"It's my time!" Callum Johnson ready to fulfil his 'destiny' as he prepares for world title fight

Can light heavyweight bring belt back to Boston?

Former British and Commonwealth champ Callum Johnson believes it is his destiny to win a world title. He fights Joe Smith jnr in January. Photo: Getty Images
Former British and Commonwealth champ Callum Johnson believes it is his destiny to win a world title. He fights Joe Smith jnr in January. Photo: Getty Images

Callum Johnson is ready to fulfil his destiny and bring a world title back to Boston.

The 36-year-old will meet Joe Smith jnr in Verona, New York next month with the American's WBO light heavyweight title on the line.

After period of injury and inactivity, Johnson - who recently severed ties with Eddie Hearn's Matchroom stable to link up with Frank Warren's Queensberry Promotions - is determined to begin 2022 with a bang.

"I'm proud of myself for what I've gone through to get back here, the injuries and the problems with promoters, not fighting for two years," he said.

"I've just dug in, kept going and fought back to be in this position again.

"I'm just excited to go over there and do the business as I'm very very confident I'll come back with that belt."

Winning a world title has been Johnson's goal since childhood, driven on by the faith his late dad Paul - his coach and mentor - had in his ability.

"Dad always told me I'd fight for world titles and one day I'd be champion of the world," Johnson added.

"I think about it and think to myself; he never lied to me, never.

"It makes me think that everything happens for a reason - is this what it's about? What my whole life has led to?

"I think it's my destiny. I do believe that you have to put the work in and create your own destiny to a certain degree, but I just think it's my time."

Johnson fought Artur Beterbiev for the IBF title in Chicago in 2018, sending the Russian to the canvas before being beaten by a fourth round stoppage.

But Johnson believes lessons have been learned from that encounter and he is back in his happy place preparing for a battle.

"I'm just fully focussed. I'm enjoying it (the buzz of a title fight) but I'm most happy when I'm in boxing mode.

"When I'm doing everything I need to do in my training and I've got a massive goal at the end of it, that's when I'm most happy anyway.

"I'm happy, fresh, clear minded and I've got a massive carrot dangling."