By Tim Royner: Callum Johnson finds himself in demand after his spirited effort in losing to IBF light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev last Saturday night on DAZN at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois.
Johnson’s promoter Eddie Hearn wants to bring him back to the U.S for a DAZN card in February against a top 15 contender in the 175 lb division. However, Johnson isn’t sure whether he should do that or not. He’d like to defend his recently won British light heavyweight title or go after the European title held currently by Dominic Boesel (27-1, 10 KOs).
Johnson, 33, wants to fight in December, which means it’s unlikely he’ll be able to challenge Boesel for his EBU light heavyweight title at that time, because he’s defending the belt this month against former Beterbiev knockout victim Enrico Koelling on October 27 in Germany. Since Johnson wants to return in December for his next fight, it would be difficult for Boesel to get back into the ring by December to defend the belt once again.
“Eddie was mentioning February time, back out in America. DAZN, the TV network really loved me, and they want me back out there,” Johnson said to skysports.com. Maybe like a top 10 fighter, or a fringe world level fighter in America.”
Johnson (17-1, 12 KOs) put the unbeaten knockout artist Beterbiev (13-0, 13 KOs) on the deck in round two, and he could have possibly knocked him out if he’d had the wherewithal to go for the finish. Unfortunately Johnson let Beterbiev off the hook, and stayed off of him and he was able to recover and go on and score a 4th round knockout.
There are a lot of good options for Johnson to fight as far as top 15 contenders go at light heavyweight, but he might have scared away a lot of fighters with the power that he showed against Beterbiev. Johnson’s promoter Hearn has deep enough pockets to get a lot of the top fighters at 175 to fight Beterbiev. Here are some good options for Johnson if Hearn is willing to pay one of the top fighters to face him:
– Marcus Browne
– Sullivan Barrera
– Joe Smith Jr.
– Sergey Kovalev
– Badou Jack
– Jean Pascal
– Issac Chilemba
– Anthony Yarde
Hearn has the money to get one of those fighters to face Johnson in February. Whether he’ll want to put Johnson against one of those level fighters is the big question. There are a lot of fringe level contenders that Hearn can sign for Johnson to fight next on DAZN, but they’ll be no better than the guys he was beating before he faced Beterbiev. Johnson won’t get much credit if he’s facing bottom ranked fighters like Reagan Dessaix, Charles Foster, Meng Fanlong, Michael Lee, Sven Fornling or Robert Parzecezewski. Johnson needs to fight against contenders that the boxing world has heard about and care about for him to improve. Johnson is about to turn 34-years-old. He can’t continue to be spoon fed poor opposition at this point in his career if he wants to advance.