Regional | Boxing

Cherneka Johnson's IBF world title defence in Ireland 'taken away' - champion boxer says

Source: Twitter / Matchroom Boxing

Cherneka Johnson's IBF super bantamweight title defence against England's Ellie Scotney in Dublin in May has been called off due to 'boxing politics', the Ngāti Ranginui fighter claims.

The bout which Johnson, 28, said was on the "incredible fight card" of one of the world's biggest women's boxing stars, Irish fighter Katie Taylor, has left the Tauranga-born fighter bitterly disappointed.

"The politics in boxing is actual BS. Why should Myself or Ellie loose the opportunity to fight a great fight on such an incredible fight card for women’s boxing?", Johnson said this week on social media.

"The work that goes into starting a camp mentally and physically and the preparations that have already gone in and have that taken away because of behind the scenes drama that has nothing to do with the actual fighters themselves."

The Australia-based Johnson (15-1, 6 KOs) said she deserved better as champion.

"As the Champion me and my team agreed and went back and forth with negotiations to defend my title in Dublin on the Katie Taylor and Chantel Cameron undercard on neutral territory, there was nothing in the contract stating that due to behind the scenes drama that this defence will be moved to a smaller show in Ellie’s hometown in the UK.

"This is unfair and as the Champion I deserve better. I did not hesitate to give Ellie the opportunity to challenge for the title on this big card, I shouldn’t be punished for this!"

Johnson won the world title in April 2022 and successfully defended it against Australian Susie Ramadan in October.

Her now scrapped second title defence, against Scotney, 25, (6-0), would have been Johnson's first time fighting outside either Australia or New Zealand as a professional.