John McCallum: I’m not running scared of Tommy Philbin

John McCallum, left, has suffered a shoulder injury
John McCallum, left, has suffered a shoulder injury
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Edinburgh middleweight boxer John McCallum doesn’t fear Tommy Philbin and will happily fight his opponent before the end of the year when he is 100 per cent fit.

The 29-year-old has been forced to withdraw from the duo’s Celtic super-middleweight title showdown at Meadowbank on Friday, October 6, having been told he requires an operation on his Rotator cuff in his left shoulder. He is set to undergo surgery later this month to repair the damage.

Philbin, who won the British light-heavyweight challenge belt in June, will now box Scottish champion Rhys Pagan instead on MTK Scotland’s Capital Collison bill, an event that will be broadcast live on BoxNation.

McCallum, though, says he intends to be back training again by the middle of October so he is fit to take his place in the ring before the year is out – with Philbin preferably in the opposite corner.

“I spoke to my manager [Steve Goodwin] to see if we could postpone it until the end of the year because I want to fight Philbin. But Sam Kynoch and MTK want to go ahead with the show in October as planned, which is understandable,” McCallum explained. “But it’s also important I’m fit and healthy so I can get the job done right.

“The shoulder is preventing me from using my left hook, which is obviously one of my main shots. I’d been getting physio even before the fight was announced in June but I now need an operation which has been pencilled in for the end of this month. They’ve said it will take six weeks to recover so I need to make sure I’m 100 per cent.

“I understand from a promoters’ point of view that I don’t want to leave it until the last minute to pull out. But I’ll be boxing in November or December and ideally Philbin will be my opponent.

“I’ve got medical X-rays to show that it’s genuine and the British Boxing Board of Control have them. I know there’s a lot of talk on social media of me not wanting the fight but that’s not the case, I need to be fit. Let’s get it on at the end of the year when I’m 100 per cent ready. I’ve got to do what’s best for my health.”