Callum Johnson 18-1 (13) bounced back from his lone career loss to bludgeon popular New Yorker Sean Monaghan 29-3 (17) into submission in three rounds at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, New York on Saturday night.
In his first fight since being stopped in four rounds by reigning IBF light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev in Chicago five months ago, Johnson had his power on full display against Monaghan.
In the opening round Johnson punished Monaghan with hard right hands and debilitating body shots, continuing the punishment in the second frame. Just before the bell a counter right dropped Monaghan and the follow-up left hook saw the New Yorker on the canvas again as the bell rang.
Johnson jumped on Monaghan at the sound of the bell to start the third round, unleashing a fusillade of shots that forced referee Charlie Fitch to wave off the fight at the 0:23 mark.
After the fight Johnson admitted he had got ahead of himself in the Beterbiev fight after he had the champion on the canvas in the second round and had already begun to celebrate.
“I learned a lot from the Beterbiev fight,” said Johnson. “I needed the win to get back on track. But, mentally, I needed that loss more.”
The 33-year-old Englishman believes he is ready to take on the best of the best at 175-pounds, citing his physical strength and power as key attributes that will allow him to compete with anyone on even terms.
“There isn’t a fighter that is out there in the light heavy division that is stronger than me,” Johnson said. “I have power to knock anyone out. I know I had a tough competitor ahead of me in Monaghan. I enjoyed myself out there tonight.”