GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING: Bloodied Aussie female fighter’s stunning display of bravery sees her retain world title which she dedicates to her murdered brother…before her opponent accuses her of being a drug cheat
- Super bantam world champion Cherneka Johnson has defended her title
- The 27-year-old overcame a nasty, bloody gash to win unanimously on points
- Johnson dedicated the win to her murdered brother, and was then accused of being a drug cheat by her opponent
Super bantamweight champion Cherneka Johnson has successfully defended her IBF world title in a brave, bloody contest – before being accused of doping by beaten fellow Australian Susie Ramadan.
Johnson retained her belt with a unanimous points decision in their duel on the undercard of the George Kambosos v Devin Haney world title rematch at Rod Laver Arena on Sunday.
Cherneka Johnson (Australian/Maori) stands tall while sizing up her opponent Susie Ramadan of Australia during their IBF super-bantamweight boxing bout
Ramadan had threatened an upset after opening up a nasty cut above her rival’s eye in the first round that needed plenty of medical attention.
The 27-year-old champion managed to knock down Ramadan and showed no signs of injury, finding rhythm to beat her opponent in a gutsy effort.
Cherneka Johnson poses with her super bantam belt following her world title retention bout against Susie Ramadan
Johnson dedicated her victory to her brother Levi, who was tragically murdered in Brisbane last month in a sudden stabbing.
‘I freaked out a bit in the first round with the cut and felt the blood in my eye but I just tried to stay calm,’ said Johnson, who fights out of Melbourne.
‘I knew I could get through it if I stayed on my jab and didn’t get stuck in a brawl.
‘I’m dedicating this to my brother and I’m so glad I got the job done – I know he’s here in my corner.’
A five-time former world champion, 43-year-old Ramadan was unhappy with the judges’ decision and the fight referee.
‘It seemed like a set-up to be honest,’ Ramadan said in the ring post fight.
‘My name’s Ramadan but I’m a proud Australian. I was born and raised here.’
Johnson poses with her passed brother, Levi, who was tragically stabbed and murdered earlier this year in Brisbane
She went on to claim New Zealand-born Johnson should be drug tested.
‘I hope she gets tested too, because I’ve been told she’s on it,’ Ramadan said, providing no evidence for her claims.
Johnson made her professional debut in 2016 and faced her first defeat in 2021 – the only loss of her 16-bout career.