Boxing News and Views’ main man in Walsall Peter Wells is back to give his Jorge Linares vs Luke Campbell prediction ahead of this weekend.
Having created such a reputation in the UK, Jorge Linares has now decided to make the capital of England his second home.
Ironically the Venezuelan does not compete in the country of his adopted training camp, as he makes a return to the United States on fight night.
So while Linares 42-3(27KO’s) will travel across the Atlantic, his English opponent will be ready and waiting in Los Angeles.
Luke Campbell is the latest Brit to challenge the impeccable three weight world champion and current WBA Lightweight ruler. Having moved his training camp from Miami to LA – due to Hurricane Irma – Campbell is confident that he can do what Anthony Crolla (twice) and Kevin Mitchell failed to do on British shores.
Linares’ streak since back-to-back stoppage losses, has surged him into the pound-for-pound top 10 conversation. And he looked as though his peak years were still within him as he twice outpointed Crolla, looking levels above in the second meeting.
Campbell 17-1(14KO’s) has looked equally brilliant since suffering a maiden loss in late 2015 – albeit at a lower level.
But his domination of an ageing Argenis Mendez, a sickening stoppage of Derry Mathews, and a 9th round beating of Darleys Perez all suggest that the Hull man is primed for his shot at world honours.
But as good as he has looked since a switch in scenery, Campbell is taking on a man that stands alongside Mike Garcia as an elite competitor in the Lightweight division.
But concern still lingers over the durability of Linares. He has seemed untouchable since winning the WBC title in 2014, but Mitchell was arguably closest to exploiting any defensive weaknesses. Crolla was world class, but struggled to find his range over 24 rounds, Campbell’s length and speed may create more opportunities to catch the champion flush.
For many, the experience of 45 contests will work wonders for Linares, as he proves he has too much in his arsenal for a still developing Campbell.
Even Campbell’s size may not prove enough to deter the technical know-how that the excellent Linares possesses. And should the visitor fall to an early deficit, only stunning the champion will change the direction of the fight.
But while Linares has had the look of a sensation in recent years, this may well be his toughest opponent since his early stages in the Lightweight division. And those bring bad memories for the 32-year old.
Campbell may have jumped upon this opportunity just that little bit too early, but if he has not, then he looks to have the tools to spring a surprise at the Forum in Inglewood, California.
Jorge Linares vs Luke Campbell Prediction
Campbell will come out the blocks fast on Saturday night, shooting the southpaw jab, while softening Linares’ midsection with straight left hands.
Campbell will be forced to further his output to deter Linares from finding his groove as the fight edges across the halfway stage. It is here that the champion can derail Campbell’s challenge with wicked uppercuts and his own vicious assaults to the midriff.
The first 8 rounds will provide action to appease both the purists and the warmongers, while the final 4 sessions are likely to appeal mostly to the latter.
Each stanza in the final third could swing either way as Campbell puts on the pressure, while Linares continues to pick out the flashier of the punches.
There will be many in the crowd and at home favouring the champion, but the early work rate and late aggression can earn Campbell the most rewarding of victories on the road – via split decision.