By Jake Adkin
Hull’s Olympic gold medallist Luke Campbell continues his campaign towards a world title as he meets Colombian Darleys Perez at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.
Campbell has been on fire as of late, convincingly beating Mexican Jairo Lopez in his last outing in East Yorkshire two months ago.
The challenger returns to British shores having lost his WBA title last time out against Manchester’s Anthony Crolla. The rematch came after Perez managed to controversially get a draw in his first meeting with Crolla.
“Cold Hand” will be entering his fifth fight with new trainer Jorge Rubio who seems to have drastically improved Campbell’s game, with the Yorkshireman stopping all but one of his opponents under his new coach.
Rubio was assigned as coach after Campbell’s sole loss on his professional record against Frenchman Yvan Mendy via unanimous decision in December 2015. Campbell has since knocked out veterans Gary Sykes and Derry Mathews on his way to the world title eliminator.
The fight is on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s defence of his IBF Heavyweight title against former champion Wladimir Klitschko in front of what is expected to be a record breaking 90,000 capacity crowd at Wembley. The crowd will beat the record held by Nottingham’s Carl Froch win over George Groves in the same stadium in 2014.
The winner of the fight will become the mandatory challenger to Jorge Linares’ WBA world title. The impressive Venezuelan is fresh off of his rematch victory against the previously mentioned Crolla in Manchester where Linares dropped Crolla with a wicked lead right uppercut, a punch that landed on demand when the pair met. Linares is now on course to clash with Mexican-American Mikey Garcia in a huge class, likely to take place in Las Vegas.
Crolla will likely try to make his size and speed advantage pay off against Perez who looked far from unbeatable in his outings against Crolla and less than convincing against journeymen back in Colombia.
Campbell will become just the third British boxer to win both an Olympic gold medal and a version of a world title, with James DeGale and headliner Anthony Joshua also holding that accolade.