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Delante “Tiger” Johnson dreaming of Olympic Gold

Cleveland sending a boxer to fourth straight Olympic Games
Delante Johnson
Delante Johnson(Delante Johnson)
Published: May. 19, 2021 at 11:31 AM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - ”From Cleveland, Ohio” ...

That’s a familiar sound at international boxing events, and Delante Johnson, or “Tiger” as he’s known, is keeping the streak alive, as in ... a Clevelander climbing into the ring at the Olympics.

Raynell Williams in ’08, Terrell Gausha in 2012, Charles Conwell in ’16, and now, Tiger.

“It means a lot to me,” Johnson told me during a zoom interview on Tuesday. “It’s like a dream come true, you know? Ever since I saw Raynell go to the Olympics, from that point it’s been my dream to go.”

Delante Johnson
Delante Johnson(Delante Johnson)

The welterweight was supposed to go to Tokyo for the Games last summer, but, well, you know. The pandemic hit. Still, better late than never, but ... don’t underestimate the mental toll that took on our Olympic athletes.

“We were crushed,” Johnson says. “Know what I mean? I feel like that whole year was just like a dream crusher.

“I ain’t gonna lie. Everybody kept saying ‘it’s only one more year’, but it’s easy to say that. ‘Just one more year’. I mean, that’s a long time.”

There may not be a guarantee this year, with another Covid spike taking place in Japan, and some doctors calling for another cancellation. But Johnson is keeping the faith. As he points out, they’ve spent $15 billion to put these games on. He believes he’ll go. And if he does get to compete, he’ll rep his country, and his hometown, very well. The fighter who finished third at the 2019 Pan American Games believes he can bring home the gold this time.

“I’m coming into the Olympics with a whole different mindset,” Johnson says. “I’m gonna be ready.”

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