Hellraiser Boxing - As Luke Campbell challenges Jorge Linares, recent ruiner of English lightweight dreams, for the WBA world title in California this Saturday, we preview a potential career defining fight for both men.
Hellraiser Boxing News | Golden Times? Linares vs Campbell Preview
As Luke Campbell challenges Jorge Linares, recent ruiner of English lightweight dreams, for the WBA world title in California this Saturday, we preview a potential career defining fight for both men.

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Golden Times? Linares vs Campbell Preview

by Paul Duckworth

London 2012 gold medalist Luke "Coolhand" Campbell, 17-1 (14), will travel to "The Golden State" of California this Saturday, September 23rd, as he is presented the golden opportunity to dethrone "The Golden Boy" Jorge Linares, 42-3 (27), of his golden belts. Namely the WBA world, WBC Diamond and Ring Magazine titles of the world.

Linares will be familiar in the UK, having beating Britons before. First up was Kevin Mitchell, beaten in a brutal fight in 2015, this win coinciding with Mitchell's decision to take immediate retirement from the ring. Linares impressed further by following up with two consecutive victories over Anthony Crolla. All of these victories were on British soil, in which he initially won the WBC world title and then defended it successfully by stopping Ivan Kano in Colombia.

Now a resident of London, Jorge  will travel to America to headline with Hull's own Luke Campbell.

Campbell spent the past two months in Miami, until abandoning the camp due to Hurricane Irma causing widespread damage, with winds reaching speeds of 185 mph in the Carribean. Although Luke maintains he was leaving the resort anyway and the precautionary measure has in no way altered his plans.

Venezulian Linares is, at 32 years old, a four time champion across three different weight classes and has fought all over the world. He is now looking to make his mark in America as he headlines the bill for the first time, which is set to be broadcast live on HBO.

Under the tutelage of Ismael Sales, and now training in the Hayemaker Gym, he has apparently been working alongside former Heavyweight Champion David Haye to try and improve his already impressive power.

Linares, known for his ability to control fights with his masterful defence, can already deliver solid, powerful punches at lightening speed, so it will be interesting to see if further improvement has been made in this department. Southpaw Campbell is considered by some to potentially posses the most technical skillset of any fighter in the division, his ability to be able to use both hands equally well. He boasts an impressive 78 per cent knockout percentage; with 14 of his 17 winscoming inside the distance.

Luke aims to become the first English man to win the prestigious Ring Magazine belt in the lightweight division, only Scotland's Ken Buchanan and Jim Watt are the past Britons to achieve this feat.

Now 29 years old, Luke has matured into what could now be considered to be his prime years in the sport. His attitude to recover from what at the time was perhaps a shock defeat (via split decision to Yvan Mendy in 2015) has demonstrated a fighter's spirit to be able to recover well, and he has produced five wins in succession since this solitary defeat in the professional ranks.

Comparatively, orthodox Lineras has a 60 per cent knockout percentage with 27 KO's coming from 42 wins. He previously suffered a hand injury, meaning he was unable to defend the WBC strap he won against Mitchell. The division's  sanctioning body however reinstated him as the WBC Diamond Champion, with Mikey Garcia now officially the WBC Champion and a possible opponent for the winner of this contest, providing Garcia fights again at the divisional weight.

Critics have suggested this bout is a miss-match and that Jorge is a class above the 2012 medal hero. Linares insists that presently Luke is the best contender available as he has worked his way up to the mandatory position in both WBA and WBC rankings.

Campbell maintains that the pressure is on Linares as it is he who is expected to perform well in front of the HBO audience in what is his first fight headlining in America.

Campbell appears happy to live up to his monikor of "Coolhand", although he is resolutely determined to take his chance. Luke appears to take strength in the knowledge that he has successfully travelled abroad before to qualify for the Olympics prior to prevailing as the Golden Boy himself.

Make no mistake Luke is up against it, but he has shown spirit whilst showcasing the necessary skills and power to be able to trouble and hurt opponents, so should not be overlooked.

Linares, so masterful in producing performances that have elevated him to his position as one of boxing's pound for pound elite, will be hoping that there is no coincidence as he continues his mission to become one of boxing's Golden geese.

Campbell has a tough proposition on his hands in this fight, and although he has shown potential he has come up against one of the sports current elite fighters. Linares to win by late stoppage or on points. 

Posted: 21st Sep 2017


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