Beterbiev vs Johnson: Joe Gallagher admits Callum Johnson winning a world title will be a 'huge personal milestone'
By Neel Khagram
Last Updated: 29/08/18 2:08pm
Trainer Joe Gallagher says seeing Callum Johnson winning the world light-heavyweight title from Artur Beterbiev will be a "huge personal" achievement.
The unbeaten 33-year-old (17-0-KO12) will challenge for the IBF world light-heavyweight belt away from home at the Wintrust Arena, Chicago, but Gallagher believes the timing of the fight and preparation his charge is putting into the contest will see him victorious on October 6, live on Sky Sports.
I gave his dad my word that I was going to look after him and what better way to pay tribute to his dad then winning a world title against someone like Artur Beterbiev.
"Everything about Callum in the way that he's preparing is just telling me that he's going to do it," Gallagher said to sportingnews.com.
"This is what people should be in boxing for and I tell my fighters that all the time. This gym can have some really big moments in the next few weeks, but Callum Johnson winning that world title will be a huge personal milestone for me.
"The light-heavyweight division is a place that's becoming wide open at the top and I don't see any reason why Callum can't have his say in it. We had to take it."
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Two weeks after Johnson takes on Beterbiev, Katie Taylor, Billy Joe Saunders and James Tennyson will all be in world title fights, live on Sky Sports.
Beterbiev (12-0-KO12) boasts a 100 per cent knockout rate in the professional ranks, but will only have fought once in 22 months when he steps into the ring against Johnson - a 2017 stoppage victory over Enrico Koelling last November for the vacant IBF 175lbs crown.
Such inactivity from the champion, along with the mental toughness of the British fighter as showcased in a first-round victory against Frank Buglioni in March, will all prove advantageous to 'The One', claims Gallagher.
"Beterbiev has looked devastating so far, but he's also had his problems with inactivity so are we going to get the best version of him? I don't think so," he said.
"You might think I'm making this up, but I told Callum he'd be back in the changing room in five minutes. That was the last thing I said to him before he went out against Buglioni because a lot of people just don't know what he is capable of.
"I gave his dad my word that I was going to look after him and what better way to pay tribute to his dad than winning a world title against someone like Artur Beterbiev."
Watch Callum Johnson challenge Artur Beterbiev for his IBF light-heavyweight title, at the Wintrust Arena, Chicago, on October 6, live on Sky Sports.