Joe Smith Vs. Callum Johnson Fixed For January 15
A light heavyweight title fight has been booked for January 15, 2022, between Joe Smith Jr. and Callum Johnson.
Both fighters have agreed to headline the ESPN show at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York.
Smith, who has held the title since April, was first booked to defend it against Umar Salamov on October 30. However, the fight was scrapped after Salamov, a native of Russia, encountered visa issues and Smith was also down with Covid-19.
The 32-year-old champ was then scheduled to fight Johnson.
Smith beat Maxim Vlasov in April to don the title around his waist. With a majority-decision victory, he rose to No. 3 in ESPN’s light heavyweight rankings.
This showdown was Smith’s second shot at the title after being beaten by Dmitry Bivol.
If the American star beats England’s Johnson in January, he is likely to be booked against Daniel Jacobs later in 2022. Jacob is presently competing at 168 pounds, but intends to jump up to 175 pounds for a title shot.
As for 36-year-old Johnson, he will enter the fight as an underdog, especially after his last performance in October, where he struggled to a majority-decision victory against Server Emurlaev.