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Yvan Mendy vs. Luke Campbell rematch on Sep. 22/29 on Joshua undercard

Anthony Joshua

By Scott Gilfoid: Yvan Mendy and Luke Campbell will be battling it out on the undercard of heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua’s next fight on September 22 or 29 at Wembley in a WBC lightweight title eliminator, according to Lequipe. #2 WBC Campbell (18-2, 15 KOs) lost to Mendy (40-4-1, 19 KOs) by a 12 round split decision three years ago in December 2015.

The scoring a little off in that fight, as one judge John Keane from the UK gave Campbell the victory by a 115-113 score. Boxing News 24 had Mendy winning 9 rounds to 3. Additionally, Mendy knocked Campbell down in round 5.

Campbell and Mendy have agreed to terms for the WBC lightweight eliminator. The winner of the fight will be the mandatory challenger to World Boxing Council 135lb champion Mikey Garcia (38-0, 30 KOs).

2012 Olympic gold medalist Campbell lost to former WBA lightweight champion Jorge Linares by a 12 round split decision last September at The Forum in Inglewood, California. While two of the judges had Linares winning by a close margin of 115-112, 114-113, the third judge, Victor Loughlin from the UK, scored it to Campbell by a 115-113 score. As in the Campbell-Mendy fight, it appeared to be a clear 12 round decision victory for Linares by 9 rounds to 3 score. Campbell didn’t do enough in the first four and last four rounds. What I’m trying to understand is why the WBC didn’t drop Campbell down in their rankings after that loss. I mean, when you lose to a champion, you normally get dropped some little ways in the rankings. That didn’t happen with Campbell in the WBC’s rankings. They kept him ranked high, and I don’t quite understand why. Campbell rebounded from the loss to Linares and beat obscure journeyman Troy James (20-6-1, 5 KOs) by a 5th round knockout last May. It was a huge size and talent mismatch, as the much smaller 5’5” James was too short to compete against the 5’9” Campbell.

Since Campbell’s loss to Mendy, he’s won six of seven fights. Campbell’s wins have come against Darleys Perez, Troy James, Derry Mathews, Jairo Lopez, Argenis Mendez and Gary Sykes. Mendez knocked Campbell down in the 2nd round of their fight in July 2016.

Mendy, 33, has done well since beating Campbell in winning seven fights against largely beatable opposition. Mendy’s recent wins have come against these fighters: Jesus Arevalo, Florian Montels, Javier Jose Clavero, Juan Ocura, Massimiliano Ballsai, Francesco Patera, and Samir Kasmi
If Mendy is the same fighter he was in 2015, he should have no problems beating Campbell a second time, as he’s simply a better fighter. What we don’t know is what the judging will be like. If Mendy doesn’t knockout Campbell, he could be playing with fire as the visiting fighter. It would be in Mendy’s best interest to make sure the judges don’t have a say so in the rematch, because he would wind up on the short end of the stick in a controversial decision. I’m just saying. Sometimes that kind of things happens.

The southpaw Campbell has good punching power, but he’s so utterly hittable, and his hand speed isn’t as fast as it needs to be for him to excel at the upper rungs of the lightweight division. Mendy exposed Campbell in 2015 and Linares took advantage of the same things in beating him. Nothing has changed for the 30-year-old Campbell since his loss to Mendy. Campbell’s defense is just as leaky as it was back then, and his hand speed hasn’t improved obviously. As such, I suspect that Mendy will beat Campbell once again when they face each other in September. Whether Mendy is given the decision victory is another thing altogether. I’m hoping there won’t be a controversial decision in this fight, but I just have my doubts. In the big scheme of things, it doesn’t matter if the fight ends up in a questionable decision. Mendy and Campbell are going to have MAJOR problems when they face Mikey Garcia. It’s a bad match-up for Campbell and Mendy facing a devastating puncher like Mikey. There is a possibility, however, that Mikey might move up in weight for a fight against IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. later this year. So, if Mikey vacates his IBF lightweight title, then the winner of the Mendy vs. Campbell II fight can swoop in and snatch it. Mikey said this week that he wants to fight Spence in December, but I’m not sure whether he was serious or not. That’s such an insanely crazy fight for Garcia. I can’t believe he would take it. As badly as over-matched as the Mendy-Campbell winner would be against Garcia, the same would apply for Mikey in moving up two divisions to fight Spence. In fact, it would be even more of a mismatch for Garcia to take on Spence than it would be for the Campbell vs. Mendy winner to face Mikey.

If Campbell loses badly to Mendy in September, then he’s going to have to figure out what he wants to do with his career. Campbell has been a pro for 5 years now, and he’s failed twice when he’s stepped it up. If Campbell loses to Mendy again, then he might need to consider going in another direction towards the WBA title held by Vasyl Lomachenko. Unfortunately, Lomachenko is even better than Mendy and Mikey, so Campbell is going to be up against it no matter what. It’s too bad Campbell can’t move down in weight to super featherweight, because that weight class has thinned out since Lomanchenko moved up to lightweight. Campbell might be able to win the vacant WBO super featherweight title or one of the other belts if he can make weight for the division.

Joshua being scheduled to fight on September 22 or 29 in London means that he’s not going to be fighting WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder. With Joshua fighting in September in the UK, you can say it’s purely academic that Wilder won’t be his opponent. That means Joshua’s WBA mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin will be the opponent that faces him. That’s good news for Povetkin’s boxing fans in Russia, but unwelcome news for the fans in the UK and elsewhere around the world, who want to see Joshua fight Wilder next. Facing the smallish, 39-year-old 6’2” Povetkin is not nearly as interesting than Joshua facing Wilder. But it was obvious once Joshua started saying that he won’t agree to fight in the U.S, he wouldn’t be fighting Wilder next. It was Wilder’s management that has offered Joshua a $50- million guaranteed, which greatly tops the embarrassingly low $12.5 million flat fee offer made by Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing to Wilder for the fight. That kind of an offer showed how out of touch Hearn is with what fighters are supposed to be making in fights. It goes with some of the complains U.S fighters have been making lately about the offers Hearn has been making to them to get them to sign with his Matchroom promotional company to fight on his new DAZN platform in September. Middleweight Jermall Charlo said this week that Hearn isn’t offering him money that he already isn’t getting, and that if he wants to sign him, he’s going to need to come “much harder than that.” Former four division world champion Adrien ‘The Problem’ Broner was seemingly so disgusted by Hearn’s $6.7 million, 3-fight deal that he posted the offer on his Instagram account, telling him that his offer is the equivalent of “slave wages.” Hearn is probably going to get it right eventually and figure out that he needs to pay the American fighters a lot more than what he’s offering them to fight. If Hearn is slow and doesn’t figure it out, then I don’t see his DAZN deal working out for him. I can see it ending in a crash and burn fizzle out.

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