AFTER a shock defeat to Yvan Mendy in December, Luke Campbell will return to action on March 26 in Sheffield. First though he will train in Miami with Jorge Rubio, who coached Cuban star Guillermo Rigondeaux in his most recent fight.
Campbell’s opponent is expected to be confirmed this week. “We’re looking at a few options,” his promoter Eddie Hearn told Boxing News. “He’s training with Jorge Rubio. It’s a big move for him, he left his family – not for good, but just for a camp. He’s going to be out there for six weeks and come back two weeks before the fight.”
A 2012 Olympic gold medallist, Campbell had looked sensational as he rose through the pro ranks, defeating Tommy Coyle in an open air stadium in Hull in August. But Mendy suddenly derailed him with a points victory in London on December 12. Luke needs to come back with a win. “Make or break is a bit harsh because he’s only had one defeat to a decent level fighter. At his age and where we want to be, the only place I want Luke Campbell is fighting for world titles and that’s where we thought we were but obviously a defeat to a European level fighter was a big back step. But for some reason he wasn’t himself, during fight week and he’ll know the reasons more. I think he wasn’t over the moon with his training and stuff like that. Now he’s gone out there and you’ll see the difference. It might work, it might not. But he’s very dedicated and he felt like he needed to make this move for the good of his career and he picked up his bags and he went,” said Hearn.
“Everyone was overlooking it, saying it was easy, but I knew it would be a tough fight, as in Mendy’s tough and would try to walk him down. But I felt like Luke would just pick him off all night and look sensational. But he didn’t. He didn’t look himself at all and had no pop in his punches, went backwards in straight lines, was getting hit every time, exchanged. It was very unlike Luke Campbell. I think the Mendy fight is one that could be made again in a rematch for after this one. I think he’d like to put that straight. But I’m really looking for Luke to have one big win and then move to world title fights. He’s that age and he’s that good, we’ve just got to get him firing.”
Hearn is adamant that Campbell’s career will soon be right back on track, saying, “As a salesman, when you’re selling an executive car and all of a sudden someone realises there’s a little scratch on it. You need to get that fixed up and that’s what we’re doing at the moment. Soon again we’ll be on the forecourt looking sensational.”