Callum Johnson is ready to prove he belongs among boxing’s band of world-class fighters.
The Bostonian will meet American Sean Monaghan at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, New York, on Saturday night, ready to claim the victory he believes will edge him closer to a second world title fight.
Monaghan, 37, has only lost twice in his 31-bout career, against Marcus Browne and Sullivan Barrera.
Now Johnson wants to be number three.
“He’s had alot of fights and only been beaten twice, but the lads who have beaten him are ranked in the top five in the world,” Johnson, 33, told The Standard.
“He only loses to world-class fighters, but I feel like I’m at that level now.
“When he makes the step up he gets beat.”
Johnson returns to the States eager to put his defeat to IBF light-heavyweight champ Artur Beterbiev behind him.
New Yorker Monaghan will offer a stern test, but Johnson – who has won Commonwealth and British titles as a pro – believes he been invited back across the Atlantic for a reason.
“It’s a step up but I feel like I’m one of those fighters now,” he added.
“I’ve proven I’m good enough to fight in America.
“I got beat but they called me back, so I must be doing something right.
“I feel like I’m ready for big fights. I’m where I always believed I would be, it’s just taken me a bit longer to get here.”
While Monaghan has had more pro bouts than Johnson’s 18, the Bostonian is adamant that will count for nothing come Saturday.
“We’ve both got experience.
“He’s older than me, but we’re both in our 30s and we’ve both had hard fights,” he added.
“He’s had more fights but he wasn’t as successful as I was in the amateurs and he’s not had a fight like I did for the world title.
“It’s crunch for us both. We both really need to win this one.”