Artur Beterbiev will make his first defense of the IBF world light heavyweight title against Callum Johnson on Saturday, Oct. 6 in Chicago.
Beterbiev comes into the bout at 12-0 after defeating Enrico Koelling with a 12th-round knockout to earn the vacant championship belt back in November 2017. Prior to that match, the furthest Beterbiev ever went in a fight before earning the victory was when he went into the seventh round in his June 2015 win over Alexander Johnson. The Russian fighter has earned knockouts wins in all of his contests so far, but Saturday’s will be only his second against another undefeated fighter.
Callum Johnson also has 12 career knockouts, but in 17 wins over the course of his undefeated career. The Brit nicknamed “The One” was last in the ring on March 24 when he earned a first-round TKO against Frank Buglioni. Saturday will be the first time Johnson enters the ring against another undefeated opponent. Buglioni’s 21-2-1 record going into the bout with Johnson was the best of any of his competitors so far. This will also be Johnson’s first shot at a world title.
The 33-year-olds are only separated by a 1/2 inch in height in favor of Johnson and both have orthodox stances. Both fighters are also entering this match with about the same amount of rest they had going into their last matches. Beterbiev was off for 11 months from Dec. 23, 2016 when he got a TKO over Isidro Ranoni Prieto to Nov. 11, 2017 when he defeated Alexander Johnson. Callum Johnson was out of the ring for six months after beating Willbeforce Shihepo on Sept. 24, 2017 before taking on Buglioni.
The main event on the card Saturday though will be the welterweight bout beteween Jessie Vargas and Thomas Dulorme.
HOW TO WATCH
Time: 9 p.m. ET
Live Stream: Watch live online on DAZN Matchroom Boxing. Sign up now for a 30-day free trial.
video source: iFL TV (YouTube Channel)
news source: si