'Reno' expects pro career to flourish

By BRENT STUBBS Senior Sports Reporter bstubbs@tribunemedia.net UNDER new management in a new environment, Taureano 'Reno' Johnson expects his young professional boxing career to flourish even more. At the Greensboro Coliseum Saturday in North Carolina, Johnson won his second fight for the year, improving his record to 7-0 after he pulled off a unanimous decision over Joseph Benjamin. The 31-year-old Benjamin was riding a two-win streak going into the match against the 28-year-old Johnson in a light welterweight bout. "He was a very difficult fighter, one that I had given all, I had to knock him out because that is my main interest right now," said Johnson in an interview with The Tribune. "My goal is to knock everybody out. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to do so, but I was able to get a unanimous decision. I looked flawless n the fight and I'm looking forward to my next fight." On Friday, March 2, Johnson is slated to be back in action in Hallandale, Fort Lauderdale, where he is scheduled to take on Earl Mitchell, a relatively new fighter who has a 1-1-1 win-loss-draw record. After that fight, Johnson is scheduled to head to New York for a third consecutive fight on Saturday, March 31. His opponent, however, has not yet been identified. For Johnson, who decided to turn pro in 2010 after he reached the pinnacle of his amateur career by boxing in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, said he's content with where he's at right now. "I'm with a new management and they're moving me pretty fast," said Johnson, who was previously under contract with Pound for Pound Management headed by Shane Bailey and Barry Adams Jr. Having fought in just four of seven fights he had lined up with Prize Fight Promotions in 2010, Johnson has been inactive throughout 2011 as he sought a new agreement with another management team. "We're moving pretty smooth. We're on our way to a world title," said Johnson of his new agreement with Tony Betancourt. "Hopefully we can obtain a title fight before the end of the year." Johnson has relocated to Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale, where he works out with Betancourt, the coach of the Haitian national team that competed at the Beijing Olympics. It was during those games when Johnson fell shy of one match of making history as the first Bahamian to win a medal at the Olympics that he met Betancourt. "We've been working together for the past two-three months and we're looking at making this a good positive long-time relationship," Johnson said. Johnson, however, said he hopes to come home and fight for the Bahamas title and eventually the British Commonwealth crown before the year is out. He also noted that he's not interested in fighting Jermaine 'Choo Choo' Mackey because he doesn't believe that "he's in my category." "I will fight anybody but Jermaine. I always wanted to fight him when I was growing up but right now I don't think he wants to fight me. I don't think he can compete with me. But if we have to, then I will just have to take care of him like I plan to do with everybody that I face."


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