'Reno' gets 2nd straight win

By BRENT STUBBS Senior Sports Reporter bstubbs@tribunemedia.net Taureano 'Reno' Johnson has picked up his seventh straight victory. But he had to go to the scoreboards for the second win Saturday in Hollywood, Florida. Fighting on the undercard at the Westlin Diplomat Resort, Johnson won by decision over Brazil's Edvan Dos Santos Barros in identical scores of 60-54 on all three judges' cards for the triumph. "I'm getting much more comfortable in the ring," said the 28-year-old Johnson, who is now under new management that has him fighting at least every two to three weeks. "In fact, I'm there. I'm back to where I should be. I didn't come out with a knockout, but it should have been one because there was a lot of punches that I landed on him with a lot of power and force." The victory, however, didn't come without some pain. During the first set of combinations thrown in the first round, Johnson suffered a cut over his right eye as a result of a head butt from Dos Santos Barros. "It was my first cut ever as a professional," he said. "It was something different. Never got cut before in my career. This was the first one, so I had to make the adjustment for the rest of the fight." Johnson, now residing in Georgia, said he's looking good and improving on the things that he needs to so that he can be prepared for whenever the opportunity comes up for him to get a title shot. "I'm ready for the big one," he said. "I went up against an experienced fighter and survived after getting a cut from a head butt from the first round. He's only been down once in his career, so I knew it was going to be difficult. "But at this stage in my life, I know I would win it because I'm fighting as a world-class fighter. I'm the one with the upper hand, being stronger and faster. I may not have the experience as a professional fighter, but I have a great amateur background that is helping me out tremendously." With a large entourage of Bahamians, including his parents and family members on the sidelines cheering for him, Johnson knew that he had to step up and got the job done. "It was great to have them all in the stands," Johnson said. "In fact, hearing them made me just fight even harder. I'm just so glad that I pulled it off, even if I had to go the distance again." In his previous meeting on February 18 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Johnson won a four-round unanimous decision over Joseph Benjamin. It was the third straight defeat for Dos Santos Barros who dropped his record to 11-13. Before he turned pro in 2010, Johnson came within one match of becoming the first Bahamian boxer to win a medal at the Olympic Games in 2008 in Beijing, China, before he turned pro in 2010 as an amateur. He was scheduled to fight again on Saturday, March 10. But because of the injury he sustained with the cut over his eye, he will have to take some time off to recuperate. He is now expected to be back in the ring for his next bout on March 31 in New York. Then he is scheduled to return to Florida on May 16 to fight at the Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood. "I just want to send a shout out to all my supporters and the Almighty God for bringing me through without any harm," Johnson said. "I got cut, but it was a minor one. I didn't get hurt."


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