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Luke Campbell to fight on Joshua-Whyte undercard

Anthony JoshuaBy Scott Gilfoid: #8 WBC, #10 IBF lightweight contender and 2012 Olympic gold medalist for Britain Luke Campbell (12-0, 10 KOs) has been added to the December 12th card headlined by heavyweights Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte at the O2 Arena in London, UK.

It’s still unknown who the 27-year-old Campbell will be fighting on the card, but hopefully for his sake it’s an upgrade from his last opponent Tommy Coyle, who Campbell effortlessly beat last August in stopping him in the 10th round.

At Coyle’s age, he can’t afford to have his promoter Eddie Hearn putting him in with fodder for too much longer because he’s going to wind up missing his best years. Hearn needs to take advantage of the 5”9” Campbell’s size while he can still melt down to the lightweight division, because before long, Campbell will need to move up to light welterweight, and in that division, he’s not going to have any advantages over arguably much better fighters fighters like Lucas Matthysse, Lamont Peterson, Terence Crawford, Ruslan Provodnikov, Amir Iman and Adrien Broner.

Hearn is blowing it by not having Campbell capitalize on his only real chance of possibly winning a title. If Campbell is already looking huge for the lightweight division, and it’s got to be already hard on his body to drain to the weight. Once he can no longer safely do that without risking damage to his kidneys from the loss of water weight, Campbell will need to move up in weight to 140, and at that weight, I can’t see Campbell being anything more than just a regular contender. Someone like Amir Iman would likely take Campbell apart piece by piece if given the chance, not that he will.

Campbell will be the second Brit Olympic gold medalist on the fight card on December 12th, as Joshua won a gold medal in the same Olympics in London in 2012. Like Joshua, Campbell’s gold medal was controversial as well, as his narrow 16-15 win over Bulgarian fighter Detelin Dalakliev in the quarterfinals was highly controversial with many boxing fans believing that Dalakliev had won the fight.

I scored the fight for Dalakliev by a 20-10 score and felt it wasn’t close at all. Joshua had two controversial wins over Roberto Cammarelle of Italy and Erislandy Savon of Cuba. I had Joshua losing all four of his fights in the 2012 Olympics. It is interesting though that Campbell and Joshua are on the same card on 12/12, given the circumstances behind their gold medal wins in the 2012 London Olympics.

Campbell will be defending his recently won vacant WBC International lightweight trinket against whoever Hearn finds for him. Campbell wants to get a title shot against WBC lightweight champion Jorge Linares, but I don’t know if that fight will ever happen. The problem for Campbell is Linares likely won’t bother fighting him until he becomes the WBC #1 mandatory challenger to him.

I can’t see Linares giving Campbell a title shot in a voluntary defense, can you? I don’t see it happening in this lifetime. As such, Campbell will have to work his way to the No.1 spot. If he wasn’t so huge, I could see him eventually doing that. But I think Campbell will very soon grow out of the lightweight division before he ever gets a shot at Linares’ title.

The only way I see Campbell and Linares fighting each other is if Linares is agreeable to fighting Campbell at a catch-weight between lightweight and light welterweight. In other words, Linares would need to move up to light welterweight to fight Campbell. Why would Linares bother doing that if his WBC title wouldn’t be on the line? It would be a waste of time for Linares.

“Of course he [Linares] is on the radar. Anyone who’s got a world title belt is on my radar,” Campbell said to skysports.com. “For me, he is probably the lightweight that stands out in world boxing the most at the minute. He’s a three-weight world champion. I was gutted for Kevin [Mitchell] because I wanted him to win but he put Linares down. It was unfortunate his eye swelled up. A rematch could be different.”

The knockdown that Campbell speaks of was from a left elbow to the head of Linares that put him down. Yeah, Mitchell knocked Linares down, but he did it with a clear elbow to the head rather than a punch. It’s not as if Mitchell knocked Linares down with a clean punch. As far as Mitchell ever beating Linares, I can’t see it happening.

Mitchell didn’t lose because his eye site went. He lost to Linares because he was just a one dimensional fighter who was throwing wild left hooks all night long, and couldn’t do anything else. I had it as a one-sided fight for Linares all the way until his stoppage win over Mitchell in the 10th round last May. Believe me, Mitchell and Linares could fight a 100 times, and Linares would win by knockout every time. He’s too skilled for the primitive Mitchell.


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