Johnson vs Beterbiev: Callum Johnson beaten by Artur Beterbiev after exciting firefight
By Richard Damerell
Last Updated: 07/10/18 10:37am
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.
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.
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.
"I don't want to make any excuses, but I can fight better than that," he told Sky Sports afterwards.
"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."