|Olympic Gold medal hero waiting for WBC Lightweight shot
|Luke Campbell MBE has itchy knuckles and is ready to take his frustrations out at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia on Friday (March 15) live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK as he waits for his shot at the WBC World Lightweight.
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Campbell (19-2 15 KOs) is ranked #1 in the WBC and landed the mandatory slot for the World title when he exacted revenge over Yvan Mendy at Wembley Stadium, London in September.
WBC ruler Mikey Garcia has stepped up to Welterweight to face Errol Spence this weekend, leaving Campbell unsure of the Californian star’s plans following his bout in Dallas, Texas, but doubts he will move back down to 135lbs after facing Spence.
The London 2012 Olympic Gold medal star was superb in his first World title clash, being edged out via split decision against then-WBA and WBC Diamond king Jorge Linares in September 2017 in Los Angeles – with Campbell pushing the Venezuelan close after losing his father in the build-up to the fight.
The Hull favorite boxes in the States for the third time in the paid ranks and his second fight with trainer Shane McGuigan, and the 31 year old believes it’s only a matter of time until he fulfils his World title dreams.
“I cannot sit around and wait without fighting, I’m hungry, I want to be the best and fulfil my dream of becoming a World champion,” said Campbell, who faces Adrian Young (26-5-2 20 KOs) over ten rounds in Philadelphia.
“I’ve been training – that’s all I do. I haven’t been seen for a while but that’s where I have been. We’re waiting to hear what’s happening with the WBC – it’s frustrating not knowing what is happening but it’s Mikey’s decision, there’s nothing I can do. I have to take things into my own hands and stay busy, which is what Philadelphia is about, before we see what is next.
“I don’t think that Mikey can go to 147lbs, put muscle on and be big at Welterweight, and then come back down to Lightweight – it’s not doable on the body. Maybe they will make him champion in recess and if that’s the case the title will be open for me to fight for.
“I don’t have a lot of miles on the clock, I live the life, I’m very dedicated and I want to be the best, that’s driving me. Everything in my life is planned around boxing, not the other way around, so I will not stop until I achieve what I want.
“I would love a rematch with Jorge. If i could face him I know I would beat him, and that would clean my record. I’d love to right that wrong, it was a very close fight, he nicked it on his show in his backyard.
“Things are going great with Shane. I can see my family every week and that makes a massive difference, I do this for my family and they are the water that feeds my flower.
“Shane is raising my game in every department, I think that I am already becoming a much better fighter and I believe that these next few years will be the best of my career. When you have a head for boxing and you can see and read the sport, it doesn’t matter what age you are. He’s had more experience than a lot of other coaches at World level and he’s successful, he’s very professional in what he does and in the first time in my career I feel I’m learning the professional side of the sport.
“Barry McGuigan is around a lot too and it’s great, he’s very passionate, has lots of stories and when you are sparring and you catch his eye and he gives you the thumbs up or a little wink, it spurs you on.”
Campbell’s clash with Young is part of a huge night of action in Philadelphia on St Patrick’s weekend topped by a World title double-header as Philly’s Tevin Farmer (28-4-1 6 KOs) comes home to defend his IBF Super-Featherweight title against Ireland’s Jono Carroll (16-0-1 3 KOs), and Irish sensation Katie Taylor (12-0 5 KOs) looks to unify the Lightweight division once again, putting her IBF and WBA straps on the line against Brazil’s WBO champion Rose Volante (14-0 8 KOs).
Philadelphia Middleweight warrior Gabriel Rosado (24-11-1 14 KOs) faces Poland’s Maciej Sulecki (27-1 11 KOs) for the WBO International title and a likely World title shot at Demetrius Andrade, Philly Lightweight’s Hank Lundy (29-7-1 14 KOs) and Avery Sparrow (9-1 3 KOs) battle for local pride, Olympic Gold medal man Daniyar Yeleussinov (5-0 3 KOs) and Silver medalist John Joe Nevin (11-0 4 KOs) taste their first action of 2019, unbeaten Super-Middleweight D’Mitrius Ballard (19-0 12 KOs) faces Victor Fonseca (17-9-1 14 KOs) while exciting New Jersey amateur star Raymond Ford makes his pro debut.