The bout will take place on October 6 in the United States, with New York or Chicago likely venues.
Johnson’s career has been plagued by inactivity but he won the British title, knocking out Frank Buglioni in March in one round. He now goes right into the deep end of world boxing. Beterbiev was a fearsome amateur. He is only 12 bouts into his professional career but has won all 12 inside the distance.
He won the IBF world title when knocked out Enrico Koelling in the last round of their clash in November 2017 at the Save Mart Center in Fresno. Beterbiev has not fought since but he will be a significant favourite against Johnson.
Johnson’s trainer Joe Gallagher has previously told Boxing News, “We’re going to fight one of the hardest punchers in world boxing. Everyone goes on about ‘GGG’ but this is the ‘GGG’ of the light-heavyweights. Obviously you’ve got [Dmitry] Bivol in there as well, [Adonis] Stevenson, and now you’ve also got Beterbiev. Callum Johnson, there’s no fear in him. He’s coming off a fantastic win over Frank Buglioni and I’ve always known he’s a powerful puncher. He was a good amateur, he fought Russians on the amateur circuit.”