“It’s on!” Callum Johnson eyes world title after first meeting with champ Artur Beterbiev

Callum Johnson. Photo: Mark Kidby.
Callum Johnson. Photo: Mark Kidby.

Callum Johnson stood face to face with world champion Artur Beterbiev - and declared ‘it’s on’.

The Boston boxer made a whirlwind visit to Chicago for the Worlds Collide press conference last week, his first opportunity to share a room with the defending IBF light heavyweight champ.

“It’s no big shock, I knew what he looked like anyway,” Johnson, 32, said of their meeting.

“But he wasn’t as big as I thought he’d be, if anything I thought I was a bit bigger.

“But you look into each others’ eyes and think ‘now it’s on’.

“We’re both working hard to knock each other out because we both want to be world champion.”

Two unbeaten records will be on the line at the Wintrust Arena on October 6, with Johnson having won all 17 of his pro fights and 33-year-old Beterbiev ending all 12 of his early.

“At the end of the day, someone’s record’s got to go, and I want it to be his,” added Johnson, who enjoyed his whistle-stop tour of the Windy City.

“It was pretty surreal really,” he added.

“At the time you just got on with it, but then you come back and think ‘wow’, I’ve just done a world title fight press conference.

“But I enjoyed the experience. The arena was great. It’s compact but I don’t think there’s a bad seat in the house.”