It’s official: Callum Johnson will face Seanie Monaghan in a light heavyweight showdown on DAZN’s March 9 card from Verona, NY, headlined by the light heavyweight title fight between Dmitry Bivol and Joe Smith Jr, and also featuring a junior welterweight title bout between Maurice Hooker and Mikkel LesPierre.
Johnson (17-1, 12 KO) is coming off of a failed world title bid, losing in a shootout to Artur Beterbiev last October. The former British and Commonwealth titleholder had been ordered to face top prospect Joshua Buatsi for the British title, but has his sights set firmly on getting back to a world title fight.
That said, Monaghan (29-2, 17 KO) is not a legitimate contender, and in all reality is not nearly as risky as fighting Buatsi would have been. Monaghan is a popular guy in New York and he seems like an entirely likable sort, but he’s been exposed in two of his last three, losses to Marcus Browne and Sullivan Barrera. Browne ripped through him in two, and Barrera all but shut him out over 10 rounds in November.
Still, you can see the thinking here. Keeping Johnson active and in the spotlight — or something resembling the spotlight — on a card featuring a world title fight in the same division could lead to Johnson facing the Bivol-Smith winner, with a little bit of hype if both perform well in victory.