Callum Johnson will face Willbeforce Shihepo for the vacant Commonwealth Light-Heavyweight title at the Manchester Arena on September 24, live on Sky Sports.
Johnson is aiming to secure a dream Commonwealth double having landed Commonwealth Games gold in Delhi in 2010 before turning pro later that year. The unbeaten 31 year old Scot now faces his first title fight in the paid ranks in his 16th outing, doing so on a huge night in Manchester on the undercard of his Joe Gallagher gym-mate Anthony Crolla’s World Lightweight unification battle with Jorge Linares.
Shihepo brings vast experience to Manchester and presents a stern test to Johnson in his first title bout with the Namibian in his eighth title fight having won half of them and taken Arthur Abraham the distance in Germany, and with 17 KOs from 23 wins, the visitor provides a dangerous examination of Johnson’s title credentials.
“This is a huge step up for Callum but now is the time to see if he is going to become the force we believe he can in the division,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “You only have to look at the level that Shihepo has mixed with to see how tough a fight this will be but we are confident that Callum will add the Commonwealth title to his Games gold medal on September 24.”
Johnson’s clash with Shihepo is part of a huge night of action as Crolla and Linares clash in a blockbuster battle for the WBA, WBC Diamond and vacant Ring Magazine Lightweight straps.
John Ryder defends his WBA International Middleweight title against Jack Arnfield, Isaac Lowe defends his Commonwealth Featherweight title against Tshifhiwa Munyai, unbeaten Light-Heavyweight Hosea Burton will be in title action and Conor Benn tastes his fifth night of action in the paid ranks with an appearance first at The O2 in London on September 10.
Tickets are on sale now priced at £40, £60, £80, £100 and £150 and available from the Manchester Arena at www.manchester-arena.com/] or by calling 0844 847 8000. VIP tickets are exclusively available through www.matchroomboxing.com priced at £250.
Face value tickets for September 24 will also be available from http://www.stubhub.co.uk/matchroom-boxing-tickets/. StubHub is the official ticket partner and marketplace of Matchroom Boxing and Anthony Joshua.