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Luke Campbell vs. Troy James this Saturday

David Haye Tony Bellew

By Tim Royner: Former lightweight world title challenger Luke Campbell (17-2, 14 KOs) will be fighting 34-year-old featherweight Troy James (20-5-1, 5 KOs) on the undercard of the Tony Bellew vs. David Haye 2 card at the O2 Arena in London, England.

James is a last minute opponent for the 30-year-old Campbell. The fight isn’t expected to make onto the television portion of the Sky Box Office card unfortunately, as it’s a mismatch and no viewed as one of the more compelling fights on the card.

The 5’10” southpaw Campbell will need to get James out of there to get credit for beating him, because this is not a competitive fight on paper. James has only been stopped once in his 9-year pro career and that was by Liam Walsh in an 8th round knockout in April 2016.

James has a 2-fight losing streak heading into the fight with Campbell on Saturday. James was beaten by Henry James (11-22-2) in his last fight, and before that he lost to Stephen Tiffney by a 10 round points decision last year in October. James was beaten Liam Walsh by an 8th round knockout in April 2016. James’ other two career defeats came against Terry Flanagan and Rhys Roberts. Those are decent fighters. James’ best wins have come against Ronnie Clark and Chris Male.

#2 WBC Campbell will soon be facing #1 WBC Yvan Mendy (40-4-1, 19 KOs) in a rematch in a WBC 130 lb. title eliminator o decide the mandatory challenger to WBC lightweight champion Mikey Garcia. Had Mikey vacated his WBC title and moved up in weight permanently at 40, then Mendy and Campbell would have fought for the vacant WBC lightweight title. They’ll now have to face each other to decide on the mandatory for Mikey.

It’s not a good deal for Campbell though, because he already lost to Mendy in December 2015 by a 12 round split decision, and the chances are high that he’ll lose to him again. But even if Campbell wins, he’s going to be way out of his depth against Mikey Garcia. That’s a bad match-up for Campbell and most other lightweights in the division.

Campbell has been out of action since losing to WBA World lightweight champion Jorge Linares by a 12 round split decision last year in September. It was a close fight with Campbell winning rounds 5, 6 7 and 8, but he was outgunned in the first four and last four rounds. Linares was too quick for him and far superior in combination punching when he was fighting hard.

Campbell has now had a nice long 8 month rest. It’s not a good thing for Campbell to be giving away 8 months of his career so easily without planning fights. He’s already in a bad spot with the rematch with Mendy and going after a champion that likely will never beat.


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