“The hard work is done in the gym” says Boston light heavyweight Callum Johnson

Johnson lands a blow on Lee Duncan.
Johnson lands a blow on Lee Duncan.

Boston light-heavyweight Callum Johnson will return to the ring for the first time in 12 months this week - and he’s confident of success.

The 27-year-old will face Doncaster powerhouse John Anthony at Walsall Town Hall on Friday.

But there are no pre-fight nerves for Johnson, because he believes the hard work has already been done.

The Comnmonwealth Games gold medallist is desperate to stretch his unbeaten record to six, after a series of cancelled contests and and injury have seen his career on hold for the past year.

“I’ve always said the hard work is what you do in the gym,” Johnson told The Standard.

“When you get into the ring, you should be in the best condition you can be in - then the fight takes care of itself.

“It’s when you don’t work hard that you get found out.”

Johnson’s bout with Anthony is scheduled for eight rounds.

And the Bostonian believes that his opponent - a former cruiserweight - has been especially cherry picked to see him go all the way.

“I think that was what people want, to see me get the rounds in,” he added.

“But going eight rounds isn’t a problem.

“I’ve done it in sparring no end of times. I’ve sparred for more rounds, I’m confident I can do it.

“I’m in good shape. I’m feeling confident and I’m looking forward to it.”

Johnson is quick to admit that life in a higher weight category will mean that Anthony has come up against bigger hitters over the years.

But after grafting hard with coach Joe Gallagher, he feels he has the edge, the fitness and the mentality to get the upper hand.

“He’s used to big heavy shots, bigger ones than I throw,” Johnson said.

“But you’ve got to be able to beat whoever’s in front of you, and I know I can do that.”

Johnson was scheduled for an almost instant return to the ring, originally to be on the undercard of Dereck Chisora’s fight at Wembley Arena on June 15.

Johnson was hoping to use the showpiece to earn himself a few more fight fans.

However, US opponent Deontay Wilder is unable to travel to the UK, due to criminal allegations.

Chisora will now fight at the venue in July, with Johnson aiming to be on the undercard.

He said: “It’ll be a good show, and one I want to be involved with.

“But I can’t start looking that far ahead.

“My only priority is the Walsall fight.

“I can’t look beyond that.

“I’ve got to make sure I’m in the best shape to win that.”

“But at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. I’ve just got to win my next fight.”