Wednesday, March 22, 2023  |


Tureano Johnson-Sergey Derevyanchenko set for Aug. 25


One one will sink and one will swim in the middleweight pool on August 25 as Tureano Johnson, the Bahamas-born hitter under the Golden Boy umbrella, will fight Lou DiBella’s Russian contender Sergey Derevyanchenko in an IBF middleweight title-shot eliminator.

Golden Boy President Eric Gomez told us the fight is a go.

Gennady Golovkin holds the IBF strap; he will put it on the line in September against Canelo Alvarez. Johnson is rated No.1 by the New Jersey-based sanctioning body and the Russian is slotted No. 2.

Johnson is a hammerfist type who had been on a track to a title shot, but he injured his arm while in talks with Golovkin early in 2016 and needed rehab time. The 33-year-old holds a 20-1 (14 knockouts) mark, and last gloved up in March, scoring a stoppage over journeyman Fab Pena. Derevyanchenko is “just” 10-0 as a pro but got ample experience in the pro-am WSB; he has 8 KOs and a finisher mentality when he smells blood.

This is truly a collision course to a smackdown; the styles guarantee a rumble.

Derevyanchenko is one of DiBella’s stable of Russian imports. Another had a title shot scheduled, but Avtandil Khurtsidze was busted by authorities and accused of being in Russian organized crime weeks before he was set to challenge BJ Saunders on July 9.

The New York-based promoter won a purse bid, he acknowledged to us.

Johnson, who splits his time between the Bahamas and Florida, told us he’s super enthused about the opportunity. No TV has yet been set, but, he said, “I’m not stressed about that, I just want to fight. A legit fight with a legit opponent. Sergey is a good fighter, good at just about everything he does. I think this is a bit a step up in opponent.”

Good point; same might be said for him.

Readers, this is one to circle on the calendar — good style mashup. Your thoughts?