At the Forum, California, Jorge Linares narrowly outpointed Luke Campbell to defend his WBA and RING Lightweight titles. The Split Decision reflected the fiery intensity of this competitive, technical matchup, with Linares’ efforts met by ringside tallies of 114-113 and 115-113, and Campbell’s 115-113. Boxing Base also had the fight razor-close, calling it for Linares at 114-113.
In recent years, Linares has built of a strong reputation around conquering Britain’s finest 135-pounders. In 2015, Linares picked himself off the deck to stop Kevin Mitchell, before escaping with a tight decision to Anthony Crolla in 2016, and totally outclassing his rival in a March rematch. Tonight, Linares claimed the scalp of another Briton, with a blistering straight right sending his challenger to the canvas in the 2nd round.
Campbell weathered the knockdown and thrust himself back into the fight, making a big dent on the cards, particularly in the middle rounds where Linares’ activity seemed to dip. Campbell adjusted to Linares’ speed well, and, as we’ve come to expect, invested heavily in precision punching to the mid-section. Linares finished the contest strong (clearly taking the 11th and 12th on Boxing Base’s card), which, as the official scorecards show, was imperative to retaining his titles.
With the victory, Linares improves to 43 wins, 3 defeats, 27 knockouts, which should prompt his Golden Boy handlers to steer the gnarly veteran toward a tantalizing unification clash with WBC champ Mikey Garcia. Despite showing measurable growth and the ability to hold his own at top level, Campbell makes the second stumble of his young career nonetheless, falling to 17 wins, 2 defeats, 14 knockouts. There are oportunities to regroup on the domestic scene, of course, with talents like Anthony Crolla, Ricky Burns and WBO champ Terry Flanagan possible options.
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