Callum Johnson still training for European title fight... but boxer unsure if he will meet Russia's Ighor Mikhalkin

Boston fighter aims to be in top shape if May bout goes ahead...

Callum Johnson. Photo: David Dawson
Callum Johnson. Photo: David Dawson

Callum Johnson is continuing to train for his European title fight, but admits he doesn’t know whether he will be stepping in the ring to meet Russia’s Ighor Mikhalkin.

The two light heavyweights are due to meet at the Manchester Arena on May 2, on the undercard of Dyllian Whyte’s WBC heavyweight title battle against Alexander Povetkin.

The the Coronavirus outbreak and Government ruling out mass gatherings, the bout looks unlikely to take place at this point.

However, Bostonian Johnson has received no official word and is continuing getting in shape for the fight.

“I’ve just got to keep on training. I need to be ready for the fight until I hear anything different,” he told The Standard.

“I’ve got to make sure I’m ready because nobody knows what is happening yet.”

Johnson, 34, had continued to train in gyms until they were ordered to close by the Government of Friday, along with pubs and restaurants.

And that may have thrown a spanner into the works of Johnson’s schedule.

“It’s not ideal as it’s getting to the time where I need to be sparring,” he added.

“But I’m not sure I’d be wanting to go to a different, sweaty gym and spar with someone with what’s happening right now.

“The main thing is that everybody stays safe at this time. I hope that’s what they’re doing.”

Johnson’s last fight came in March last year when he stopped Seanie Monaghan in New York... and he is desperate to return to action.

“Obviously, I want to get back in there as soon as possible,” he said.

“I’ve been out injured, and that was nobody’s fault but my own. But if I’m not fighting I’m not earning money.

“I know it’s like that for a lot of people right now, and it’s not just me.”

Johnson, a former Commonwealth Games gold medallist, has also won the British and Commonwealth titles as a professional.

Mikhalkin, a 34-year-old Russian, has won 23 and lost two of his pro bouts.

Johnson’s only defeat came in his world title bout against Artur Beterbiev.

He has won his other 18 pro fights.