Callum’s date with destiny

Callum Johnson.
Callum Johnson.

Underestimate me at your peril! That is the message Callum Johnson is sending to Willbeforce Shihepo ahead of Saturday’s title fight.

Unbeaten Johnson, 31, will meet Namibia’s Black Mamba at the Manchester Arena - with the winner walking out with the vacant Commonwealth Light Heavyweight title.

The Boston boxer told The Standard he has been training as hard as ever as he sets his sights on his first professional belt.

And despite vowing to stretch his winning pro record to 16 straight bouts, he knows his opponent has slugged it out with some top boxers.

“He’s been in there with Arthur Abraham, so he’s not just any old person they’ve thrown in there,” Johnson said of 33-year-old Shihepo, who earned 17 of his 23 victories by knockout.

“He’s lost eight fights so he’s going there with nothing to lose. It’s not like he’s got a record to protect or anything.”

But Johnson also believes that Shihepo’s track record may work against him if he fails to take the Commonwealth Games gold medallist as seriously as he should.

“After the people he’s fought he might look at my name and think ‘Callum Johnson, whoop-de-do’, he added.

“But if he does then that’s good for me because I’m going there to win.

“If I can knock him out then he’ll definitely know who I am then.

“I always give 100 per cent but it’s been by dream since I was a kid to win a title.

“I’ve not come this far to leave empty handed.”