Beterbiev vs Johnson: Callum Johnson ready to bring IBF light-heavyweight title home
Johnson challenges unbeaten Beterbiev in Chicago, live on Sky Sports from 2am on Sunday
By Andy Scott & Tim Hobbs
Last Updated: 02/10/18 4:35pm
Callum Johnson believes he has the ability to shock the world and become Britain's latest world champion.
Johnson challenges unbeaten IBF light-heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev in Chicago on Saturday night, live on Sky Sports.
It will be Johnson's first world title challenge when he takes on the renowned Russian but, days after gym-mate Callum Smith upset the odds to beat George Groves, the 33-year-old is confident he can make the same step up.
"I'm not deluded, I know what a tough ask it is and I know what I am up against," Johnson told Sky Sports.
"But, at the same time, I am not bothered. I fancy that I can shock the world. I honestly believe on my day, if I can produce the best I can produce, I've got a great chance. We've seen it before.
"You all know I carry the power to knock anyone out and I've got good skills as well, and I was a top amateur myself. I think this is the fight where people will see what I can do.
"Win lose or draw, people are going to see a great fight. They are going to see that Callum Johnson really can fight and can fight with the best in the world."
You all know I carry the power to knock anyone out and I've got good skills as well and I was a top amateur myself. I think this is the fight where people will see what I can do.
Beterbiev will be making the first defence of his first professional title following a glittering amateur career which saw him win two World and one European Championships.
Johnson took gold in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, and has won the British and Commonwealth titles as a pro, but the IBF belt would complete a heart-felt hat-trick in honour of his late father, Johno.
"I like to think he's out there, watching everything, knowing everything that's going on," he said.
"I think we all need that little bit of hope that there is something. But still I know my own personal thoughts and feelings, that I know I am doing right by him.
"I am continuing the journey for us both and achieving the goals we set out to achieve. We were always a team, from day one we were a pair, so it does hurt that he's not here to see it all happen and share it with me.
"But, at the same time, it gives me so much comfort that I am doing it for me.
"I promised the day I buried him, I put the lid down, I said to him I would win the British and Commonwealth and do my very best to win a world title."
Watch the action from Chicago with Jessie Vargas vs Thomas Dulorme, Artur Beterbiev vs Callum Johnson, Daniel Roman vs Gavin McDonnell and Jarrell Miller vs Tomasz Adamek, 2am, Sunday, Sky Sports Action or follow it on our live blog at skysports.com/boxing or on the Sky Sports App.