Beterbiev came out cautious, but found his range in the first round. He eventually dropped Johnson near the end of the first round due to a controversial uppercut. Johnson’s head seemed to be out of the ropes seconds before Beterbiev brought his hands down and threw the punch.
Johnson, who seemed dazed after being dropped in the first, answered with his own knockdown of Beterbiev in the second round by a perfect left hook on the chin.
The two men came to fight and throw heavy-handed power shots, much to the delight of spectators. There was no question the bout wasn’t going the distance.
By the end of Round 3, Callum Johnson was cut and bloody. Beterbiev caught Johnson with a right hand to the temple that Johnson couldn’t’ get up from.
Having fought valiantly, Johnson stated that he still has faith in his ability after the loss.
“I ultimately believe I can be a world champion one day,” said Johnson.
Beterbiev didn’t show any type of ring rust coming off nearly a year lay off due to a promotional legal battle.
Expect Artur Beterbiev to get in the ring with another champion to unify his IBF title.
“I like to first see some proposals,” said Beterbiev. “I’m happy to take a unified fight. I’m happy to again defend my belt, no problem. Everything. It’s my work. It’s my job.”
Header photo by Amber Williams/Round By Round Boxing