Jorge Linares vs. Luke Campbell – Results
By Scott Gilfoid: WBA World lightweight champion Jorge Linares (43-3, 27 KOs) defeated #1 WBA Luke Campbell (17-2, 14 KOs) by a 12-round split decision on Saturday night on HBO World Championship Boxing from The Forum in Inglewood, California.
(Photo Credit: Tom Hogan/Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions)
The final judges’ scores were 114-113, 115-112 for Linares, and 115-113 for Campbell. Just so you know, the judge that scored the fight for Campbell is from the UK. Boxing News 24 scored the fight for Linares 8 rounds to 4. Campbell didn’t do enough to get the decision, as he was knocked down in round 2 by a left hand from Linares. The first 4 rounds belonged to Linares. Campbell came back to get the better of Linares in rounds 5 to 8. Linares then buckled down and retook command of the fight in round 9 to 12 to preserve the victory.
Campbell was cut under his left eye in round 2 from a scorching left hand from Linares. Campbell complained afterwards that he had double vision from the 2nd round on. However, he says he “outclassed” Linares and deserved the victory. That’s not what I and many of the boxing writers on press row saw. We saw Linares beating Campbell 8 rounds to 4.
Linares could have made it easier, but he says he backed off starting in round 5, because he didn’t want to get hurt. However, in the championship rounds, Linares turned it back on and totally dominated Campbell like he’d done in the first 4 rounds. It was interesting how Linares could switch his offense back on so easily to dominate the fight.
If Linares had continued to take the fight to Campbell like he did in the first 4 rounds, I think he would have knocked him out in rounds 5-8. Linares took his foot off the gas pedal in those rounds and let Campbell back into the fight. This was a mistake on Linares’ part because he could have made this a very easy fight if he had kept pressuring the issue and dominating the much slower and easy to hit stork-like Campbell.
After the fight, Linares said he wants to fight WBC lightweight champion Mikey Garcia next in a unification fight. Linares says he’ll follow Mikey to the 140-lb. division if he must in order to get the fight with him.
“He was a tough opponent,” said Linares about Campbell. “Everyone said he was easy. There’s a reason he was an Olympic gold medalist. I started to box him a little in the 5th round, because I didn’t want to get hurt. In the 10th, I wanted to knock him out. From that point on, I wanted to let it all out,” said Linares.
The difference in hand speed was the telling factor in the fight. Linares was simply too quick for the lumbering Campbell when he would open full bore with his speed and combinations. Campbell was getting caught repeatedly with Linares blistering fast shots in every round of the fight, but especially in round 1-4 and 9-12. Campbell tried his best to win the fight in rounds 5-8, but he couldn’t knockout Linares. The power wasn’t there for Campbell.
“Mikey Garcia,” said Linares when asked who he wants to fight next. “I’ll even got to 140,” said Linares.
Campbell came off like a sore loser after the fight, bellyaching about how he should have been given the win, and how he believes he “outclassed” him. Unfortunately, the judges saw Campbell get dropped in round 2 and dominated in rounds 1-4 and 9-12. When you add all those rounds up, it spells victory for Linares.
It’s tough luck for Campbell that he got put down on his backside tonight and dominated in 8 of the 12 rounds. If there was a way for the 29-year-old Campbell to win, he would have found it, but he didn’t have the boxing skills or the hand speed to defeat the highly talented Linares. What the southpaw Campbell should have been doing during the fight was going for the knockout instead of boxing him. If
“No one can doubt my heart,” said Campbell. “I got off to a rocky start in the 2nd round. I got put down on my back. I got back up and outclassed him. He was missing me with his shots. I thought I won the fight. I thought he wasn’t landing shots. I was catching him with shots. I had double vision after the 2nd round. He got me with a shot and put me on my back in the 2nd round. I was making him miss. I was catching him with good shots. I knew if it was a close fight, they would give it to him. I thought I won the fight. I outclassed him,” said Campbell, who was starting to sound like a broken record after the fight in repeating himself like a broken recording.
You could tell in listening to Campbell that he’d taken the loss hard. He didn’t seem to have his senses about him about what had happened in the fight. Campbell was talking as if he was describing some of his past fights in beating domestic level fodder instead of the fight that had taken place tonight, which was a masterclass by Linares over the pupil, Campbell.
If Campbell really believed that he had no chance of winning a decision if the fight was close, then he should have come into the contest with a different mindset than the one that he had tonight. Campbell was trying to box Linares instead of looking for a knockout. That was a huge mistake for Campbell to do that, because he gave away his only chance of winning the fight if he really thought they would rob him if it went to the scorecards. In round 12, instead of Campbell trying to KO Linares, he was showboating by feigning a bolo punch. That was a stupid thing for Campbell to do. He should have been going after Linares trying to knock him clean out if he thought he wouldn’t be given a shot at winning a decision if it went to the scorecards.
To me, I think Campbell understood that he had no chance of winning the fight to him being outclassed by Linares, so he started clowning rather going for the knockout.
I don’t know where Campbell goes from here. I suppose back to the domestic level to try and put some wins together to get his confidence up. It’s for the best that Campbell lost the fight though. If Campbell had won tonight, there would have been a lot of pressure for him to fight Mikey Garcia in a unification fight, and there’s no way he would have beaten him.