Cleveland’s Delante Johnson Still Committed to Tokyo in ’21
Delante “Tiger” Johnson plans to be with Team USA Boxing when it appears at the Summer Games in Tokyo in 2021
With the current COVID-19 pandemic postponing the start of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games to July 23, 2021, that wait creates an opening for some of USA Boxing’s most promising talents to weigh a move to the professional ranks. Team members Rahim Gonzales, Delante “Tiger” Johnson, Virginia (Ginny) Fuchs and O’Shae Jones took their next step towards punching their tickets to Tokyo at the Strandja Tournament in late January in Sofia, Bulgaria. In the tournament’s 69 kilogram (152 pounds) division, Cleveland’s Johnson lost a decision by walkover to Belarus’ Aliaksandr Radzionau.
In early March the Olympic Qualification Team arrived in Colorado Springs to prepare for the Americas Qualifiers which was scheduled for March 27 through April 3 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. A week later in an Instagram post dated March 12, USA Boxing announced the suspension of all sanctioned events until March 31. The suspension was extended to April 30.
As nationwide quarantine, or shelter in place, orders started limiting training options for fighters, and boxing’s immediate future became increasingly uncertain, amateur status-related rumblings emerged from USA Boxing Lightweight Keyshawn Davis. During an early-March interview on The Ak & Barak Show on Sirius XM’s Fight Nation channel, Davis joked around with his thoughts towards remaining committed to an Olympic run. Ultimately, he revealed he’d listened to some intriguing promotional offers, but said his future plans remained the same as they were before the Olympics were pushed back to 2021.
In an Instagram post dated April 1 21-year old Johnson was in good enough spirits for an apparent April Fools joke. As of April 23, the post’s 100 comments had yet to receive a response from the east Cleveland native.
On April 20 Johnson did speak on his intentions during a live stream interview on the Junior The Truth YouTube channel on a special edition of the host’s The Punch Junkie Morning Show. When asked whether any achievements remained outstanding before turning pro Johnson said, “I got these Olympic qualifiers coming up next in Argentina. So, after this pandemic ends they’re supposed to be rescheduling our tournament. It’s supposed to be this year (some time this year) in the fall. They’re trying to get all the qualifiers over with so by the end of the year we’ll already be set… prepared for the Olympics.”
Johnson appeared on the live stream with author and former drug trafficker “Freeway” Rick Ross of Los Angeles, CA. Ross’ comments during the interview point to him promoting Johnson once his stint with USA Boxing wraps up next August. He quipped that his goal is to fill the void left by Premier Boxing Champions’ adviser/manager Al Haymon once he exits boxing.
Before ending his call with Junior The Truth he mentioned that he’s writing a book about his life and his boxing journey which he expects to culminate in a successful Olympics showing. He also stated that he expects to trim his 5-foot 10-inch frame down to begin prowling the pro ranks of the 140-pound division, but intends to campaign at Welterweight’s max limit of 147-pounds as well.
Show your support for Johnson once USA Boxing reschedules its qualifiers, and the Midwesterner attempts to secure his bid for Olympic gold, by purchasing his customized merchandise provided by FTWR Brand.
The featured image was taken from Delante Johson’s Instagram account (@tigerjohnson216)