Callum Johnson is set to face New Yorker Sean Monaghan after receiving terms for a March fight in America, says trainer Joe Gallagher.
The 33-year-old light-heavyweight expects to return to the US following his exciting shootout with Artur Beterbiev, with both fighters hitting the canvas before the IBF champion forced a fourth-round stoppage in October.
Johnson had been ordered to defend his British title against Joshua Buatsi, but vacated the belt to pursue another world title shot, and New York is the likely location for the Monaghan fight.
“Yeah, Monaghan in March,” Gallagher told Sky Sports. “There was obviously the talk of him versus Joshua Buatsi, but (promoter) Eddie (Hearn) promised to bring him back in America, he has done.
“All the terms and conditions, the pay, the opponent, everything fits right. I think for Callum Johnson to come back from fighting for a world title to defending the British against Joshua Buatsi, he’s got more to lose than he has to gain.
“I think it was a bit too soon for Joshua Buatsi, but Eddie is giving Callum Johnson a huge opportunity again in America. The crowd took to him, he performed well over there last time, although he lost.”
WBA champion Dmitry Bivol has signed a promotional deal with Eddie Hearn ahead of his next title defence against Joe Smith Jr in March, and Johnson could target the Russian if he retains the belt.
“If Callum beats Sean Monaghan, he will be looking at another world title challenge,” said Gallagher.
“You’ve got the (Sergey) Kovalev fight as well, you’ve got Bivol, so any of them.
“Bivol has signed with Matchroom now – that’s a fight that could possibly be made. As long as Callum Johnson wins this and looks well doing it.
“His opponent, Monaghan has just come off a loss against a world-class fighter as well, so it’s just for him to get in there and be amongst it.”