EAMONN O’KANE’S professional career ended with a 2015 defeat to Tureano Johnson – and the Dungiven man has backed Jason Quigley not to fall into a similar trap.
By Chris McNulty in Indio, California
Johnson, now 35, boasts a 20-2-1 record as a pro and he overcame O’Kane at Madison Square Garden in October, 2015.
A unanimous decision win, via wide scorecards of 118-108, 117-109 and 119-107, saw Johnson spar to victory on a night when he landed 405 of the 829 punches he threw. The Bahamian landed a middleweight record of 396 power punches.
The win put Johnson – who returns to action against Quigley on Thursday night in California – in line to face Gennady Golovkin, but a shoulder injury meant the bout never happened.
“I don’t see Jason not falling into the same trap as me,” ‘King Kane’ told Donegal Daily/Donegal Sport Hub.
“He will out box, out class and ultimately end up hurting Tureano.
“I 100 per cent think Jason will be world champ, as he ticks every box, speed, power, class, knowledge, talent and attitude.”
Nine years ago, in 2010, Quigley defeated O’Kane – then with the Immaculata club in Belfast – in an Irish middleweight quarter-final.
O’Kane said: “We were on the high performance team together and I could tell he was not only a good guy but a real talent.”
O’Kane, a Commonwealth Games gold medallist in 2010, turned pro in 2011 and he ended with a record of 14-2-1.
His bout with Johnson was an IBF middleweight title eliminator on the undercard of Golovkin’s bout with David Lemieux.
Quigley was actually in the crowd to see O’Kane beaten by Johnson.
The Bannagher man said: “My memory of the fight is a good one. Madison Square Garden, it was such an iconic boxing stadium for a chance to fight for a world title against the winner of the main event.
“The fight couldn’t have started any worse but I recovered to fight on. Tureano was punching me in the ear which I think was a bit of a sneaky tactic, as it is the closest point to your brain.”
O’Kane feels Golovkin would have KO’d Johnson and he believes Quigley – unbeaten in his 16 professional contests – has moved ‘perfectly’ through the ranks.
He said: “I had to move fast due to the age that I turned pro but, with Jason’s age, I think he has progressed perfectly along with adapting to different coaches.”Tags: