Callum Johnson could face either Joshua Buatsi or Sean Monaghan next in early 2019
By Richard Damerell
Last Updated: 04/01/19 3:18pm
Callum Johnson is considering a British-title battle against Joshua Buatsi or a fight in America against Sean Monaghan, his trainer Joe Gallagher has confirmed.
The British light-heavyweight champion has been ordered to defend against Buatsi, while there are also talks ongoing for a US bout against the New York-based Monaghan.
Gallagher has questioned whether Buatsi, with just nine professional bouts, is ready to face Johnson, but insists his fighter would be willing to battle the Olympic bronze medallist.
"One hundred per cent, Joshua Buatsi," Gallagher told Sky Sports. "The board have made that. I do feel myself, it might be a little bit too early for Joshua Buatsi.
"It's down to his team, if they want to go on with it, they can do, but Callum Johnson has won the British title, he's operated at world level, he knows what he wants to do.
"Eddie (Hearn) has promised to bring him back in America in a big fight. We're in talks over a big fight for Callum Johnson over in America at the moment, so if Eddie delivers that, that's great news, that is what Callum Johnson wanted.
If there's nothing else on the horizon, then we're not going to be giving up the British title, we'll fight Joshua Buatsi instead.
"If there's a meaningful fight over there for Callum Johnson to get a ranking or a final eliminator for a world-title shot, of course we'll handle that, and we'll give up the British title.
"But if there's nothing else on the horizon, then we're not going to be giving up the British title, we'll fight Joshua Buatsi instead. We'll see what happens."
Johnson emerged with credit from a brutal shootout with Artur Beterbiev as he floored the IBF champion before being stopped in the fourth round.
Another world-title fight remains the top priority for Johnson, who could opt for Monaghan, if it stakes his claim for a second shot at the belt holders in the division.
"Yeah, Sean Monaghan, that's the name we're looking for," said Gallagher. "He's a good fighter who acquitted himself very well recently. I think it's Sullivan Barrera he fought. That would be a good fight for Callum Johnson.
"If it can be for anything at all, a belt on the line, like the WBC 'silver' or something like that, then that's a great fight. It's a positive step forward for Callum Johnson in his quest going forward to challenge for another world title.
"He would get more out of beating Monaghan for a belt in the world rankings than he would do for defending against Joshua Buatsi at British level."