January 7, 2022 10.10 am This story is over 29 months old

Boston boxer out of New York world title fight after contracting COVID-19

Heartbreak for the Lincolnshire hero

By Local Democracy Reporter

Local boxer Callum Johnson’s big scheduled world title fight in New York has been put on hold, after the Boston sports star tested positive for COVID-19.

Callum “The One” Johnson was due to face WBO light heavyweight champion Joe Smith Jr in New York on Saturday, January 15 for the second world title bout of his career.

The 36-year-old’s dream has been put on hold for now, though, after contracting coronavirus in the build-up to the fight.

Johnson’s promoter Frank Warren, who also works with fellow British boxer Tyson Fury, has called it a “great shame” that Callum has had to pull out and hopes to reschedule in late spring.

However, it would seem promoters of next weekend’s event in the United States, Top Rank, are lining up new options for champion Joe Smith Jr to defend his belt against.

One of the names mentioned to potentially replace Boston-born Johnson is British boxer Anthony Yarde, who is number one contender in the WBO’s rankings.

It is a bitter blow for Callum, who is somewhat of a Lincolnshire sporting legend thanks to his achievements in boxing, including becoming Commonwealth champion in 2016, and British champion two years later.

“The One” won his first 17 fights after turning professional, before losing by knockout to Artur Beterbiev for the IBF light-heavyweight world title in October 2018.

Callum Johnson with his family and friends, as well as the Mayor of Boston, Councillor Anton Dani, Councillor Paul Skinner and Councillor Tracey Abbott.

He has been celebrated by his hometown community, having a street named in his honour in Boston.

The Lincolnite has reached out to Callum Johnson about the disappointing news, however he is yet to make a public statement following the postponement of his title fight.