LUKE CAMPBELL, the Olympic gold medallist and former world title challenger, is on a revenge mission.
He has not forgotten his 2015 loss to French lightweight Yvan Mendy. The two will rematch on Anthony Joshua’s September 22 undercard at Wembley stadium. To increase the appeal of the encounter, this will be a final eliminator for the WBC lightweight title.
This will also be Campbell’s first fight under the guidance of new trainer Shane McGuigan. In the past McGuigan has had the Frenchman in for sparring with some of his other fighters and is therefore convinced he knows how to beat him.
“Mendy is the kind of guy that once he gets into his rhythm he’s hard to break. But just certain exits out of the short range stuff would really dishearten him and also working on a few things trying to slow him down to the body a little bit more. Because he can take a cracking shot to the head and what he lacks in his skill set and ability he makes up for in determination and perseverance. So we’ve just got to take that away from him,” McGuigan said.
The lightweight world champions are some of the most fearsome in the sport. Mikey Garcia holds the IBF and WBC titles while the brilliant Vasyl Lomachenko is the WBA champion. Tough Mexican Ray Beltran also holds the WBO belt.
“It’s the toughest weight division out there at the moment,” McGuigan said. “[Campbell] is not scared of anyone. It’s just making sure that he can maximise himself as a fighter, as a lightweight. Making sure he’s physically in the best condition possible.”
The trainer is certain he will improve the Hull fighter even further. “Luke still feels like he’s got to learn a lot, which is great for me,” Shane said. “I wouldn’t take someone on if I didn’t believe that they could win world titles and still have a lot to learn and were eager to learn. Luke’s going to be turning 31 but he’s fresh.
“He hasn’t got the recognition. He hasn’t got the right fights either… I think he’ll add another 20 or 30% to his game and I think that’s enough to win not just world titles but win big fights, big unification fights.”