CALLUM Johnson hopes top coach Joe Gallagher can inspire him to fulfilling his dream of earning a world title fight... as he prepares to study at the ‘Oxbridge’ of boxing.
Johnson - who has won his two professional fights to date after winning gold at last year’s Commonwealth Games - will spend an initial three days each week at Gallagher’s gym in Manchester.
European lightweight champion John Murray, his brother Joe, a former medallist at the World Amateur Championships, and English super featherweight champion Anthony Crolla are all on Gallagher’s roster.
Ex-British super middleweight champion Paul Smith jnr, Commonwealth bronze medallist Stephen Smith and former European middleweight champ Matthew Macklin also train at the Denton base, which was formerly Billy Graham’s Phoenix Gym.
“Joe is one of the top coaches and I want him to help me reach my goals,” said Johnson, who is also managed by Naseem Hamed and promoted by Frank Warren.
“There are a lot of champions at the gym that I’m training with.
“Fighters at this gym know about winning English, British and European titles. They also know about World title fights.
“I think I’m in the right place where I can start winning titles and, hopefully, get a shot at a world title.”
Gallagher hopes to emulate the Wildcard Gym, Freddie Roach’s US centre that has primed the talents of Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan, to name just two.
As the Wildcard is known as the Harvard of boxing, Gallagher has taken to naming his gym the Oxbridge of fighting schools.
Johnson - who has stopped Phillip Townley and defeated Jody Meikle on points since going pro - will still train in the Boston area for the remainder of the week when he is back home with his family.
He does not yet have a date for his next fight, although he expects to return to the ring at some time late in May.
“I can’t wait to get in there again,” he said.