Johnson and Aucoin are ready to rumble

Parksville fighter Aubrey “Bam Bam” Morrow ready after intensive training camp

Dashon “Flyboy” Johnson (left) and Gloved Up Promotion’s Terry Strawson get together for a photo ahead of Saturday night’s card

Dashon “Flyboy” Johnson (left) and Gloved Up Promotion’s Terry Strawson get together for a photo ahead of Saturday night’s card

Coming off of being a sparring partner in the biggest fight boxing has seen in decades, Dashon “Flyboy” Johnson is stepping into the ring this weekend to take on Chris Aucoin at the “Rumble at the Rink” in Nanaimo, Saturday night.

“Flyboy,” who hails from Escondido, California, was in the training camp for Manny Pacquiao as he prepared for his fight against Floyd Mayweather earlier this month. Johnson was “Manny’s Personal Floyd” throughout the camp.

“It was a dream come true,” Johnson said. “It was something that was far-fetched, it’s a blessing to have been part of it. To be one of his sparring partners for arguably one of the biggest fights in boxing history was huge. Having him trust in me to help him prepare for it, for the biggest fight of his career, those are memories that I’ll cherish forever.”

Johnson not only took away lots of experience from being in the same ring with a fighter like Pacquiao, he earned praise from iconic trainer Freddy Roach along the way as well, who called “Flyboy” a “great training partner that gave Manny lots of good work” in camp. It’s a little extra pressure but Johnson is able to take it all in stride.

“It’s a little pressure,” Johnson agreed, “But I’ve been doing this for a long time, you can kind of say I’m a veteran of the sport at the young age of 27. I’m going to use the little things that I learned in camp, use my experience and just be Dashon out there. It should be a good fight but it should go in my favour.”

Johnson hasn’t fought north of the border since 2013. “Feels awesome, I’m undefeated in Canada,” Johnson said. “Last time I was here, I had a surprise knockout of two-time Olympian Adam Trupish. I’m looking for much of the same this Saturday night.”

With the presence of Johnson on the card, along with two title fights and Gordy Racette making history as the first Canadian boxer to fight in five decades, it’s a night that fight fans won’t want to miss.

For Terry Strawson, promoter of Gloved Up Promotions, the months of hard work are coming to an end and will all unfold this Saturday night at the Frank Crane Arena. Though there are still a few days left, Strawson has been busy taking calls for ticket sales, interviews and even television requests from stations like CTV.

“I’m getting nervous to see what happens,” Strawson said. “It’s been busy but it’s been lots of fun too. For this show, for me, I’m really happy with putting on two title fights on a card. We’ve gone from nowhere to putting two title fights on a card, that’s big for us. Having Dashon in coming off of training with Pacquiao in the biggest fight in boxing, that’s huge. The two girls fighting again after the fight of the night last year and Gordy on the card too, it’s the icing on the cake. We’re going to be able to enjoy these fights on Saturday like everyone else.”