John seeks rematch with Russian rival

Borders boxer John McCallum is looking for a rematch against the Russian giant who forced him into a second-round stoppage two months ago.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 14th January 2021, 4:45 pm
John McCallum, gives it his best shot in Russia against Evgeny Tischenko (picture by RCC Boxing Promotions)
John McCallum, gives it his best shot in Russia against Evgeny Tischenko (picture by RCC Boxing Promotions)

The 32-year-old is in negotiaons with the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) for another crack at 6ft 5in Russian southpaw heavyweight Evgeny Tishchenko.

Finance graduate John, previously of Galashiels and Melrose, was unhappy with the verdict in their first fight for the WBO cruiserweight belt at Yekaterinburg, Russia, in November.

Although his opponent felled him with a good body shot, John believed the referee had ended the bout prematurely, while he’d been ahead on the score cards of all three judges after round one.

He was also upset at reports he’d been knocked out, when he maintained it was a stoppage.

As an amateur, Tishchenko, 29, was a two-time Olympic gold medallist, twice European champion and two-time world champion.

His win over John made it eight out of eight as a professional.

However, despite the fact John hadn’t been in a boxing ring for nearly two years – and Tishchenko was five inches taller, with superior technical ability – the Borders man was far from discouraged.

He said it was a very enriching experience and he had a fresh desire to box.

Tishchenko’s management wants to fast-track him to a world title shot – so if the rematch is not granted, John may get an international test in February in eastern Europe.

“It’s all positive – there’s nothing negative about this,” he said.

“I don’t want to sound like a sore loser but the referee counted in Russian for six seconds. I jumped up and he waved it off. Under WBO rules, it’s a 10-second count. I jumped up at eight seconds and stated I was fine to continue – and he waved me off.

“I’m taking nothing away fromTishchenko,” added John. “I tried to land a right hand and he got me with a body shot. Apart from that, the whole experience was great. I have no regrets.”

John, still ranked in the WBO top 20, added: “I have that buzz and excitement about me now that I first had 10 years ago as a professional,” he said. “I feel better now because of the opportunities that are there. I am not just training for nothing; it’s like something will come now.

“I feel because I lost that fight, a lot of people will think I am ready for the taking, so I think there will be more opportunities in 2021.

“People will think they can beat me, so they will maybe offer the fight. I feel it’s only going to be positive from here.

“I am definitely going to fight for a WBO inter-continental title next,” said John.

“I am starting to see the best version of me, and that was important for me.

“I am more hungry and determined.

“I know I wasn’t that far away.”