Lem’s latest: Taureano Johnson eyes ‘throw-back fight’ vs. Curtis Stevens



Unbeaten middleweight prospect Tureano Johnson expects "a throw-back fight" against former title challenger Curtis Stevens, who will be after his second straight knockout win on the undercard of the Steve Cunningham-Amir Mansour heavyweight fight on April 4.

"To all the fans, don't miss this fight on NBC Sports. I'm sure it is going to be a throw-back fight," said Johnson, whose bout with Stevens will be part of the NBC Sports Network’s Fight Night series from the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, Pa.

"It has been said that I'm not the most 'technical' fighter out there. Well it's true. I like to mix it up, throw hard punches, and get a little barbaric in the ring. I'm coming to fight and win impressively. After April 4, I know I will get the fights I deserve."

In his last fight in January, Stevens (26-4, 19 knockouts) scored a 46-second knockout over Patrick Majewski to rebound from November's eighth-round stoppage loss to WBA 160-pound titleholder Gennady Golovkin. Prior to facing Golovkin, Stevens, who is promoted by Main Events, had been on a run of four wins that included three first-round knockouts.

"I respect Curtis Stevens," said Johnson, who turned 30 last month. "He is a strong, hard-punching fighter who has been in with the best. But he can't and won't beat me."

Promoted by Gary Shaw, Johnson is 14-0 with 10 knockouts, and was last in the ring for a unanimous decision over Willie Fortune in February 2013.

"On April 4, the world will be introduced to Tureano Johnson. This has been a long, hard road for me filled with blood, sweat, and ruthless determination," said Johnson.

"I have been begging for this opportunity to pit my skills against the so-called best in my division. However, it is easier said than done in this world of boxing. No one would fight me until now."



First, heavyweight Malik Scott went to his Twitter account to deny taking a dive against Deontay Wilder, then, the winner, himself, argued in support of his 96-second knockout victory on March 15 in Puerto Rico.

Wilder's trainer, Jay Deas, is the latest to weigh in on the victory by his fighter, going as far as to compare Wilder's left hook to Scott's temple to that landed by Mike Tyson during a second-round stoppage of Trevor Berbick to become the heavyweight champion of the world in November 1986.

Click here for Tyson's knockout of Berbick.

"There is a 41-second video on YouTube you can link to it, so people don't have to watch Tyson's entire fight with Berbick. Note that Berbick injured his leg on the way down. That's why he kept falling. It was a combination of the equilibrium shot and being dizzy and the leg injury," said Deas, in an e-mail to

Click here for Wilder's knockout of Scott

"Now watch Maliks leg. Same thing.  His leg is haywire when he goes down, and he would have fallen again had the referee not grabbed him. Same as Berbick. This leg injury on the way down is indicative of a short circuit up top. You don't voluntarily injure your leg that way. That's a short circuit. Look at both of them. I'm right."

In victory over Scott, Wilder (31-0, 31 KOs) became the mandatory challenger to the winner of the May 10 Bermane Stiverne-Chris Arreola rematch.

A unanimous decision winner over Arreola in April 2013, Stiverne will meet him again at the Galen Center, University of Southern California, Los Angeles with the vacant WBC heavyweight title up for grabs.

Wilder is part of a tournament-like chase for the WBC's belt that includes a second-mandatory ordered by the WBC between unbeaten fighters Bryant Jennings and Mike Perez. The Jennings-Perez winner will face that between Wilder and the victor of the Stiverne-Arreola matchup.


Photo / Tom Casino-SHOWTIME