Regis Prograis vs Maurice Hooker and Javier Fortuna vs Luke Campbell Set For April 17th
By: Hans Themistode
The Jr Welterweight division is about as ruthless a weight class that you will find within the entire sport of boxing.
Just think, former champions Kiryl Relikh and Ivan Baranchyk are essentially afterthoughts. It isn’t because they aren’t great fighters, but it’s more so because of the talent pool that currently lies within the division.
With title holders Jose Ramirez and Josh Taylor considered the best that the weight class has to offer, another pair of former champions are in need for a big win of their own.
Maurice Hooker and Regis Prograis are still recognized amongst the elite of the division. However, they came up short in their respective unification matchups. Now, with no other viable options, they have looked towards a matchup against one another.
Both men have made it a tendency to mention the other whenever the cameras are rolling. Knockout threats and “easy work” statements have been the theme of both fighters when regarding the other. Well now, it’s officially time to shut up and fight.
Terms for a contest between the pair has officially been agreed upon to take place on April 17th, at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
The Maryland based card won’t simply revolve around the main event as the supporting bout will be just as interesting.
Javier Fortuna, who once held titles at both the Featherweight and Jr Lightweight divisions will look to become a three division world champion when he takes on Luke Campbell for the vacant WBC title.
Since a contest against Adrian Granados which resulted in a no contest, Fortuna has gone on to win two straight contests. Campbell on other hand, represents the complete opposite as his career has fallen short of exceptions.
It’s safe to say that after winning gold in the 2012 Olympics, more was expected of Campbell. His career has been solid but not spectacular. He was given the first loss of his career back in 2015, surprisingly at the hands of Yvan Mendy. Campbell would avenge that loss three years later but questions still remained. In his two title challenges, he has come up woefully short against Jorge Linares and Vasiliy Lomachenko. The latter took place at the end of August in 2019.
For Campbell, he’ll be hoping that the third time’s the charm.
Regardless of who wins between Fortuna and Campbell, the winner could be forced to take on WBC champion in recess Devin Haney, who was stripped of the title due to a shoulder injury. Provided everything checks out from a health standpoint, and also that Haney doesn’t elect to move up in weight, the winner of this title could see their title reigns cut short if the highly touted Haney returns back to form.
Lomachenko Cruises Against Campbell While Povetkin Scores a Victory Over Hughie Fury
By: Hans Themistode
The United Kingdom was once the home for big time fights for former unified Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. It’s been quite sometime since he has given them a show.
Pound for pound king Vasiliy Lomachenko gave the UK crowd exactly what they wanted to see as he and Luke Campbell put on a great performance in the main event.
It wasn’t just the main event that garnered the appreciation of the fans but so did the co-main event as Hughie Fury and Alexander Povetkin through heavy leather at one another. It was a night filled with great fights that was punctuated with these two fights at the top of the billing that was provided on ESPN+.
Vasiliy Lomachenko vs Luke Campbell
Vasiliy Lomachenko added yet another belt to his overflowing mantle. The O2 Arena played host to both Luke Campbell and Lomachenko’s contest on August 31.
With Campbell winning gold in the 2012 olympics, he had the pedigree to challenge the three weight world champion and two time gold medalist in Lomachenko.
Feeling out the opponent is usually the name of the game when a fight begins. Lomachenko on the other hand decided to skip that process as he started off fast. He landed several shots which snapped back the head of Campbell. Not to be outdone, Campbell found his own success using his much longer reach and combinations.
The middle portion of the fight was all Lomachenko as he started to impose his will. Round six saw Campbell hurt but he showed no quit in him as he landed his own shots which visibly buzzed Lomachenko. Already having the fight in the bag, that didn’t stop Lomachenko from turning up the pressure. Round 11 was his best yet as he sent Campbell down to the mat. It’s anyone’s guess as to how he managed to make it out of that round but it was clear that Lomachenko was going in for the kill.
The twelfth and final round saw Lomachenko hit Campbell with everything. The heart of Campbell can’t be praised enough as he made it to the final bell. It was a great effort by Campbell but the scorecards told just how dominant Lomachenko was. Two scores of 119-108 and 118-109 were the official scores.
With the win, Lomachenko now has three of the four belts remaining in the Lightweight division. He’ll have his eyes set on the winner between Richard Commey and Teofimo Lopez which is set to take place in December.
Hughie Fury vs Alexander Povetkin
It isn’t easy living in the shadows of the Heavyweight division. It becomes ever more difficult when those shadows are cast by your own flesh and blood.
Hughie has always been known as the other Fury. His cousin, Lineal champion Tyson Fury is known for his win over Wladimir Klitschko. His great performance against WBC champion Deontay Wilder, a contest that should have been ruled in Tyson’s favor and his loud personality outside of the ring.
Hughie Fury isn’t known for any of that. He isn’t known at all. Tonight was his night to change all of that as he took on former title challenger Alexander Povetkin.
Fury couldn’t have asked for a better start to the contest as Povetkin ate jabs to the face for the first three rounds. Seemingly finding his groove in the fourth, Povetkin began to turn things around as the long looping left hands that failed to connect time and time again finally found its mark.
Realizing that Fury wanted to make this a boxing match by using his height and reach advantages to box to a granular paced decision, Povetkin turned it into a dog fight. Burying his head right into the chest of Fury in order to make it a much uglier fight.
Over the last few rounds it seemed as though Fury forgot what made him so successful in the beginning. No longer was he trying to keep things on the outside. He seemed more then willing to fight the sort of fight Povetkin wanted. In the end, it cost him.
All three judges scoring the contest had it 117-111 in favor of Povetkin. The right man won the bout, but the wide scorecards were hard to understand. Regardless of the unrealistic scorecards, Fury picked up the third loss of his career.
Tonight was his chance to step out from the shadows of his cousin, Lineal Heavyweight champion Tyson Fury. With this defeat, Hughie is sure to be known as just the other Fury.
Lomachenko vs. Campbell Fight Preview
By: Sean Crose
WBA and WBO world lightweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko will try to add the WBC world lightweight title to his collection when he faces former titlist Luke Campbell at the O2 arena in a scheduled twelve round bout that will be aired live Saturday on ESPN+. The 13-1 Lomachenko will be coming off a commanding knockout win over Anthony Crolla last April in Los Angeles. The 20-2 Campbell, on the other hand, will be coming off a stoppage over Adrian Yung last March in Philadelphia. Campbell, of Yorkshshire, England, will essentially be fighting in front of a hometown crowd Saturday, as the O2 arena is in London.
Lomachenko has had a stunning career to date. With less than fifteen professional fights under his belt, the former Olympic legend has won himself world titles in three weight divisions and is now hoping to unify the major lightweight belts. “This brings me one step closer to my main goal of having all the belts,” Lomachenko said on Thursday. “I want to ‘unificate’ all of the titles. That is my next goal in boxing. I have won titles in three weight categories, but I never won all four belts in a division. So, for me, Campbell is a very important name as I write my boxing history.”
Campbell, who will walk into the ring on Saturday with a two inch height advantage of the 5’7 Lomachenko, has expressed confidence in the leadup to the bout. “I’m feeling great at the minute,” he said on Thursday. “It’s a fantastic opportunity for me.” It’s also an opportunity that some feel the hard hitting Englishman has a chance to capitalize on. Most of Lomachenko’s opponents have been completely overwhelmed by the awkward fighter’s speed and brilliant use of angles, but Campbell, with his impressive knockout ratio, has only a single loss on his resume (to Jorge Linares) that he hasn’t avenged. In other words, he’s a man used to winning.
Aside from the lightweight title throwdown, Saturday’s card will showcase an interesting heavyweight matchup when Tyson Fury’s cousin, Hughie Fury faces Alexander Povetkin in a scheduled 12 round affair. Fury has fought twice since losing to Kubrat Pulev last October, besting Chris Norrad and Samuel Peter respectively. The veteran Povetkin, on the other hand, hasn’t fought since being knocked out by Anthony Joshua in a title bout back in 2018. Fury, who teamed up with Matchroom Boxing recently, is clearly looking to impress, while Povetkin is looking to reenter the conversation of top heavyweights.
Saturday will also see the 14-1 Julio Cesar Martinez try to wrest away the WBC world flyweight title from the defending champion, 15-2 Charlie Edwards. Edwards is coming off a March decision win over Angel Moreno, while Martinez is coming off a knockout victory over the well known Lee Selby, in a bout that also went down last March. Martinez has stopped or retired all eight of his previous opponents. Edwards will be defending his WBC belt for the third time, since winning the title off of Cristofer Rosales last December, via decision.
The Vasyl Lomachenko versus Luke Campbell card will begin at 5PM EST on ESPN+ this Saturday.
Lomachenko And Campbell Discuss Upcoming Battle For Lightweight Supremacy
By: Sean Crose
“Luke Campbell is a tall southpaw with a strong boxing IQ,” said WBA and WBO lightweight champ Vasyl Lomachenko. “I know I can’t look past a fighter with his skills. He won an Olympic gold medal and has had a lot of success as a pro.” The 13-1 Lomachenko, who is regarded by many as the best active boxer in the world, will be facing the 20-2 Campbell at the O2 arena in London this Saturday. The Ukrainian star hopes to walk away with the vacant WBC lightweight strap. On Thursday, Lomachenko engaged in a media workout at a crowded York Hall, as did his rival, Campbell.
“I have wanted to fight in London ever since I turned pro,” Lomachenko said. “The fans appreciate my boxing style, and every time I’ve come here, they make me feel appreciated. Campbell is from the UK, but I feel very comfortable.” Should Lomachenko prove victorious on Saturday, he will hold three of the four major lightweight title belts. “This brings me one step closer to my main goal of having all the belts,” he said. “I want to ‘unificate’ all of the titles. That is my next goal in boxing. I have won titles in three weight categories, but I never won all four belts in a division. So, for me, Campbell is a very important name as I write my boxing history.”
He may be regarded as one of today’s top athletes, but Lomachenko made it clear on Thursday he wants to be in possession of career that will be talked about throughout the years. “I want to make history,” he said matter of factly. “That’s the most important thing for me. When I turned pro, I wanted to win a world title right away, and I tied a record by winning a world title in my third fight. Now, I want to make a different history. Very few fighters have won all four titles. It would mean a lot for me to accomplish this.”
As for Campbell, the hard hitting fighter let the world know he’s looking to shock the sport of boxing by walking away with three title belts this weekend. “I’m feeling great at the minute,” he said. “It’s a fantastic opportunity for me. I’ve got the best team around me and we’re all confident.” Although he’s essentially fighting at home – always a big advantage for a fighter, the former world titlist made it clear he’s focused on the task before him. “It doesn’t matter how I do it,” Campbell stated, “( so long as) I get the win.”
Both fighters indicated they are well prepared heading into the weekend. “I trained at the Olympic Sports Centre in Kiev,” said Lomachenko, “and it was nice to train at home. We did not change much with my preparation, but I feel very good physically. The weather was good, and I am 100 percent ready for whatever Luke Campbell brings.”
The Lomachenko-Campbell fight is scheduled for 12 rounds and will be aired live this Saturday on ESPN+.
Can Campbell Do the Impossible and Defeat Lomachenko?
By: Waqas Ali
Britain’s Luke Campbell is in for a second chance at gaining a world title as he faces boxing technician and genius Vasiliy Lomachenko (13-1) at the O2 arena in London, England.
Campbell (22-2) last fought for a world title when he faced Jorge Linares for the WBA lightweight title in September and lost via split decision.
Since then the Englishman made a comeback with three victories in the bag and now will be marking his fourth appearance at the famous arena.
The fight will be taking place on 31st August and has sold 15,000 tickets, according to promoter Eddie Hearns on Twitter.
Both Campbell and Lomachenko have two things in common. One is that they are both Olympic champions and two is that they have fought in the same event of year which was the 2012 Olympic tournament in separate weight classes.
Speaking about the opportunity of fighting the Ukranian champion, Campbell doesn’t deny the test in front of him.
Campbell, said: “I’ve never shied away from a challenge. This is a big challenge but these are the type of challenges that I train for every day and prepare for. I believe it’s the two best lightweights in the division facing off and I think this fight brings everything to the table: boxing IQ, power, speed, agility.”
“It has the making to be one of the great fights on these shores. I’m the challenger, he’s the champion, I respect everything he has achieved but I also believe that every champion was a challenger once, and I know I have what it takes to become a champion. It took me a while to get settled in the professional game, but this now feels like perfect timing.”
Lomachenko, already a three weight world champion in just 14 fights is considered by boxing experts, writers and fans, both causal and hardcore as one of the greatest fighters of this century.
The 31-year-old brings a variety of skills, styles and techniques that really cluster the meat of his talent.
His only loss occurred back in 2014 when he faced Orlando Salido for the WBO featherweight title and lost a close split decision result.
Since then no one has been able to come close to dethroning the two-time Olympic champion.
Lomachenko, however does not see this fight as a walk in the park for him and does recognise attributes of Campbell that could make this a competitive fight.
He said: “I’m happy to be in London again. I have great memories of winning the Olympic gold medal in London. The venue was full every day and the atmosphere was electric. I think this will be a very technical fight, and you have to love the British boxing fans because they are so passionate, emotional and noisy. I only have great memories of boxing here.”
“I don’t want to talk too much,” he added.
“It might be the toughest fight of my career so far, maybe, because he has a height and reach advantage. Maybe it will be for me a big challenge, but I never think about it. I just do my job, train hard and then I come in the ring. I’m going to leave a winner, that’s all I know.”
By the numbers, the Lomachenko is highly active by throwing 62 punches per round and connecting at 35%. This similar to the average lightweight who throws around 59 punches but the connect rate is slightly lower at 29%.
He lands a few more punches in power punching department (14 per round) with an excellent connect rate of 47%. The average lightweight lands at 12 with a rate of 35%.
His opponents landed just 24% of their power shots and just 6 per round which is half the lightweight average.
Campbell, who stands at 5 foot 9 with a reach of 71 inches has the lead advantage against Lomachenko who stands at 5 foot 7 with a reach of 65 ½ inches.
There is no doubt that the skillset of Lomachenko might overpower Campbell as we saw in the Anthony Crolla fight and all the previous fights. But as a strong Englishman, Campbell much like his fellow countryman Crolla will give his heart and soul in this fight.
After all, the fight against Linares became more close and competitive than people thought. His footwork, timing and counter punching could get some pundits and spectators raising their eyebrows. All is yet to be spectated.
August 31: Lomachenko-Campbell Set for London Showdown at The O2 LIVE and Exclusive on ESPN+
London called. Loma answered.
WBA/WBO lightweight world champion Vasiliy Lomachenko, the pound-for-pound Picasso and two-time Olympic gold medalist, will defend his belts Saturday, Aug. 31, against fellow Olympic gold medalist “Cool Hand” Luke Campbell, the pride of Hull, England, at The O2 in London.
The vacant WBC world lightweight title will also be up for grabs in this battle of 2012 London Olympic gold medalists.
Lomachenko-Campbell will headline a special afternoon edition of Top Rank on ESPN on ESPN+ — the industry-leading sports streaming service — beginning at 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT. The entire undercard will stream on ESPN+ starting at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT.
This will mark Lomachenko’s first ring appearance in London since the 2013 World Series of Boxing when he shut out Sam Maxwell over five rounds.
“Vasiliy Lomachenko is a unique talent who is going to take the United Kingdom by storm,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Luke Campbell is an excellent fighter, but Lomachenko is in a class of his own. The fans on that side of the pond have wanted Lomachenko to return ever since he turned pro. It’s going to be a crazy, sold-out crowd at the O2 Arena, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Lomachenko has the crowd’s support.”
“This is a fight for history because my goal is to unify all of the belts in the lightweight division,” Lomachenko said. “Luke Campbell is the next challenge for me on that journey. He is an excellent fighter who I remember well from the 2012 Olympics. He has a difficult style, and I cannot afford to overlook him.
“It is very special for me to fight in London. I visited last year, and the response from the people was overwhelming. They respect my fighting style and are passionate about boxing. I can’t wait to put on a great show for everyone.”
“I am thrilled to see Vasiliy Lomachenko head to the UK to meet British star Luke Campbell,” said Eddie Hearn, Managing Director of Matchroom Sport. “Loma is simply one of the finest boxers to ever lace them up, the best fighter on the planet today and I’m honored to be promoting his first ever pro fight in the UK. But Luke is an elite world fighter, too, and with his range, ability and heart, the Hull ace can shock the world and rip Loma’s titles from him on another epic night of boxing in the capital.”
“The best fighting the best, this is going to make one hell of a fight,” Campbell said. “I am in this sport to be the best and I am this sport to become a world champion. This is what I train and work so hard for, to become a world champion and fulfill my potential.
“He is ranked number one pound-for-pound on the planet so for me to fight a guy like that only encourages me more to be the best that I can be and it is exactly the level that I want to be at. I’m well aware of how good he is and what he is capable of doing but I’m also well aware of what I can do and what I’m going to do.
“I think that I can knock out anyone that I hit right, I believe that I am one of the biggest punchers in the lightweight division. This is going to be the toughest fight of my life and I’m preparing for it, physically and mentally. This is Luke Campbell’s year, it’s my time.”
Lomachenko (13-1, 10 KOs), who went 396-1 as an amateur, has won world titles at featherweight, junior lightweight and lightweight in the paid ranks. He fought for a world title in his second pro bout and won the WBO featherweight world title in his third outing, dominating Gary Russell Jr. over 12 rounds. He made his lightweight debut last May, tearing the labrum in his right shoulder in the second round and rising from a sixth-round knockdown to knock out WBA champion Jorge Linares in the 10th.
Lomachenko added the WBO lightweight title to his collection in December, scoring a pair of knockdowns in the 11th round and ultimately winning a unanimous decision over two-weight world champion Jose Pedraza. He last fought in April at Staples Center in Los Angeles, disposing of mandatory challenger Anthony Crolla in four rounds.
Campbell (20-2, 16 KOs), the WBC No. 1 lightweight contender, captured Olympic gold as a bantamweight at the 2012 London Olympics, one of only two male boxers (along with Anthony Joshua) to win gold in front of the home fans. Lomachenko won gold as a lightweight in London, and a little more than seven years later, their paths will cross once again.
Campbell lost to Yvan Mendy via split decision in his 13th pro bout in December 2015, a defeat that was avenged nearly three years later in convincing fashion. Campbell challenged Jorge Linares for the WBA lightweight title in September 2017 in Los Angeles, dropping a highly contested split decision. He has won three in a row since that disappointment — including the Mendy rematch — most recently knocking out Adrian Yung in five rounds in Philadelphia.
For more information, visit: www.toprank.com, www.espn.com/boxing; Facebook: facebook.com/trboxing; Twitter: twitter.com/trboxing.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Matchroom Boxing, tickets for Lomachenko vs. Campbell are priced at £40, £60, £100, £150, £200, £300 and £600 (Inner Ring VIP).
Tickets are available to purchase NOW for O2 Priority customers via www.theo2.co.uk and go on sale to Fight Pass members on Sunday July 21 at midday via StubHub www.stubhub.co.uk.
General Sale tickets are available to purchase from midday on Monday, July 22 from StubHub (www.stubhub.co.uk), The O2 (www.theo2.co.uk) and Matchroom Boxing (www.matchroomboxing.com)
Use the hashtag #LomaCampbell to join the conversation on social media.
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WBC Orders Lomachenko-Campbell Bout
By: Sean Crose
Mandatory lightweight contender Luke Campbell, 20-2, was in line to face WBC champion Mikey Garcia before Garcia decided to move up in weight to face Errol Spence in an ill fated attempt at welterweight glory earlier this year. After being soundly bested by Spence, Garcia subsequently gave up his lightweight crown (although he remains Champion Emeritus), presumably leaving Campbell to face off against another contender. This being boxing, things didn’t end up as expected, for the WBC announced Tuesday that it was ordering Campbell to face none other than Vasyl Lomachenko himself for the green belt.
Bob Arum, Lomachenko’s promoter, and Eddie Hearn, Campbell’s promoter, are reportedly discussing the matter. Lomachenko is currently in possession of the WBO and IBF lightweight titles, meaning the winner of his fight will be unified champion of the division – though not undisputed champion – as the WBA belt won’t be up for grabs. “Excited,” the 31 year old Campbell told Boxing Social after the WBC made its announcement. “That’s the first word that comes to mind.” Campbell is clearly pumped about the prospect of facing the man who is perhaps the most highly regarded fighter in the sport. “I’m fighting the pound for pound number one,” he says. “This is where I make my mark.”
Lomachenko is now one of the fight game’s biggest stars. Not only does the man win, he tends to make his opponents quit – frequently. High level opposition such as Nicholas Walters and Guillermo Rigondeaux have refused to answer the bell after facing the Ukrainian’s use of angles and intense pressure. It’s been suggested that Lomachenko’s dominance has faded a bit as he’s moved up in weight, but the fact the multi division titlist has stopped the likes of Jorge Linares and Anthony Crolla in the past year suggests otherwise.
As for Campbell – the fighter has won his last three fights since dropping a 2017split decision to the same Linares Lomachenko faced. He’s never battled anyone of Lomachenko’s caliber, but the 5’9 southpaw may well square off against the intimidating 13-1 Lomachenko at home. According to the LA Times, Arum is willing to have the bout take place in England. “I’ve already talked to Eddie Hearn,” Arum is quoted as saying, “and he’s looking for an appropriate venue in the U.K..” With boxing now being a major draw in Britain, the image of a large, hyped crowd suddenly comes to mind.
“This is going to be one hell of a fight,” says Campbell.
Campbell Kept Father’s Death A Secret In Leadup To Linares Fight
By: Sean Crose
“I probably cried once a day. I had to try and shut feelings off.” So lightweight contender Luke Campbell told the BBC after his WBA title loss on Saturday night to Jorge Linares at the Forum in Inglewood, California. “After the fight” the Englishman added, “I had a good cry.” The source of Campbell’s pain was the passing of his father, Bernard, who died of cancer just two short weeks before the Linares fight. Campbell kept the news of Bernard’s passing a secret, so as not to give Linares the impression he wasn’t emotionally ready to present a legitimate challenge.
Photo Credit: Tom Hogan-Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
“I didn’t want Linares’ camp thinking it was a weakness,” the 17-2 fighter claimed. “I didn’t want them thinking I was hurt.” Campbell was in training camp in the United States when Bernard passed in the British city of Hull. The funeral for the elder Campbell will be held this coming Thursday. Although soldiering on in the midst of a parent’s death was difficult for Campbell to do, the East Yorkshire native felt it was what Bernard would have wanted of him. Indeed, Campbell made it clear that he feels his father would be pleased, even though he lost a nearly controversial decision to Linares on Saturday night.
Campbell, a former Olympic medalist, gave the respected Linares a true run for his money this past weekend. Although clearly the underdog, the taller southpaw got up from a knockdown and proved able to frustrate Linares with effective punching throughout the fight. Campbell wasn’t able to take away Linares’ WBA title, but he certainly earned the respect of the live HBO audience – an impressive takeaway for any fighter. “I think I shut a lot of mouths,” Campbell told the BBC, “and I thought I actually won the fight.”
Linares admitted that the leadup to the bout wasn’t easy for him, with many not giving him much of a chance to beat Linares. Enduring the naysayers while losing his father on the eve of the biggest match of his career proved to be quite the challenge. Campbell, however, rose to the occasion, as he has been known to do since his amateur days. The fighter once told England’s Mirror that boxing saved him from his own less than promising youth. “Boxing teaches you discipline,” he said, “and without that it was only a matter of time before I got myself into trouble with the police.”
HBO Boxing Results: Linares Decisions Campbell, Jacobs Announces HBO Deal
By: Sean Crose
Saturday’s live HBO broadcast from the Forum in Inglewood, California featured a twelve round lightweight championship affair between WBA titlist Jorge Linares (42-3) and England’s Luke Campbell (17-1). Linares, the skilled champion with titles in multiple divisions on his resume, was the clear favorite. Former Olympic medalist Campbell, however, didn’t come all the way from England to lose. He wanted Linares’ lightweight title – and entered the ring confident he would get it.
Photo Credit: Tom Hogan- Hogan Photos/HBO Boxing
Antonio Orozco was supposed to put his 26-0 record against 35-1-2 Roberto Ortiz in a 10 round super lightweight match before the main event. Unfortunately, however, that bout was called off, as Orozco didn’t show up for the weigh in on Friday (he was reportedly over five pounds over weight).
Before the action started, however, middleweight Daniel Jacobs appeared before HBO cameras at the Forum to announce that: “I’m with the family. I’m with HBO now.” This was indeed major news, as many of biggest, if not most of the biggest, middleweights in the world are now HBO fighters. “You guys are going to see me on a constant basis from this point forward,” said Jacobs. It was a pointed comment, considering the fact that Jacobs has been less than active since his extremely close bout with Gennady Golovkin last winter.
With the news of the night out of the way, it was time for the WBA lightweight title bout. Campbell’s height advantage was telling right from the opening bell, as the Yorkshire native started flicking out his southpaw jab. Linares, however, was cool and collected. Linares started asserting himself in the second – and took his man down with under a minute to go in the round. Campbell beat the count, but was bleeding. Linares, still patient, started working the Englishman’s body. The third round didn’t have the excitement of its predecessor, but Campbell proved himself back in the fight. The fourth was competitive, and it was clear Linares wasn’t simply going to roll over his man.
The middle rounds were shooting matches. Linares came forward effectively in the fifth, but Campbell landed effectively, as well. Campbell continued to land well in the sixth…but were his punches keeping Linares off his gameplan? The seventh saw both men trading off, but doing so with skill and expertise. The bout was indeed close, though Linares’ heavier hands might have been making the difference in his favor.
The eighth was quite close. The ninth saw Campbell in the center of the ring while Linares looked for openings. In the tenth, however, Linares began to turn on the heat. The bout was competitive enough, however, for it to at least seem like the final two rounds might find the winner. Campbell engaged in a defensive strategy throughout the eleventh. Both men proved aggressive in the twelfth, though Linares may have edged it.
Ultimately, the judges ruled for Linares, via split decision.
Linares-Campbell Ready To Highlight HBOs Saturday Card
by: Sean Crose
Boxing’s extraordinary 2017 thunders on this weekend with a solid HBO card, broadcast live from the Forum in Inglewood, California at 10 PM -Eastern Standard Time – on Saturday night. The card, which will also be aired live on HBO Latino, features a twelve round lightweight championship affair between WBA titlist Jorge Linares (42-3) and England’s Luke Campbell (17-1). Also on the agenda is undefeated Antonio Orozco pitting his 26-0 record against 35-1-2 Roberto Ortiz in a super lightweight 10 rounder. Orozco is being pushed as the one to watch in this fight, and with good reason. Still, it’s worth noting that Orozco’s lone loss came at the gloves of Lucas Matthysse back in 2014.
Photo Credit: Tom Hogan-Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
As for Linares, he’s certainly an interesting addition to contemporary boxing. Originally from Venezuela, the man now resides in Tokyo. He’s also held belts in numerous divisions, having previously been the owner of straps at both featherweight and super featherweight. Linares’ last two victories were against Anthony Crolla in England. Both fights went down in Crolla’s home town of Manchester, making each of Linare’s unanimous decision victories particularly impressive. Needless to say, the man has won his last eleven matches in a row.
His opponent, Campbell, is a 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist with a single defeat on his resume (to Yvan Mendy back in 2015). Since that line loss, the Yorkshire native has gone on to win five in a row. Saturday’s bout will not only be Campbell’s first fight in the United States, it will be the man’s first bout outside his native England. It will also be his first crack at a world title. Campbell, however, is exuding confidence in the leadup to this weekend, although he frankly is not expected to win. “This is why I am in boxing,” he says, “for the challenges.” Perhaps not surprisingly, heavyweight kingpin Anthony Joshua has thrown his support behind Campbell, his fellow British Olympian.
Although this clearly isn’t the biggest fight of the year, it’s certainly a solid affair and big things might perhaps be in line for the winner. Mikey Garcia has emerged as the big fish at lightweight. As the WBC lightweight champion, the California native can boast of an undefeated record and of recently having bested Adrien Broner in a high profile bout last July in New York. A unification match with the popular Garcia might prove to be both lucrative and popular for the winner of Saturday’s battle.