With IBF light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev having such a hard time finding an opponent for his next title defense, Beterbiev will now have to settle for the governing body's No. 8 ranked boxer.
The IBF has recently ordered Beterbiev to fight Callum Johnson, who entered the rankings for the first time when the new IBF rankings recently came out. Previously, Beterbiev had been trying to find opponents for a fight, but the four top-ranked boxers all declined the fight for one reason or another and when the new rankings came out, Johnson was the next boxer on the list with a chance to take the title fight. Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed the IBF order and told Boxing Scene that Johnson has accepted the fight.
"The IBF went down the rankings for Beterbiev's mandatory and everybody said no. Then the new rankings came out and because Johnson beat Buglioni, he was the one guy that they hadn't asked, so they asked him and he took it straight away," Hearn said.
Beterbiev won the vacant IBF title last November when he knocked out Enrico Koelling on a Top Rank Boxing on ESPN card. The title was vacated last year when former unified champion Andre Ward retired, vacating the WBA and WBO titles.
Johnson, who was previously unranked in the IBF rankings in March, scored the biggest win of his career when got a TKO win over Frank Buglioni in March. Johnson retained the Commonwealth title while also winning the BBBofC light heavyweight title in that win over Buglioni.