the titles later on.”
And while he does that, Johnson said he may be looking at his next possible fight in March in California and he will get a chance to appear again on one of the big networks, HBO, ESPN or Showtime because they all believe that he’s one of the most exciting fighters on the stage right now.
“I’m welcoming it and I am grateful that I’m making it this high in the sport of boxing,” he said. “I’m just doing my Christian duty right now, which is to show young men and young women that they don’t have to go through the life of crime. There are a lot more accolades and respect when you do something honest.”
#As for his return to the Bahamas after having his first pro fight here on December 14 when he stopped another Colombian Humberto Toledo at the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium, Johnson said his management team, led by Gary Shaw, are looking at the possibility of getting him to return here very soon.
“My manager, Jay Z, along with Gary Shaw, are looking forward to making something big here in the Bahamas,” Johnson said.
And as an ambassador for the Bahamas, Johnson said he knew he was on that mission from the time he started boxing as an amateur at the age of seven.
“It’s an honour and a privilege and I will continue to give honour to my country, the Bahamas, which I feel is the best country in the world,” he said.
But for all of his success and even his disappointments, Johnson said he could not have done it without the support of his family, including Ray Minus Sr, who actually discovered him, just like he did Elisha Obed.
“It is unbelievable what my Bahamian people have been doing for me,” he said. “I just want to say I give God thanks for them.”
After such a convincing victory in the ring on Friday night, Johnson said he’s now thankful to God that he is home so the Bahamian people can celebrate with him.