Boston fighter Callum Johnson says teamwork is the key

Callum Johnson.
Callum Johnson.

When the bell rings, boxing is down to two opponents in the ring looking to outwit - and outpunch - one another.

But Boston light heavyweight Callum Johnson believes he owes much of his success in the ring to a team effort.

“That’s for you dad,” was what he famously said to the camera just seconds after winning Commonwealth Games gold for Scotland in Delhi, back in late 2010.

After completing his final fight as an amateur, Johnson was recognising the years of sacrifice made by his father Paul, helping his son to become one of the most exciting prospects at the Games.

Since then, the 27-year-old Bostonian has moved into the pro ranks.

He is currently unbeaten after five bouts.

And as well as crediting much success to his dad, he also believes the move to Joe Gallagher’s gym in the north west has helped him step up to another level.

“It’s good training with the lads, it just gives you that little bit extra,” Johnson said.

“When you’re running round the track, doing bag work or whatever, you’re pushing each other to get that little bit extra.

“When you’re training on your own you can push yourself so much.

“But running round a track and there’s a guy taking over you, it makes you push yourself as you dont want him to do that.”

Anthony Crolla, Steven Smith, Scott Quigg, Liam Smith and Scott Cardle are among the fighters sharing the gym with Johnson.

The stablemates regularly support one another at their shows and in each other’s corner, with Johnson saying this brings the group even closer together.

He added: “They’re like best mates.

“When you push yourself to the limits together you grow closer as a unit.

“It’s hard to watch the lads fight sometimes. You feel great for them when they win, but when they lose it’s horrible because you can’t do anything.”

Holding the group together is trainer Gallagher, the patriarch of the group and someone Johnson credits with his improvements in the ring in recent years.

“I’m still learning from Joe all the time,” Johnson added. “You never stop learning and his knowledge is second to none.”

Johnson will return to the ring at Liverpool Olympia on April 12, as he fights for a Celtic title.

As yet, his opponent is stil to be named.

But the Boston fighter has no doubt what the outcome will be.

He told The Standard: “I’m pretty sure I’m going to win.

“It’ll be nice to get a stoppage, but if it doesn’t happen it doesn’t happen.

“But I’ve still got a whack on me and I think I can stop him.”