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19 JUNE 2018

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Johnson Resumes Career On Sept 27

Four years ago, Callum Johnson was one of the stars of the Commonwealth Games.


The Scottish captain powered to gold in Delhi and on his return from India, he turned professional with Prince Naseem Hamed and Frank Warren.


Not everything has gone according to plan for Johnson since and for a while, he even thought about quitting.


But he’s returned this year with back-to-back wins - and the 28 year-old light-heavyweight from Boston is back in action next month.


Promoter Carl Greaves has added Johnson to his show in Lincoln on Saturday, September 27.


"There were a few headlines when I turned pro and I was hoping to make a few waves," said Johnson, who targets a ninth straight win at the North Kesteven Centre.


"I went out to America sparring and spent a lot of money travelling to and from Manchester, but I just wasn’t getting the fights.


"I ended up getting disillusioned. I fell out of love with the sport.


"I was really down for a while. I hardly left the house for four months, that’s how bad I felt.


"But I started to think that if I didn’t give boxing another go I would regret it for the rest of my life.


"I got my head right again and got back down the gym.


"My amateur career didn’t go smoothly either, but I got there in the end.


"I beat the English No 1 (Sam Webb) when I was a teenager and still didn’t get picked for England.


"I took the Scottish route (his maternal grandmother is from Glasgow) and got there that way.


"I’ve always had to do it the hard way.


"I know what I’m capable of and people I spar with know what I’m capable of.


"I just need the opportunity to show what I can do."


In the two fights since he’s returned, Johnson has shown what he can do.


Egidijus Kakstys, known as a durable journeyman, was beaten inside two rounds, then Nathan King was thrashed in front of the Sky Sports cameras last month.


King was rated around the domestic top 10 after upsetting Courtney Fry - but Johnson punished the Welshman from first bell to last in Glasgow.


Not that everything went according to plan in that fight . . .


"I went out for the first round and started slipping all over the place," said Johnson.


"My boots wouldn’t stick to the canvas and I started thinking: ’What am I going to do ?’ instead of concentrating on the fight.


"But I still won comfortably enough.


"Nathan usually takes a round or two off his opponents, but I did everything apart from stop him.


"I still need to get some new boots for my next fight, though !"


His next fight will be a six rounder in Lincoln and on the same night, Paul Smith, his stablemate at Joe Gallagher’s gym in Manchester, challenges Arthur Abraham for the WBO super-middleweight title in Germany.


"I really believe Paul can do it," said Johnson. "He can really punch and Joe will get the tactics right.


"I’m gutted I can’t be there, but I’ve got to concentrate on my own career and keep winning if I want to get where Paul is."


There’s another big fight on the same night - and Johnson will be interested in the outcome of Bob Ajisafe’s British light-heavyweight title defence against Travis Dickinson.


"They are both good fighters," said Johnson, "but neither of them scares me.


"If I had six weeks to prepare for either of them, I would definitely take it."


August 2, 2014

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