By Keith Idec
Luke Campbell understandably wants an immediate rematch with Jorge Linares.
Campbell came back from a second-round knockdown to make their September 23 fight very competitive in Inglewood, California. The British lightweight contender thinks he did enough to take the WBA 135-pound championship from Linares, but lost a split decision in a 12-round fight HBO televised from The Forum.
As much as the 30-year-old Campbell (17-2, 14 KOs) deserves another shot at Linares (43-3, 27 KOs), the 2012 Olympic gold medalist knows Linares is likely to head in a different direction than an immediate rematch with him. That’s why the southpaw from Hessle, England, told Sky Sports that he is open to facing the winner of a lightweight bout between Scotland’s Ricky Burns (41-6-1, 14 KOs) and Anthony Crolla (31-6-3, 13 KOs) on Saturday night at Manchester Arena in Manchester, England, Crolla’s hometown.
“My main aim is still to try and get the rematch with Linares and get it in the UK,” Campbell told Sky Sports, which will broadcast Burns-Crolla. “I think I deserve that. If I don’t get that immediately, then the winner of Linares against Mikey Garcia. But other than that, the winner of Crolla-Burns is definitely an option.
“Let’s see what happens in that one this weekend, and if the British fans want me to fight the winner, then I have no problem with that.”
The WBC ordered a Garcia-Linares lightweight title fight Wednesday during its annual convention in Baku, Azerbaijan.
That’s the most meaningful and lucrative lightweight fight available to the Venezuelan-born Linares, who owns the WBC’s “diamond” lightweight title. Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs), of Oxnard, California, is the WBC world lightweight champion.
The 32-year-old Linares has no problem boxing in the United Kingdom, though. Before facing Campbell near Los Angeles, he defeated Crolla in back-to-back bouts in Manchester.
The well-traveled Linares moved to London earlier this year as well.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.