‘There’s no way he punches harder than me!’ Callum Johnson ready for shot at ‘monster’ Artur Beterbiev’s IBF title

Callum Johnson. jqu_KOIijiJh9jQoxn8z
Callum Johnson. jqu_KOIijiJh9jQoxn8z

Callum Johnson knows IBF light-heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev is a monster - but the Boston boxer believes he is the beast that can tame him.

Johnson is preparing for the fight of his life, being given a world title shot after it was announced he was the mandatory challenger to the Russian’s crown.

And he has warned his opponent: ‘there’s no way you’ve got a better punch than me.’

The finer details of the bout are yet to be finalised, but British and Commonwealth champ Johnson says he will definitely accept the challenge, wherever in the world it will take place.

“It’s what I’ve always dreamt about since I was a kid, a world title fight,” said Johnson, who feared his career was over after a series of injuries and setbacks last year.

“If you duck the fight people think you’re a bottle job. If you take it they think you’re crazy.

“But I’m taking the fight. Chances like this don’t come around for everyone and there’s no way I’m not going for it.

“It’s not that long ago I was laid in hospital thinking it was all over.

“This is a dream come true, so it looks like I’ll be getting on a plane for a fight.”

Beterbiev is undoubtedly Johnson’s most ferocious opponent yet, the 33-year-old having won all 12 of his fights inside the distance.

But Johnson is yet to taste defeat in his 17 pro bouts and isn’t just there to make up the numbers.

“He’s a monster and I’m definitely the underdog,” Johnson, 32, confessed.

“But he’s not unstoppable. I’ve come up against kids like him in the amateurs.

“I’m a beast, myself. I’ve got power, there’s no way he punches harder than me. And I’ve got the skills to get at him.

“I was the underdog going into the fight against Frank (Buglioni, for the British title in March), but I ended that in 90 seconds.”