By: Sean Crose
Per Matchroom Boxing: “Callum Johnson and Sean Monaghan will clash in a crunch Light-Heavyweight battle at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York on Saturday March 9, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.” The 17-1 Johnson, who suffered a KO loss to IBF World Light Heavyweight Champion Artur Beterbiev last October in Chicago, is eager for a chance at redemption. A win against the popular Monaghan on the undercard of the Dmitry Bivol-Joe Smith Jr/ Maurice Hooker-Mikkel Les Pierre double header in Verona would certainly prove good for the Englishman’s career.
“I was gutted in the Beterbiev fight,” Johnson says. “I was gutted because I felt the occasion maybe got to me, but I still had good moments in the fight and I’ve learned a lot from it…I know that if a second shot comes my way, I will be more than ready for it with the experience of Chicago behind me. Sean always puts everything into his fights and he badly needs this win, just like I do, so there should be fireworks.” Johnson, who has earned all four of his previous wins by knockout, is clearly hoping to impress.
Yet the 29-2 Monaghan is looking to redeem himself, as well. As Matchroom puts it: “The New Yorker enters the bout gone the ten round distance with Sullivan Barerra in November, and the 37 year old sees a victory over Johnson as a must-win to keep his World title dreams alive.” Aside from being handed a loss by Barerra last November, Smith has also been defeated by now WBA interim Light Heavyweight champ Marcus Browne via stoppage in 2017. A win against a name fighter might do wonders for the New Yorker’s career at this point, which helps make the bout with Johnson the must win occasion it is for both men.
“I’ve had my eye on Callum since before the Beterbiev fight,” Monaghan claims. “He has a come forward pressure style and our styles should make for a fan friendly fight.” Monaghan also makes it clear that facing an English fighter comes with risks in and of itself. “I know these Brit’s always come in shape,” he says, “so I’m already working very hard. This is a fight I absolutely need to win. No excuses, it’s do or die for me.” The Johnson-Monaghan match is scheduled for ten rounds.