AT Wembley stadium in September Luke Campbell took a crucial victory, avenging a 2015 loss as he outpointed Frenchman Yvan Mendy. That puts him in line for a shot at the WBC lightweight title. Although it’s unclear when he will get that elusive world title fight, expect him to box again in December.
“That was effectively the eliminator, we’ve got a chance to fight for an interim title. [WBC champion Mikey] Garcia, apparently he’s fighting Richard Commey, he might vacate. It could be [becoming] interim champion then elevated to world champion. I want him to win a world title, not just win it over night. We’re going to see, we’re going to see what’s next for him,” his trainer Shane McGuigan told Boxing News. “Styles can make a star. Whoever you’re up against, you have to match people the right way to make their profile raise. Mendy, it was a great thing for us to avenge that loss and avenge it so well. But he’s never going to make you look the fighter I see in here [in the gym]. Luke’s even 10 times better than that. He [Mendy] is a smotherer. You want guys to try to beat [Campbell] at long range as well, that’s when you’re going to see what I see in him.
“We want to be out before the end of the year. We’re looking at the 15th or the 22nd of December, so we’ve got a couple of dates that we’re looking at.”
McGuigan was delighted with Campbell’s last performance. “He was a completely changed man. I’m not blowing my own trumpet but his mindset’s different. The good thing about Luke is he’s come on board, he wants to learn. ‘I know what I was doing but I know I’ve got much more in me.’ Luke’s the kind of guy, a bit like Josh Taylor, he’ll go out, he’d have five or six really world class moves and he’s showed you the whole six of them the first two rounds and they become way less effective as it goes on. You need to be able to win rounds with just the simplest most basic movements, even at world level. And then, as the rounds go on, then you can start walking them on to shots, trying your little tricks out, feinting, drawing a lead, hitting them with x amount of shots, whatever,” he explained.
“One of the things, I had him sparring against big lumps that didn’t respect his power. He did loads of rounds with Tamuka [Mucha], non stop punching. With Luke, when someone hits him, the way it’s programmed is if I hit you two shots in the amateurs, you’re two points down. You’ve got to hit two shots back. That’s not professional boxing.
“If you look flustered, punching back and then getting nailed again, you’re playing into their hands. With Luke for instance it was just mindset, he wasn’t turning his weight over properly and he’s still massively willing to listen, a bit like George [Groves] when he first came on with me. He knew what he was doing wasn’t right. He wasn’t able to get the wins at the top level, he needed to go back, work on as many things and make yourself as good as possible.”