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Johnson scores victory over Fabiano Pena
  • International Boxing Federation (IBF) mandatory No. 1 contender Tureano Johnson scored a second round TKO over Fabiano Pena on Thursday night in Golden Boy Boxing's debut on ESPN.

Guardian Sports Reporter

Published: Mar 25, 2017

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Bahamian boxer Tureano Johnson (20-1, 14 KOs) maintained his position as the mandatory number one contender for the International Boxing Federation’s (IBF) middleweight title last night, as he scored a second round knockout victory over Fabiano Pena (16-7-1, 13 KOs) on the undercard of Golden Boy Boxing’s debut on ESPN.

The match against Pena was Johnson’s first fight back since tearing the rotator cuff in his right shoulder in 2015. He was supposed to make his return to the ring last month in a bout against Antonio Gutierrez, however, the fight was scrapped after Johnson didn’t make weight for the middleweight division, and his opponent turned down a deal from Johnson’s team and walked away from the fight.

Against Pena on Thursday, Johnson put together a solid performance on his opponent, who hit the mat twice during the second round. Pena’s corner elected to stop the fight during the second round, awarding Johnson the technical knockout at the 2:38 mark.

“I was pretty anxious to enter the ring after such a long absence, but I was reminded by my team that I am the IBF #1 ranked middleweight contender,” said Johnson. “Being absent for so long for my rotator cuff was not ideal, and I know that injuries happen, but now that we got this fight out of the way and we shook out the nerves a bit.

“I am ready to take on the big guys out there and demonstrate that I am still someone to fear in this division.”

According to a recent release from the IBF, that it is waiting on the outcome of the bout between Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin and Danny Jacobs next month before stipulating the winner has to then compete against his number one contender in Johnson.

“We expect the winner of Gennady Golovkin versus Daniel Jacobs to do the IBF mandatory next,” said IBF Chairman Lindsey Tucker.

Johnson earned the mandatory contender spot after he defeated Eamonn O’Kane on October 17, 2015 at Madison Square Garden in New York.

The only way Golovkin can get around fighting Johnson is if he can force an agreement with Billy Joe Saunders, as unification with the WBO would take priority over a mandatory contender. However, even then Johnson would still be waiting on the other side.

There has also been word of a bout between “Triple G” and Golden Boy Promotions fighter Canelo Alvrez in September.

In order for that fight to happen before Johnson gets a shot, he would have to agree to step aside.

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