By Chris McKenna, courtesy of The Daily Star
LUKE CAMPBELL will join an exclusive club if he beats WBA lightweight champion Jorge Linares in the early hours of Sunday.
The Hull boxer wants to join James DeGale and Anthony Joshua as Britain’s only Olympic gold medallists to win professional world titles.
But he faces a tough task in what should be a fascinating challenge against Venezuelan road warrior Linares, who already holds wins over Campbell’s compatriots Kevin Mitchell and Anthony Crolla.
Campbell overcome an upset defeat by Yvan Mendy in 2015 to win fi ve on the bounce and set up this clash with the well-travelled champion at The Forum in LA.
“To be in that club would be awesome,” said the London 2012 Olympic gold medallist.
“To be a world champion is a dream I’ve worked on all my life. I’ve lived boxing, I’ve been disciplined, I’ve been dedicated. I’ve done everything possible I can do in boxing to get to this position and now I will get my chance.”
When Campbell fought Irishman John Joe Nevin for Olympic gold in London, millions were watching amid a whirlwind of medals and success for Great Britain.
This fight, on the west coast of America, has gone largely under the radar but it has the potential to be a terrific fight.
Unfortunately for Campbell, last week’s mammoth middleweight showdown between Gennady Golovkin and Saul Alvarez overshadowed it.
And in the UK most of the focus is on Hughie Fury’s challenge against WBO heavyweight title holder Joseph Parker.
This one has the potential to be a far better spectacle and Campbell is still aware of the size of the occasion as he compares it to the Olympic final.
He said: “There are different ways of looking at things and processing things.
“I learned a lot from the Olympics about the emotions and nerves and everything that goes with it.
“It’s a massive fight but at the end of the day it is just me and him in the ring.
“The occasion is big and whatever else goes with that but it all comes down to two people boxing in the ring.”