By Ian S Palmer
Lightweight Luke Campbell of England will take on Colombia’s Darleys Perez at the Wembley Stadium in London, England this Saturday, April 29th on the undercard of the Joshua vs Klitschko heavyweight title fight. Fans in the UK can catch the action live on Sky Box Office. The winner of the 12-round bout is expected to get a shot at world champion Jorge Linares. Campbell last fought in February and stopped Jairo Lopez in the second round while Perez drew with Maurice Hooker over 10 rounds in his last outing in November.
The once-beaten 29-year-old Campbell is now 16-1 with 13 Kos to his name. He’s a slick-boxing southpaw who stands 5-feet-9-inches tall with a 71-inch reach. He only turned pro in 2013 and has 87 rounds under his belt up to now. He’s got good power with a current knockout ratio of 76 per cent. Campbell, who hails from the city of Hull, won a gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, England.
Campbell has handled the pro game just as well as the amateurs with his only loss coming at the hands of Yvan Mendy by way of a 12-round split decision in December of 2015. The young man has won the WBC International Lightweight title, WBC Silver Lightweight Title, and British Commonwealth Title so far in his career. Campbell has progressed well as a pro, but failed the test when he met his first world-class solid opponent in Mendy.
His biggest wins have been over the likes of Gary Sykes, Tommy Coyle, former IBF Super Featherweight Champion Argenis Mendez and Derry Mathews. He’ll be stepping up in class once again his weekend since Perez is also a former world champ. Campbell’s style and power make him a fan-friendly boxer, but it would be hard to call him a Grade A or elite fighter at this stage of his career.
The 33-year-old Perez is a former WBA Lightweight Champion who enters the fight with a record of 33-2-2 and has 21 Kos under his belt. Perez’s losses came by way of a fifth-round KO to Anthony Crolla in November of 2015 and to Yuriokis Gamboa of Cuba back in June of 2013 by way of unanimous decision. Perez is two inches shorter than Campbell at and has an inch reach disadvantage with a 70-inch wingspan.
Perez has pretty good power in his hands with a current knockout ratio stands of 57 per cent. He’s boxed 204 rounds since turning pro in 2009 and has Perez has faced some decent opponents over the years such as Crolla, Gamboa, Jose Reyes, and Oscar Meza. However, he’s also fought quite a few journeymen as well. Still, he packs some power and so far has displayed a pretty solid chin with just one loss by stoppage.
Perez has faced tougher opponents and has more experience than Campbell, but he may be on the downside of his career while Campbell should be entering his prime. Campbell needs to use his jab and boxing skills to keep Perez at a comfortable distance and use the 90,000 home fans as motivation. If he does, he should win by points or late stoppage.