OLYMPIC gold medallist Luke Campbell takes his most significant professional fight to date on Saturday (October 25) in his Hull hometown when he boxes Daniel Brizuela.
The Argentine is now known for his crazy fight-of-the-year with Tommy Coyle in February, also in Hull, when the two managed to knock each other down four times a piece.
“It’s going to be a good fight, the fans are happy about it,” Campbell said of the Brizuela clash. “It’s going to be a test for me.
“We’ll soon see what I’m made of.”
Campbell has boxed his last three contests away from home. He picked up a points win over Craig Woodruff in Liverpool in July, before stopping Steve Trumble overseas in California.
“[Woodruff] wasn’t a very good performance for me whatsoever. I’d overtrained as well for that fight, which was my mistake because I’d been out for a few months, I wasn’t focused and mentally on it as I should have been,” Luke said. “I still went in there and won every round against an awkward opponent and did the job.
“I wasn’t on form. Each performance now is getting better and better as you’ll see.”
He knocked out Trumble inside two rounds and got a taste of boxing on an open air show in America. “It was the whole experience of traveling abroad, being on a different show, having to go through the different medicals and experience outside boxing in the heat. It was boiling hot, that in itself was a little learning experience. It’s having to deal with all different circumstances and environments that you’re in,” Campbell said.
He impressed in particular last month in the way he dispatched Krzysztof Szot in London. Most find the Pole a tricky and durable opponent. Luke controlled him, waited for his moment and struck to find the stoppage in the seventh round.
But then Campbell is expected to impress in every bout. “There’s always pressure when you’re an Olympic champion to perform and to be the best you can be,” he said. “but, hey, ho, we put that pressure on ourselves by doing so good as an amateur. I won the European gold, World silver medal, Olympic gold medal. I won them for a reason because I felt I’m very good at what I do. But we all know that the pros are different to the amateurs. So it’s even though you’ve got that pedigree and them titles, it’s taking it away a little bit and starting fresh and proving yourself as a professional fighter and that’s what my plan is now, just to prove myself as a professional fighter and hopefully achieve what I can in the pros as I did in the amateurs.”
Campbell and Tommy Coyle, who fights Michael Katsidis on Saturday, have boxed regularly in Hull on the same shows and the two lightweights appear to be a on course for a local derby. “They’re trying to build a fight with Tommy Coyle for the Hull showdown. It makes sense from a business point of view. We’re two Hull fighters at the end of the day and I think it would be great for the city. I think they’re looking at that for next summer. If it comes off and the fans want to see it and Hull wants to see it, me and Tommy are definitely up for doing it,” Luke said. “Why rush something that could be massive for the city? That fight, Eddie [Hearn]’s a fantastic promoter, when he promotes a show, he will promote that show fantastically and it would be a massive occasion for Hull. You can’t rush something like that. It needs to be in a proper venue because it will sell 20,000 tickets in Hull.”
The British lightweight scene is bustling with talented fighters. Terry Flanagan holds the British title, there’s Derry Mathews in the mix, Scott Cardle has the English title, Ricky Burns is descending to domestic level, to name just a few.
But Campbell remains focused. “Not one of them has come in to my mind at all,” he says. “Whether I come in their mind is a different story. But I haven’t thought about any of them in the slightest. I don’t care about what they’re doing or how they’re getting on, or how good they’re doing or how bad they’re doing. It’s irrelevant to me. I’m just concentrating on me and seeing how I do and how I progress. I’ve got tasks and challenges ahead of me. So I think that’s enough for me to concentrate on.”