Saturday night seen Luke Campbell push Jorge Linares in a way I didn’t think he had in him. The Ex-Olympian really put in a coming of age performance and was unlucky not to bring the titles home.
Linares vs Campbell
From the start as you would expect these two started very tentatively in the first round ,bur even this early you could see the tactics Luke Campbell was going to use to try and and keep the technician Jorge Linares off him . As i said in the preview Luke Cambell has a very good jab to work off , but we could see early that Campbell was also using jab to stop Linares getting close enough to go to work.
In the second round it was a bit of more of the same Jorge looking busy , but Campbell was doing well to minimise Linares’s work by good movement and judging distance relatively well ……well that was right to the the off the round when a momentary lapse in Campbell’s concentration let him down . As he was backing off Linares he made the mistake of coming back in a straight line , a mistake a man like Linares will punish given the chance . Linares landed a beautiful lightning quick combination that sent Campbell to the canvas , although Campbell didn’t look hurt it was a warning for him that mistakes like that , at this level will be punished .
For the next few rounds where much better for Campbell , but without picking up any rounds on 0n my scorecard, but instead of getting his head down after the knockdown , he done the opposite ,Campbell cut out the mistakes and really started to use his jab brilliantly, keeping Linares at bay and really frustrating him as the rounds went buy , after 6 rounds i had 5-1 Linares (plus Knockdown so 6 points up)
Going into round seven and Campbell himself really looked to be growing in confidence . Not only had Campbell stuck to his game plan but he was moving round the ring and following up the jab , landing some nice shots . Jorge Linares was looking more and more frustrated , he just couldn’t get close enough to Campbell to make anything count , and when he was getting close he was being tagged by that Campbell jab . Round eight was more of the same , Campbell was really Starting to enjoy himself in there . I said in the preview that Campbell had never really impressed me since turning pro , well on Saturday he looked like he belonged in there with the best in the division .
Round nine was a close round ,and a round where Linares had changed his tactics . Instead of going for the lightning quick combos , Linares had started landing single shits when inside then getting back out as up until that point Campbell was catching him very regularly . It was a funny round Linares clearly took the early stages but Campbell had his moments before a decent end to the round for Linares .In round ten we could definitely see Linares’s workrate going up , but Campbell was still in there plodding away with that jab but not as much work coming behind it now. Linares was mixing it up a bit more , but still only looking to land single shots at a time .
Going into the last two rounds Jorge Linares looked to have found a second wind just as Cambell may be starting to feel the pace . Campbell had fought a very well disciplined fight but maybe he was just slowing down ever so slightly which was giving Linares the chance to get inside more regularly , but make no mistake Jorge Linares really needed to up the pace when he did . Going into the final round you could see the respect Linares had for Luke Campbell , both men met in the middle of the ring with raised smiles before going to war for one last round . In the end Campbell went out to try and fight fire with fire , and did have successes in the round but most of the the eye catching stuff came from the champion Linares .
(DjayBoxing Card 7-5 Linares + knockdown 116-113)
So to the score cards we go and after last weeks debacle I’m sure there where a lot of nervous people in that arena Victor Laghlan 113-115 Campbell……Max Deluca 114-113 Linares , Zac Young 115–112 Linares and for me the right man won , god knows where Laghlan got that card from.
Now just before i leave you guys i would like to just say a massive well done to Luke Campbell . The news broke today that his fathert had passed away a couple weeks ago , for that lad to go out there and be that focused and push a guy like Linares to the very limit just shows how strong the lad is mentally .