Luke Campbell came as close as you could get to wrestle the WBA lightweight title from the excellent three weight world champion Venezuela’s Jorge Linares in California at the weekend, made even more astonishing when learning he had lost his beloved father Bernard to Cancer two weeks before his biggest boxing challenge.
Campbell boxed superbly behind his southpaw jab, long reach and great skills, starting very well and grabbing the 1st round, the second turned out to be a vital round as the champion came firing back in aggressive fashion flooring Campbell briefly. Which would turn out to be the diffence in what was a very hard fought contest of terrific skills from both men.
Hulls 2012 Olympic Gold medalist regrouped magnificently showing a grit and maturity not yet seen in his professional career thus far, and looked to be pulling ahead in the second half of the fight.
Jorge Linares who is used to seeing off British challenges having stoppped Kevin Mitchell in a 10 round thriller and outpointing Manchester’s Anthony Crolla in his last two outings rose to the challenge that Luke Campbell was setting, and pushed himself to the limit of his ability to finish the stronger.
The judges scoring echoed just how close Luke had come to fulfilling his dream with the very reliable referee and judge Scotlands Victor Loughlin giving it to Campbell by 2 rounds the other two judges handing Linares a split decision win by 1 and 2 rounds respectively, which to be fair was as I scored it 114-113 to Linares.
Sometimes in boxing as in life it’s not about the outcome or the result. In this case with Luke Campbell he showed more in losing than most fighters ever do in winning, and his father Bernard will be looking down on his boy with immense pride as the rest of us in this sport are.
And I can only echo to Luke what a great man once said to me at a similar time ” You may have lost the fight, but you will Win the War” God Bless you Son….