Luke Campbell says he feels he has gained respect from fight fans after his defeat to Vasiliy Lomachenko on Saturday but says that he will consider himself a failure if he doesn’t win a world title at lightweight.
Eddie Hearn, the promoter, has suggested that moving up to light-welterweight could be a possibility, but Campbell said he is not interested, even though he knows he has no chance of getting a rematch with the Ukrainian.
However, if Lomachenko unifies all four world titles early next year and decides to move down in weight, Campbell could be in pole position for a shot at a vacant title.
“I’m not going anywhere from lightweight until I win a world title,” Campbell said to BoxingScene.com. “If I don’t win a world title at lightweight, I’d see myself as a failure. Once I win a world title at lightweight, we’ll see.
“Take Lomachenko out of the reckoning and I believe I am the No 1 lightweight in the world. I’d love to fight him again, I’d do it tomorrow, but realistically that is not going to happen, let’s face it.
“I want to be back out again this year, keep the momentum up, keep improving and getting better. I believe these next few years will be the best of my career.”
Campbell lost a unanimous points decision to Lomachenko for the WBC, WBA and WBO lightweight titles at the O2 Arena, London. He finished the night in hospital, but received a clean bill of health.
“It was just a precaution,” he said. “I was fine, no problems, they just did a few checks.”
However, the loss has killed none of his desire to get to the top of the sport.
“Obviously, I’m down about it, I wanted to win and thought I could, but watching the fight back I saw things I could improve on and come back even better,” he said. “In a lot of the rounds there wasn’t really much in it. I feel I belong at that elite level.
“He is a quality operator. His judgement of distance and coming in and out of range was something else, I have never seen anyone do that so well.
“I feel like I have definitely gained a lot of fans and gained a hell of a lot of respect from that fight.”
Having avenged one loss on his record, against Yvan Mendy, Campbell said he would relish a rematch with Jorge Linares, who beat him for a split decision in his first world title fight in Los Angeles in 2017.
“I’d love the fight Linares again,” he said. “That is still a blot on my record.
“But I finally I got to showcase myself on a massive show in the UK. Let’s build on that. Before I had to go out of the country to get my chance. But since Saturday’s fight, I’ve had so much positivity, it makes me feel quite humble.”