MIAMI — To say that Tureano Johnson is excited is a bit of an understatement.
The outgoing Johnson, who has just one controversial loss as a professional, tackles Sergiy Derevyanchenko in a 12-round main event on Friday night’s boxing card that will be staged in downtown Miami.
“I am excited,” Johnson said several times during a Thursday press conference at Buffalo Run Casino and Resort. “If you don’t feel the excitement here, something is wrong.”
Johnson is the IBF’s No. 1 contender while Derevyanchenko is No. 2.
It’s an IBF mandated fight to determine who advances to face either Canelo Alvarez or Gennady Golovkin either later this year or in early 2018.
Those two square off Sept. 16, where Golovkin will defend his IBF, WBC and WBA titles and Alvarez will attempt to defend his Ring Magazine title.
“This by far is the biggest show we’ve ever had in this area,” promoter Tony Holden said.
The telecast will follow the weigh-in and preview of Saturday night’s Mayweather-McGregor mega-fight.
“They are expecting this to be one of the highest rated shows they have ever had,” Holden said. “This is the clash of the middleweights to the point where, especially as our main event here, the winner of this fight gets the winner of Canelo-Alvarez… definitely the biggest fight of the year.
“You have to look at the implication of this: one of these two guys right here, if they win their next two fights, they will never have to work another day in their life. That is how big this fight is.”
Johnson’s only loss was against Curtis Stevens in 2014.
Derevyanchenko, who had an extensive amateur career, has won eight of his pro fights by knockout.
“I am a technician. I can box and move,” Derevyanchenko said through a translator. “I feel good. This fight is important for me.”
“If Sergiy brings his 100 percent and I bring my 100 percent, expect an explosive night,” Johnson said. “I can’t tell you if it will go a few rounds or all the rounds (12), but I can guarantee you this: it’s going to be a bomb-dropping explosion I can’t wait to experience.”
“I have trained real hard,” said Johnson, who has trained in Atlanta, Bahamas and Florida as well as Cuba, where he trained for nine years prior to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
“Nothing I do reflects the style of a Cuban if you have seen me box,” Johnson said. “I don’t know how to throw a jab. You can put me in a phone booth. That’s where I am best at, or you can put me out in a flat, open field and I am just as good as well.
“But my favorite is on the inside, getting down and dirty and gritty and just being explosive.”
“You can just feel his intensity,” promoter Tony Holden said, stressing “
This will be the fourth time this year a boxing card has originated from Miami, but the first for FS1, part of the Fox Sports Media Group.
Also on the show will be a 10-round WBC silver middleweight championship fight between Immanuwel Aleem (17-0-1, 10 KOs) of Richmond, Virginia vs. Hugo Centano Jr. (25-1, 13 KOs) of Oxnard, California and an eight-round lightweight clash that pits Austin Dulay (10-0, 7 KOs) of Nashville, Tennessee against Carlos Padilla (16-5-1, 10 KOs) of Barranquilla, Colombia.
Swing fights include Alejandro Guerrero (4-0, 3 KOs) of Irving, Texas vs. an undetermined opponent and 4 State Franchise member Charles Conwell (4-0, 4 KOs) of Cleveland, Ohio vs. Andres Calixto Rey (7-6, 5 KOs) of Alice, Texas.
Kenzie Morrison (11-0-2, 10 KOs) of Tulsa and the 4SF battles Roberto White (6-8, 6 KOs) of Salisbury, North Carolina, in a six-round heavyweight bout.
Also on the card are a pair of super middleweight fights: Isaiah Steen (Conwell’s brother, 8-0, 7 KOs) of Cleveland, Ohio, vs. Carlos Ruiz of Castro, Chile (8-2, 3 KOs) and Demond Nicholson (17-2-1, 16 KOs) of Laurel, Maryland, vs. Josue Obando (15-16-1, 12 KOs) of Guadalajara, Mexico.
Action starts at 6:30 p.m. with the FS1 tripleheader going live at 8 p.m.