Friday, March 24, 2023  |



Tureano Johnson returns on Vargas-Berchelt undercard


He’s been on the shelf for a long time, too damn long, so Tureano Johnson’s foe in the Saturday comeback fight for the Bahamian middleweight rated number one by the IBF could be in a bit of trouble.

Johnson last fought in October of 2015. A torn right rotator cuff kept him from taking an April 2016 title clash against Gennady Golovkin and so he heads to Saturday with some pent-up energy which could be discharged on foe Antonio Gutierrez on the undercard of a card topped by Francisco Vargas, defending his WBC super feather crown against Miguel Berchelt at Fantasy Springs in Indio, California.

So, how amped is the 32 year old banger, who likes to wing bombs and seeks KOs?

“SUPER AMPED,” he texted me during a Monday exchange.

I asked for his scouting report on the opponent in the comebacker.

“Antonio Gutierrez (is) from Mexico and 22 years old with a record of 23 fights 2 lost 1 draw,” Tureano sad. “He fought Gabriel Rosado last year in the summer. I thought he won that fight. He is a busy puncher and yes it’s a  good start for me after being absent from the ring for a little over a year. Yes, he’s coming to win. I’ve got to stop that.

“Of course, this fight is bigger than him. I’m eyeing my opportunity with the IBF champion (currently Gennady Golovkin). Gutierrez is trying to prevent that from happening!”

So, it’s been not so enjoyable to be out so long, then, after a June 2016 right shoulder surgery?

“It’s been terrible! No…worse!”

So how did he spend the time?

“Home in the Bahamas rehab, on my shoulder. Swimming a lot in the sea,” Johnson said. “Now I’m in Atlanta training with the coach who coached me for my first four fights, Jason Jargonson out of Georgia.

“My last coach died late last year. Tyrone Jones, in July.  It was a shock to me. He was so healthy throughout the whole camp. Jason trained me for the Willie Fortune fight (Feb. 2013) and my last fight.”

OK, so will Saturday show ring rust or a release of pent-up energy?

“Ring rust is not a concern, I’ve been here before many times, sad to say,” he said.  “Time has healed my body and gave me more time to correct the mistakes I made in the past. I am now healthier and even more smart.

“Thus Saturday will be no different but only better than what I’ve given in the past. I like Gutierrez, but he should know: a hungry man is a dangerous man. I’ve been starved for a long time. It hurts even more that I was right there knocking on world championship door!”