Powerful Callum Johnson wants another shot at the light heavyweight title
By John J. Raspanti
Callum Johnson can punch.
Fighting for the first time since being stopped by Artur Beterbiev in Chicago last year, it took Johnson a little over six minutes to demolish tough Sean Monaghan at Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, New York Saturday night.
The win sets up Johnson to possibly meet WBA champion Dmitry Bivol.
Johnson, from England, appeared to be on the verge of capturing the IBF light heavyweight title when he floored Beterbiev in round two. Johnson,33, admitted afterword that he had already began to celebrate, until he watched Beterbiev pull himself off the floor. Johnson failed to hurt Beterbiev again, and was stopped two rounds later.
“I learned a lot from the Beterbiev fight,” said Johnson in the ring after destroying Monagham. “I needed the win to get back on track. But, mentally, I needed that loss more.”
Johnson (18-1, 13 KOs) jumped on the game Monaghan (29-3, 17 KOs) from the get go, pumping out his jab and firing crunching combinations. Monaghan, 37, knocked out for the second consecutive time, tried to fight back but was lacking the fire power to bother Johnson.
By the end of the round he was bloody and in trouble. Johnson did even better in round two, cracking Monaghan with thudding shots until a right-left combination sent him back peddling to the floor. Monaghan got up, but seconds later a big left hook floored him for the second time. Monaghan, seemingly out of it, bravely beat the count and for some reason was allowed to continue.
Johnson wasted no time going after his beaten opponent in the third frame. He pushed Monaghan into the ropes and unleashed a barrage of shots until referee Charlie Fitch waved off the fight.
“There isn’t a fighter that is out there in the light heavy division that is stronger than me," Johnson said. "I have power to knock anyone out. I know I had a tough competitor ahead of me in Monaghan. I enjoyed myself out there tonight."