Callum Johnson claimed it was ‘better late than never’ after he added the British light-heavyweight title to his collection with a stunning first-round demolition of Frank Buglioni.
The Boston boxer - who also successfully defended his Commonwealth strap - stretched his unbeaten pro record to 17 fights at London’s O2 Arena on Saturday night.
“It’s better late than never,” said the 32-year-old, who returned to the ring for the first time since September 2016.
“It’s been a long time coming, but it’s a good feeling to be British and Commonwealth champion. It sounds good, doesn’t it? Obviously it’s been a very frustrating wait to finally get here. But I never doubted it would happen.”
Johnson started furiously against Enfield’s Buglioni, unleashing a series of shots which the ‘Wise Guy’ just could not handle.
“When I was going through the fight in my head, thinking of all the outcomes, I couldn’t see anything apart from me stopping him,” added Johnson. “Before the fight, I was saying I’d stop him in the first four rounds.
“Maybe I didn’t see it happening quite so quickly, but I knew I could do it. His style suits me.”
Johnson - who turned pro in 2010, soon after winning Gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi - also paid tribute to his late dad Paul, who was his coach and driving force for many years.
“I’m not a massive believer in spiritual stuff, but I felt something on Saturday night. I felt he was with me.
“As I was going out I said ‘how can I not win this if my dad’s with me?’ I just felt confident.
“Like I said on the night, I turned up to prove my dad right and the doubters wrong.”