Coach Prenice Brewer Steps Up, Expects Delante Johnson to Do the Same

Prenice Brewer, the head trainer of junior welterweight Delante “Tiger” Johnson, is expecting the world to see new aspects of Johnson’s game in his next fight.

Johnson (12-0, 6 KOs), a U.S. 2020 Olympian, will face Tarik Zaina on Saturday at the Madison Square Garden Theater in New York City.

Brewer has taken over as the professional coach for the 25-year-old Johnson, who initially turned pro under his amateur coach, Renard Safo.

The path for Johnson, of Cleveland, has been challenging, including facing a tough pressure fighter in Jimmer Espinoza two fights ago. He has fought three other distinguished fighters, walking away with only one loss. Despite the impressive journey, Johnson hasn’t received much attention fighting, up to this point in his career, on undercards.

“I am so excited that the world is going to see a different side of Tiger in this fight,” Brewer told BoxingScene. “I think people think of him as a certain type of fighter, but this fight will show that he has different dimensions.”

Johnson is the first fighter who has entrusted Brewer to run his camp, although the trainer is quick to point out that it was Terrell Gausha who was the first to bring him into a camp (as an assistant under Manny Robles). At Johnson’s Los Angeles camp for Saturday’s fight, Brewer gushed with praise for his protege.

“This has been Tiger’s best camp as a professional,” said Brewer. “I can’t wait to be ringside and just watch, watch him do what I know he is capable of against a tough and tricky opponent. This is going to be special.”

Zaina (13-1-1, 8 KOs) of Tangier, Morocco, by way of Tijuana, Mexico, recently lost to undefeated Dominican puncher Rohan Polanco. But Zaina is an elusive and awkward opponent who, despite falling to Polanco, wasn’t stopped. The 29-year-old Zaina’s draw with slugger Jesus Saracho was more proof that he can be a lot to handle.

Brewer is confident in the foundation set in place for Johnson, as he sees this fight as a building block to a world title.

“Tiger has a strong team,” said Brewer. “He has me, who has professional experience, and he has Safo, who is one of the best amateur boxing coaches ever.”

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