Callum Johnson will return to the ring next month - knowing victory over Marko Nikolic will edge him closer to his dreams of securing a second world title fight.
The 35-year-old light heavyweight (19-1) will face his Serbian rival (27-1) at Hackney’s Copper Box Arena on Saturday, September 11.
“It’s strange isn’t it, having two fights in five months,” joked Johnson, whose TKO victory over Croatia’s Emil Markic in April ended a two-year hiatus from the ring.
“It’s not something we’re used to.”
“It’s exciting. When it gets announced it still gives you them butterflies and you realise it’s real now.
“It makes you that do that extra you need to, it switches you on and makes you focus.”
Johnson is determined to fulfil his lifetime dream of becoming a world champion.
The former British and Commonwealth champ was stopped by IBF champ Artur Beterbiev in Chicago three years ago, but not before he had put the Russian on the canvas.
After getting so close, the Boston boxer believes regular ring time will be key to building up momentum towards another title shot.
“It’s important to keep fighting. I’ve been unluckly with inactivity and injury,” he added.
“But at my age I’ve not got years and years left and I have to do the best I can.
“We’re back out next month and it’d be nice to get out again in December or early next year - but I’ve got to concentrate on this one first or that means nothing.”
Johnson will now turn his attention to getting in top condition for the fight, as well as studying Nikolic, 32, with the help from coach Joe Gallagher.
“He’s got a good record and we’ll start doing our homework on him,” he said.
“Joe’s showing me bits and bobs. It’s not something I worry about too much, anyway.
“Joe figures him out and tells me what I need to do and what he’ll do well, and then we work on it in the gym.
“But I will look at him to get my eye in and see what sticks out.”
Johnson’s bout against Nikolic will be broadcast live on BT Sport