Before middleweight world titleholders Gennady Golovkin and David Lemieux square off to unify their belts in the main event on Oct. 17 at Madison Square Garden in New York, a pair of middleweights, Eamonn O'Kane and Tureano Johnson, will meet on the undercard in a title eliminator.
Promoter Gary Shaw told ESPN.com on Wednesday night that he made a deal with Golden Boy Promotions, co-promoter of the card, to place the fight on the HBO PPV-televised card, although it has not been determined if O'Kane-Johnson will be part of the four-fight telecast.
The O'Kane-Johnson winner will become one of the mandatory challengers for the winner of the main event.
"Tureano is a great fighter and will beat O'Kane. He will go on to win the world title," said Shaw, who sold Johnson's contract to Golden Boy but will remain his co-promoter for two bouts.
"Tureano Johnson has proven himself to be a top contender in the middleweight division," Golden Boy CEO Oscar De La Hoya said in announcing the signing on Thursday.
"This year, the middleweight division has catapulted itself back into the forefront of boxing with a caliber of talent reminiscent of legendary fighters like Carlos 'Escopeta' Monzon, 'Marvelous' Marvin Hagler and Bernard 'The Alien' Hopkins. Johnson has demonstrated his ability to become a champion and with Golden Boy Promotions at his side, he has the opportunity to grow into a top middleweight of this era."
O'Kane (14-1-1, 5 KOs), 33, of Ireland, has won two fights in a row following a draw, although he never faced a top opponent. The fight against Johnson will be his first outside of Ireland or the United Kingdom.
Johnson (18-1, 13 KOs), 31, a 2008 Olympian from the Bahamas who has fought mainly in the United States since turning pro in 2010, has won four fights in a row. In his most recent bout, he scored a fifth-round knockout of Alex Theran on Jan. 9 in New York to avenge a 2008 amateur loss.
Johnson made a bit of a name for himself in his lone professional loss, a disputed 10th-round knockout to Curtis Stevens, which many viewed as a quick stoppage by the referee, in a 2014 fight of the year candidate.
"At this point in my career, it is important for me to stay focused on my goals which are to fight, to provide for my family, to make my country proud, but ultimately to do what I was born to do to become a world champion," Johnson said. "I have had many good offers, but this decision was made based on my purpose, for I believe boxing is not a sport, it's a lifestyle."
O'Kane-Johnson is on an undercard that also will include flyweight champion Roman Gonzalez defending against former unified titleholder Brian Viloria. A heavyweight fight between big bangers Luis Ortiz and former world titleholder Bermane Stiverne is also in the works.