Beterbiev keeps light heavyweight crown

Callum Johnson catches Willbeforce Shihepo during their Commonwealth Light Heavyweight championship fight in 2016

Callum Johnson catches Willbeforce Shihepo during their Commonwealth Light Heavyweight championship fight in 2016

This was Beterbiev's first bout in nearly a year, since capturing the vacant IBF title by stopping Enrico Koelling in the twelfth round last November.

The British light-heavyweight became the first man to floor IBF title holder Beterbiev in the second round, but the heavy-handed champion ended his challenge with a destructive stoppage at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago.

Beterbiev, 33, maintained his ideal record with his 13th knockout win in 13 professional fights. Beterbiev dropped Johnson at the end of round one.

The knockout artist was clearly looking to finish Johnson off in the 2nd.

Beterbiev managed to stave off Johnson for the rest of the round, and the two traded more big blows in the 3rd round.

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The undefeated Johnson continued with his fearless strategy in the fourth, but he came undone when Beterbiev connected with a huge right hand that crumpled the Brit's legs and sent him to the canvas. "In fact I think I might have needed that and believe me, I am coming back stronger and better than ever and I can't wait to get back in there".

"It's hard to work with somebody who doesn't want to fight at all, but this fight with Johnson will be the complete opposite".

On the same card, World Boxing Association (WBA) super bantamweight world champion Danny Roman takes on British challenger Gavin McDonnell.

Roman improved to 26-2 with 1 drawn and 10 knockouts.

McDonnell, 20-1 with two drawn, suffered his only career defeat in his only prior world title tilt, dropping a majority decision to Rey Vargas a year ago in their fight for the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) super bantamweight world title. His only prior defeat came in his only other world championship fight, when he dropped a majority decision to Rey Vargas previous year in their duel for the vacant World Boxing Council super bantamweight world title.

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