Tuesday, March 20, 2018  |


Luke Campbell loses to Jorge Linares but wins respect


INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Luke Campbell said afterward that he thought he beat Jorge Linares. And he has an argument.

Several rounds of the fight could’ve gone either way. And if Campbell had won just one more round on a particular card, he would’ve won the fight and both the RING and WBA lightweight belts in his first attempt to win a world title before 4,125 at the Forum.

That’s how close he came to realizing every fighter’s dream. Linares won a split decision: 114-113, 115-112 for him, 115-113 for Campbell.

The 2012 Olympic gold medalist from England certainly has nothing to be ashamed of, though. He proved in a disappointing defeat – against one of the most skillful boxers in the world – that he is made of championship cloth.

That’s not how it looked in the first few rounds, when Linares seemed to be a class above Campbell. The Venezuelan was quick, smooth and – in regard to one punch – powerful.

A wicked straight right, the third punch of a combination, put Campbell on the canvas in the second round. It appeared at that moment that he might be in for a long night. Instead, Campbell seemed to adjust, started landing both his long jab and power punches and quickly climbed back into the fight.

Campbell, not Linares, seem to be in control in the middle rounds – fighting particularly well between No. 4 to No. 10 – as Linares’ output declined.

The fight seemed to be up in the air going into the final two rounds and, as it turned out, it was. Linares, fighting with more urgency in the championship rounds, won the 11th on two cards and the 12th on all three to win the fight.

Had Linares (43-3, 27 knockouts) lost the 12th on Max DeLuca’s 114-113 card, Campbell (17-2, 14 KOs) would’ve had his hand raised.

“No one can ever doubt my hard work,” Campbell said. “Yeah, I got off to a rocky start. He caught me in the eye. A nice shot that put me on the mat. But I had to fight, I had to get focused. I didn’t think he was landing any shots whatsoever in the second half.”

Linares and his American promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, gave Campbell credit.

“When I first started off, I felt very fast,” Linares said. “The only thing he had over me was that he was a very technical fighter, he was very tall and had long arms. I had to adjust to his style throughout the fight.”

Said De La Hoya: “Campbell will be a champion one day.”


  • Lee McGuire

    I was surprised how easily Campbell was able to hit Linares with his jab and straight left hand. Linares paced himself better. Campbell tired at the end of the fight, otherwise he’d be the new champ. Linares is super athletic, but I’ve never seen Linares as P4P, and I’m sick of the HBO hype.

  • Mark Schoeman

    Two weeks in a row now, we’ve seen the expectations game infect boxing the same way it does politics. The observer class goes into a fight (political debate) with a firm notion of how it SHOULD play out, with one guy dominating the other….and any deviation from that expectation in reality, causes everything the underdog does to be over-valued.

    Last night, I saw 2 “competitive” fights, where many went in expecting each to be anything but, so the underdog is given extra credit…but competitive fights don’t mean close fights and just because a guy does better than YOU expected, doesn’t mean he gets given rounds he isn’t winning and shouldn’t mean you grant that the scoring could go either way.

    Campbell is a talented boxer, but with the amateurish bad habit of slappy “point-scoring” punches. Now if he sits down and throws pro-style punches, maybe I can be magnanimous and say it could have gone either way…and maybe doing so opens himself up for Linares and the fight is WAY less competitive…who knows Much like Canelo, I’m excited to see Campbell again, think he can still improve and get better…and I saw him lose decisively, yet not get blown out, which confounded many observers expectations, causing them to give more credit than was earned.

  • Colin Mc Flurry.

    Career best preformance from Campbell.
    I thought Linares edged it, but he looked off tonight.

  • Johndon-Edd Magallanes

    Nice fight. Experience was the difference.