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Luke Campbell – The Homecoming. A great card from top to bottom

By JK James: The upcoming show put together by Eddie Hearn could potentially be one of the best in the last 12 months. Although others such as Froch-Kessler 2 have garnered far more hype, looking at the quality throughout, this has the potential to surpass it with regards to excitement for the fans.

It will be Matchroom’s last show of the season and will be shown on Sky Sports. The show is to be held at the Craven Park ground in Hull to give Luke Campbell, one of Britain’s leading lights at the 2012 Olympic Games, the chance to have the biggest pro debut possible after his gold medal win. With a big crowd expected, it will create an excellent atmosphere that will hopefully be reciprocated inside the ring. Not only will the crowd be treated to Campbell’s debut but he will also be joined by some of Britain’s best talent and the most coveted young prospects. Kell Brook, Lee Selby, Derry Mathews, Rocky Fielding, Anthony Ogogo, John Ryder and former footballer Curtis Woodhouse will all showcase their talent on the night.

Anthony Ogogo (2-0-0, 1ko) will be a major attraction. Himself a Bronze medallist at the 2012 Olympics, he will be keen to improve upon his first 2 wins in the professional ranks as he looks to establish himself as a household name in Britain. Although currently signed to Golden Boy, this opportunity is perfect for Ogogo to continue his growth in front of what will be a partisan Hull crowd.

Rocky Fielding (14-0-0, 8ko’s) will be looking to continue his perfect start as a professional. Having already claimed the Super Middleweight Prizefighter crown in 2011 and winning the English title a year later, Rocky is on course to fight for the British title in the near future. His 8 round fight with Youssouf Doumbia should be just another learning curve for the 25-year-old from Liverpool.

John Ryder’s (14-0-0,8ko’s) 6 round bout with Guzman Castillo should be nothing more than an easy tune up fight to get Ryder in perfect shape for his upcoming challenge of the British middleweight title against Billy Joe Saunders. That will be the biggest test of his fledgling career. Matchroom will be hoping for an easy night and avoid any cuts or injuries that would postpone the title fight.

The next three fights could all be contenders for fight of the night and in the case of Kell Brook vs Carson Jones and Derry Mathews vs Tommy Coyle, they could be potential nominees for fight of the year. Lee Selby (15-1-0, 6ko’s) faces the toughest test of his career so far against unbeaten WBC International featherweight champion Viorel Simion (16-0-0,7ko’s). Having cleaned up at British level, the challenge of the Romanian will be Selby’s first crack at European level. Eddie Hearn has expressed his belief on numerous occasions that he believes the fighter from Wales can go on the become a world champion. If that is the case, Saturday will be a huge night in Selby’s career in determining how good he really can be. Although I expect this to be a far more stern test than some of his previous opponents, I can imagine after a close couple of early rounds, Selby winning with a late stoppage.

The domestic Lightweight division in Britain is arguably the best at the moment with Ricky Burns on top. Recent fights between Rees and Crolla and Mathews vs Crolla have been absolute barn stormers and I can’t see this changing in the fight between Derry Mathews (32-8-2,17ko’s) and Tommy Coyle (15-1-0,6ko’s). Former British champion Derry is coming off an incredible draw with Anthony Crolla. He also has a notable win over Crolla a year ago and a draw with then European champion, Gavin Rees. Although has 8 defeats on his record, Mathews will leave everything in the ring. His opponent, whose only defeat was in Prizefighter will bring a tough challenge. The only issue with Coyle is that he has yet to prove himself at British level and could possibly find himself in too deep. A war of words on Twitter has also made this contest more interesting and could end up being an excellent scrap. I can, however, see Mathews winning by stoppage.

My prediction for fight of the night is the rematch between Kell Brook (29-0-0,19ko’s) and Carson Jones (35-9-3,25ko’s). Their first encounter was enthralling from start to finish with Brook winning a close but fair decision. Since that night Brook has time and again expressed that he was not at 100% and that we did not see the best of him. Jones has not done much since the first fight and a disappointing draw with little known Dean Byrne indicates to me that Carson really isn’t on Brook’s level. I expect Jones to come out firing early in the fight and force Jones on the back foot. However I see Brook taking control from about round 3 onwards and eventually forcing the stoppage in about round 8 or 9.

Finally will be the ‘Homecoming’. Luke Campbell starts his professional life as a boxer vs Andy Harris. Fortunately for the fans, Hearn has picked a fighter that will not run around the ring for 6 rounds. Harris has previously fought prospects such as Thomas Stalker and Martin Ward and put up a good fight in doing so. This should allow for a good entertaining end to an excellent night of boxing with Campbell claiming the victory. Although not filled with huge names, this is a card that shows off the best young talent in Britain whilst showcasing some good 50/50 bouts that will excite viewers, I can’t wait!

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