Third time unlucky? Callum Johnson wants to knock out ‘Slugger’ Tucker

Callum Johnson throws a punch at Jody Meikle.

Callum Johnson throws a punch at Jody Meikle.

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CALLUM Johnson wants to be the fighter to do what so many before him have failed to achieve – knock out James Tucker.

The Boston light heavyweight will square up to the experienced Doncastrian, nicknamed ‘The Slugger’, on May 18.

He is under no illusions Tucker will be his toughest opponent to date, but with his usual confidence, Johnson is predicting a stoppage.

He told The Standard: “He’s had around 60 fights and only been stopped twice.

“But they say things come in threes, so I want to be the next to stop him.”

Tucker’s record may not be the most inspiring in the division – he has won six and drawn three of his 58 professional bouts – but the orthodox fighter has a reputation as a man who doesn’t go down easily.

In total, 47 of his 49 defeats have gone the distance, and that is exactly why he has been chosen as Johnson’s opponent, as the Boston fighter prepares for his first eight-rounder.

“My team have been working on me going for eight rounds, and I think that’s the matchmaker’s plan,” Johnson added.

“They want to put me in with someone who will push me harder.

“They want to work me to get the best out of me.

“But I don’t want to go eight rounds. I want to stop it earlier.

“You don’t get paid for overtime.”

Aged 27, Tucker is just a year older than Johnson. But their careers have followed different paths.

While Tucker has been fighting professionally, grinding out six victories (two by knockout) since 2007, Johnson concentrated on life in the amateur rankings.

His dedication came to fruition in 2010 when he won Commonwealth Games gold in Delhi.

Since then, his move into the pro game has borne fruit, with him winning his four fights to date (two by knockout).

Now he aims to make it number five when the pair meet at Oldham Sports Centre a week on Friday.