By Dan Ambrose: IBF mandatory challenger Tureano Johnson (19-1, 13 KOs) is waiting in the wings to find out if he’s going to be getting his shot at IBF/IBO/WBA middleweight champion Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin (34-0, 31 KOs) for April 23. You’d have to say right now that the 31-year-old Johnson’s chances of getting the Golovkin fight are very good.
Golovkin and his promoters at K2 Promotions are trying to setup a unification fight with WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders for April, but Saunders is saying that he will not fight Golovkin in the United States. He wants him to come to the UK to take the fight. Additionally, Saunders wants more money than what Golovkin’s management are offering him right now.
Johnson does not see Saunders or Saul “Canelo” Alvarez as being good enough to beat Golovkin. Johnson believes that only he has the talent to give Golovkin his first defeat, and he sees his “Mexican style” of fighting being better than Golovkin’s.
Johnson earned the right to face Golovkin after beating Eamonn O’Kane by a 12 round unanimous decision last October in an IBF 160lb title eliminator at Madison Square Garden in New York. The judges scored the fight 118-108, 117-109 and 119-107. You’ve got to give O’Kane a ton of respect for him being able to make it out of the 1st round of the fight, as he was knocked down twice by Johnson and badly hurt.
O’Kane was able to survive the round and fight reasonably well in the following 11 rounds of the contest. It was pretty one-sided, but O’Kane showed a good chin and was able to finish strong in taking the fight to a tiring Johnson in the last four rounds of the fight. Once Johnson realized that he wasn’t going to be able to KO O’Kane, he slowed his work rate down and this enabled O’Kane to have his moments in the fight.
There are some boxing fans who believe that the 31-year-old Tureano will be a tougher fight for Golovkin than Saunders and Canelo. Tureano can punch and he puts unrelenting pressure on his opponents. Golovkin will need a good chin to withstand the heavy shots that Tureano will be hitting him with when that fight takes place in 2016. Golovkin may be forced to box Tureano if he wants to get the victory, because I’m not sure he’ll be able to best him by slugging it out with him for 12 rounds. That could prove to be the wrong style to use against Tureano.