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Johnson vs Beterbiev: Callum Johnson beaten by Artur Beterbiev after exciting firefight

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Callum Johnson floored Artur Beterbiev but was eventually stopped

Callum Johnson's brave world title attempt ended in a fourth-round knockout defeat to Artur Beterbiev after both men were floored in an exciting firefight.

The British light-heavyweight was down inside the opening round but then floored IBF title holder Beterbiev in the second. But the heavy-handed champion ended his challenge with a destructive stoppage at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago.

Taking the centre of the ring, Johnson quickly gained Beterbiev's attention with an overhand right, but he became entangled in the ropes and was clubbed to the canvas by a left hook.

Callum Johnson,
Image: Johnson was floored in the opening round

Johnson produced a stunning response in the second as he floored Beterbiev with a looping left hand of his own, although he was unable to find another telling blow before the end of the round.

Callum Johnson
Image: Beterbiev toppled to the canvas in the second

Blood trickled from the right eye of Johnson in the third, with both men trading savage shots from close range, but Beterbiev ended the fight in ruthless style in the next.

A big right hand sent shockwaves through the legs of Johnson, who crumpled to the canvas, and he was unable to beat the count.

Callum Johnson
Image: The British fighter could not beat the count in the fourth

"I don't want to make any excuses, but I can fight better than that," he told Sky Sports afterwards.

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"I came close in that second round but the better man won and he finished the job off, so fair play to him.

"It's not dented my confident at all. In fact I think I might have needed that and believe me, I am coming back stronger and better than ever and I can't wait to get back in there."

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Callum Johnson feels he proved himself against Artur Beterbiev and is targeting another world title fight in the future.

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