Luke Campbell Talks Future Options, Lomachenko-Linares

by Shaun Brown

Luke Campbell should hopefully find out in the next few weeks if he has been given the chance to avenge the first professional loss of his career.

The (18-2, 15 KOs) British lightweight is aiming to fight two more times this year with the first possibly being against Yvan Mendy.

In December 2015 Mendy shocked British boxing by defeating Campbell with a split decision over 12 rounds, which included the Frenchman putting the Brit down in round five.

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Speaking to Boxing Scene about Mendy, Campbell said: "I want the fight. I want to clean Mendy off my record."

Campbell's 13th professional fight saw him come unstuck at London's O2 Arena four months after defeating local rival Tommy Coyle in Hull.

'Scene asked Campbell what the differences are in him between then and now.

"Well that Luke Campbell should never have got in the ring that night," he began answering.

"I let myself down actually going in. I picked up a virus in the last week, I was over-trained as well. I was flat, I had no energy, I was aching, my body was tired -- it was weak. My mind was a million miles away. The light was on but no-one was at home. I just never should have got in the ring that night."

A harsh lesson learned for the 2012 Olympic gold medallist. A philosophical Campbell didn't need the lesson, nor does he believe he deserved it. Who does? But the 30-year-old proud Hull native takes positives in the fact that, on his worst night, he still could have won the fight. (Final scorecards read 112-115, 113-115, 115-113.)

"He [Mendy] won by one round on my worst ever night. One round! And really they could have give it to me. I got told I needed to win the last three rounds and that's exactly what I did to win the fight, and they could have give it to me but they give it to him."

Should the Mendy rematch not materialise Campbell re-iterated his interest in a high stakes all-British lightweight battle with former WBA champion Anthony Crolla.

"That's a huge fight," said Campbell.

Campbell and Crolla - who both have world title aspirations in 2018 - both shared the ring with Jorge Linares between 2016 and 2017, with the classy Venezuelan coming out on top twice against Crolla and once against Campbell.

Linares defended his WBA 135lbs title against Campbell in September last year at the Forum, Inglewood and needed all his skill, heart and nous to fend off the challenger with a split decision victory.

For all the talk of Mendy and Crolla, a rematch with Linares is still one very much within the sights of Campbell.

"I want to clean Linares off my record too. I wish I had got the rematch before he boxed [Vasyl] Lomachenko. I was hoping to get the rematch with him before he went into that fight. I believe I would have beat him."

Knocked down in round 2, and cut in the same stanza, Campbell fought back to give the champion all he could handle leading some to give the nod to the away fighter on the night.

"I could be stood here 20-0 with 15 KOs.

"I thought I won seven rounds out the 12. And the only thing they say that did it for him was the knockdown in the second round. Even with the knockdown he still only won five rounds in my opinion. And the rounds he won, he didn't win convincingly apart from the knockdown round. It was either way, but obviously when it's either way and you're in the champion's back garden - and all the way across the pond - they're going to edge it towards him."

Some tempting options for Campbell to pursue. The bigger the better as far as he's concerned. As much as he would like to right the wrong of Yvan Mendy first and foremost, it's the value of the carrot dangling at the end that will sway him. Financial? Not necessarily. Another world title shot? Absolutely.

"I want to be in these big fights that excite me. It's why I love doing what I do. I want to entertain. I want to put a good show and a good fight on, and I want to be the best. To be the best you've got to beat the best."

The best, whichever way you look at it, at lightweight and arguably pound-for-pound is Ukrainian sorcerer Vasyl Lomachenko. The fellow 30-year-old and amateur starlet has just come off the biggest win of his career, breaking down Jorge Linares to become a three-weight world champion, and to raise the debate of where he stands amongst the pantheon of greats in the sport.

Campbell had been meaning to comment on the fight from two weeks back on social media, but instead gave his verdict on the pulsating showdown to Boxing Scene.

"For me Linares looked absolutely weight drained on the scales when he boxed Lomachenko,

"You could see in the fight after three rounds he didn't move his feet and block the shots. Lomachenko went to the body in the 10th round, but there was nothing in the fight on the scorecards. It was quite an equal fight till the body shot, but then again the body shot's a great shot against someone that's weight drained and weak."

"I definitely think there will be more fighters out there confident in taking on Lomachenko from what they seen," he added. "But lets not take it away from Linares. He's a top operator. He's not easy for no-one. So all them people that thought Lomachenko was going to walk through him like he was nothing... even the weight drained Linares is a dangerous, tough opponent for anyone never mind when he looks full and healthy and on his game."

Shaun Brown covers British boxing for Boxing Scene. Contact him on Twitter @sbrown2pt0

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by apollocreed on 06-01-2018

[QUOTE=Holler;18822711]This is spot on. It bugged me when I watched him, knew there was something but couldn't identify it, but you've nailed it. He is still locked in the amateur mindset. The commentary on the Linares fight did my head…

Comment by Holler on 06-01-2018

[QUOTE=apollocreed;18820265]. Campbell's pretty good, but he definitely fights too much like an amateur still. He's very upright and doesn't move his head or bend at the waist much. He seems like one of those guys who have great amateur careers,…

Comment by UpAndComing on 06-01-2018

I never knew this guy can be this salty. Only got to see him against Linares and it was no way a competitive one - he got schooled.

Comment by Outworn on 05-31-2018

Hope he does good. He has a match with Lomachenko line up in the future.

Comment by daggum on 05-31-2018

this guy sounds like a total plonker. his grammar is floyd terrible but maybe thats just the transcription. saying things like linares was drained hmmm and he could have stood here 20-0 hmmm. linares got the home town nod hmmm…

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