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Luke Campbell vs. Javier Fortuna being finalized for April 17 on DAZN


By Charles Brun: Lightweights Luke Campbell (20-3, 16 KOs) and Javier Fortuna (35-2-1, 24 KOs) will be fighting for the vacant WBC 135-lb title on April 17 on DAZN and Sky Sports at the MGM National Harbor, in Oxon Hill, Maryland. Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn is finalizing the Campbell-Fortuna fight this week.

This is a winnable fight for Campbell, and it might not get better than this. Fortuna, 30, is an excellent fighter, but he’s been beaten before by Jason Sosa and Robert Easter Jr.

Campbell and Fortuna are the co-feature bout on the Regis Prograis vs. Maurice Hooker card, which is loaded with great fights from top to bottom. Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn has assembled an excellent card with compelling fights that should prove to be intriguing to both U.S and UK fans.

Luke vs. Fortuna fighting for Haney’s WBC title

Campbell and Fortuna are fighting for the vacant WBC lightweight title that was recently stripped from injured champion Devin Haney. The winner of the Campbell-Fortuna fight will be required to defend the WBC belt against Haney (24-0, 15 KOs) as soon as he’s ready, willing and able to challenge for his old belt.

There’s a possibility that Campbell could face unbeaten Ryan Garcia later this year. Ryan and his dad Henry Garcia have both expressed interest in facing Campbell, as it would them the chance to grab the WBC belt.

Other fights on the Prograis vs. Hooker card on April 17:

  • Filip Hrgovic vs. Jerry Forrest
  • Cecilia Braekhus vs. Jessica McCaskill
  • Marc Castro vs. TBA
  • Daniyar Yeleussinov vs. Julius Indongo

Campbell vs. Fortuna being finalized

“April 17th,” said Hearn to Boxing Social on when the Campbell vs. Fortuna fight is taking place. “Just finalizing all the paperwork for this week. The U.S fight fans are starting to realize what we’re doing over there in terms of the cards we’re putting on.

“You look at the Mikey Garcia card we put on the other week, and now you look again at the Prograis against Hooker [on April 17]. You got Campbell against Fortuna, you got Braekhus against McCaskill. Yesterday, we announced [Filip] Hrgovic against Jerry Forrest, and we announced Daniyar Yeleussinov against Julius Indongo.

“These cards are so deep. We’ve been doing that over here [in the UK] for a long time,” said Hearn. “Obviously, we have a bigger budget over there in America, so we can keep going with world championship fights down the card. But DAZN customers and U.S fight fans, they’re really starting to see the props now.

“It’s almost like, ‘Wow, Matchroom has done it again.’ I feel like we’re really making good progress over there,” said Hearn.

This is the first fight for the 32-year-old Campbell since his loss to Vasiliy Lomachenko last August. Campbell gave Lomachenko a tough fight but ended up losing by a 12 round unanimous decision in their match for the vacant WBC lightweight title. It was a good effort from Campbell, but he didn’t have the boxing skills to beat Loma.

The Prograis vs. Hooker card could be as good as the recent Mikey Garcia vs. Jessie Vargas card that took place last month on February 29 in Frisco, Texas.

That fight card had three really good fights involving Garcia-Vargas, Kal Yafai and Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez and Julio Cesar Martinez and Jay Harris. If the Prograis-Hooker card is anywhere near as good, Hearn and Matchroom Sport company will receive a lot of credit.

U.S budget bigger for cards than in the UK

“It’s money. The rights fees over in America are 10, 15 times more than the rights fees in the UK,” said Hearn. “So it’s not rocket science. You’ve got an amount of money to play within a budget for a card in the UK, and you’ve got an amount of money to play within a card in the U.S.

“I would love to have that budget to work within the UK because it gives me a buzz to put those kinds of cards on. I don’t want people to say, ‘Ah, this isn’t a great card.’ I want people to say what they say in America, ‘This is f—- unbelievable.’ The cards in the UK, we’ve come a long way.

“Let’s not get carried away, but the only way we can make those monstrous cards, Whyte-Povetkin, Taylor-Serrano, Callum Johnson against Mikhalkin, Quigley against Cullen, on a pay-per-view model.

“The difference is, if you look at other pay-per-views, I’m not having a pop at anyone, but if you look at Fury-Wilder and Joyce against Dubois, the undercards are terrible compared to our undercards. But we never really get the props,” Hearn said.

Some UK fans have taken notice of the great cards that Hearn is putting on in the U.S, and they’re wondering why he’s not putting the same level cards together back home. The money is obviously the missing ingredient for Hearn to put on great cards in the UK that fans want to see.

Hearn explains the secret to his great cards

“This is not a cry for support or attention, but look at what we’re consistently delivering,” said Hearn. “The only way that we can consistently build those cards is on pay-per-view, is because you have a bigger budget. It’s really not that difficult to understand.

“It’s all about the budget you have for every card, and you can only do so much with a budget. That’s the Saturday night fight budget, and that’s the pay-per-view budget, and similarly for an American card as well.

When we go to Italy, there’s a smaller budget for the UK card and the Italian fans say, ‘When are you going to put on the kind of cards that you put in the UK?’ It’s all about levels,” said Hearn.

If Hearn is able to put together the Tyson Fury vs. Anthony Joshua fight in the UK in December, it won’t matter what kind of undercard he adds with it. The boxing public wants to see the Fury-Joshua fight so badly that they’ll overlook a bad undercard. Of course, with Hearn, you can always count on him packaging his Joshua cards with the likes of Dillian Whyte.

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