By Ian S Palmer
The WBC Silver Lightweight Championship will be on the line at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, England this Saturday, October 15th as Luke Campbell and Derry Mathews of England will battle it out for the honour. Campbell’s last outing was a 12-round unanimous decision over Argenis Mendez of the Dominican in July for the vacant title. Mathews lost in a title bid for the WBO Lightweight Championship to Terry Flanagan by 12-round unanimous decision in March. This 12-round bout can be seen live in the UK on Sky Sports.
The once-beaten 29-year-old Campbell is now 14-1 with 11 Kos to his name. Campbell is a southpaw who stands 5-feet-9-inches tall with a 71-inch reach. He only turned pro in 2013 and has 81 rounds under his belt up to now. He’s got good power with a current knockout ratio of 73 per cent. Campbell, who hails from the city of Hull, won a gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, England. He’s 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 last December 12th.
Campbell lost his WBC International Lightweight title in that bout, but he won the vacant Commonwealth Lightweight crown against Gary Sykes in April. Campbell has progressed okay as a pro, but failed the test when he met his first world-class solid opponent in Mendy. However, he did manage to beat fellow Hull native Tommy Coyle by 10th-round in August of 2015 and then topped Mendez, who was a former IBF Super Featherweight Champion. Campbell possesses fine boxing skills to go along with his power and is generally regarded as a fan-friendly boxer.
The 33-year-old Mathews carries a record of 38-10-2 along with 20 Kos and will have the hometown advantage since he hails from Liverpool. Mathews gave it everything he’s got against Flanagan earlier this year, but lost by a relatively wide decision. He has good domestic experience as well as boxing skills and good punching power. Mathews is half an inch shorter than the champion and has a reach of 68 inches. He’s fought 288 rounds since turning pro in 2003 and also has a knockout ratio of 40 per cent. His chin is very questionable though as he’s been stopped seven times in his nine losses.
Mathews’ biggest wins have been against Tony Luis, Curtis Woodhouse, Tommy Coyle and former WBA world lightweight champion Anthony Crolla. He also has a draw against Crolla and Gavin Rees. He’s beaten some decent fighters up to now, but his chin as been his Achilles heel even though he hasn’t been stopped since January of 2012.
It looks like the younger Campbell will be the favourite here, but he’ll be making a big mistake if he takes Mathews too lightly. The challenger is a former two-time British Champion and will be highly-motivated with a puncher’s chance. This should be an entertaining fight for the fans with Campbell retaining his title via a decision or second-half stoppage.