Johnson: Buatsi clash inevitable

Boston banger Callum Johnson believes that a tantalising domestic clash with rising 175lbs star Joshua Buatsi is inevitable down the line.

Johnson (18-1, 13 KOs) was due to face Russia’s Igor Mikhalkin for the vacant European title on the undercard of Dillian Whyte vs Alexander Povetkin at Manchester Arena on May 2nd before the event was postponed as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

A win over Mikhalkin would have boosted Johnson’s chances of securing a second world title shot following his sole career loss to Artur Beterbiev for the IBF crown in 2018. The Boston man remains focused on European glory and a potential meeting with Matchroom stablemate Buatsi once it is safe for boxing to resume. 

“The Buatsi fight is going to happen,” Johnson told Chris Lloyd in the latest episode of Matchroom Boxing’s podcast ‘The Lockdown Tapes’. “It’s the easier fight to make and whether it happens next or the one after I believe it will and it’s a good fight that will generate a lot of interest with the British fight fans.

“It may be tough to get a world title shot, but if the European title clash happens then that will put me right back up there in contention. If I am European champ I feel the promoters can make it happen, but it’s also down to getting the opportunities.

“I have got to focus on getting that European belt as it is a good one for the collection and I’d have the British, Commonwealth, European then go for the world,” he continued. “When things do get back to normal, I will be ready. I’m training really hard and consistently and I think I’m in the best shape of my life.

“I have another two or three good years in me that I think a lot of people are going to enjoy. I am 34 going on 25! The improvements I have made in the last seven weeks have been exciting and I can’t wait to get back in there.”