Campbell features on star-studded Joshua-Whyte undercard
Lee Gormley | December 8, 2015
Luke Campbell v Yvan Mendy
- WBC International lightweight title fight
- Saturday, December 12th
- Scheduled for: 20:00 GMT
- O2 Arena, London
- Live on Sky Sports Box Office
Campbell out to make lightweight statement
On what is sure to be an exciting night at the O2 Arena in London, before the main event between Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte, Luke Campbell will look to make a statement in the lightweight division against Yvan Mendy as part of a star-studded undercard.
Chris Eubank Jr and Irishman Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan will go head-to-head as the chief support act to the heavyweight showdown on Saturday night, as they finally put a war of words to bed, but another former Olympic Gold medallist could steal the show.
Campbell (12-0, 10 KOs) returns to the ring after dispatching Tommy Coyle in August, winning the vacant WBC International lightweight strap with a 10th-round stoppage over a brave fellow Hull fighter, but now faces experienced Frenchman Mendy (32-4-1, 16 KOs).
The 2012 Olympic champion has witnessed compatriots Anthony Crolla and Terry Flanagan secure world titles within his weight class in recent months, and Hull’s 28-year-old believes the 135-pounds division is the most exciting ahead of a bout he is odds-on 1/20 favourite with Coral to win.
“Hopefully 2016 will be a big year for me.”
“I believe lightweight is the best division to be in in this country,” stated Campbell. “There are great fights out there, two world champions from England. What a division, and there are exciting times ahead.
“In the past few fights I’ve been mixing it up, and each opponent is getting better. If I do the business with Mendy let’s step it up again. Hopefully 2016 will be a big year for me.”
Although, Mendy will provide stern opposition in the London ring during this weekend’s action, with the 30-year-old having never been stopped before in his career, despite having gone toe-to-toe with the likes of Viktor Postol, who recently halted Lucas Mathysse for the WBA super-lightweight belt.
“He’s mixed it with some top-class fighters,” Campbell continued, regarding Mendy, who is 8/1 for victory.
“It’s definitely a step up for me, but a step I believe I’m ready for. I’m going to go in and show everyone how good I am.”
Bellew battle Polish threat Masternak
Meanwhile, the vacant European crown is up for grabs as Liverpool’s Tony Bellew (25-2-1, 16 KOs) takes on dangerous Pole Mateusz Masternak (36-3, 25 KOs) in a fascinating cruiserweight meeting, with the Merseysider 13/8 to triumph by stoppage.
Travelling Poland competitor Masternak is undoubtedly a threat to Bellew’s long-term world title quest though, and is 5/1 to end the Briton’s night early, but the Dave Coldwell-trained ‘Bomber’ is confident of success.
“It’s the perfect opportunity to send a message out to all the leading cruiserweights,” said Bellew.
“Victory here puts me within touching distance of one of the world champions and with the way I’ve been feeling in camp then I think I’m more than ready to make that step now.
“I’m under no illusions about the task that’s ahead of me because Masternak always gives a good account of himself but this is a fight I simply won’t lose.”
Mitchell and Malignaggi also in action
Following a courageous effort against WBC lightweight champion Jorge Linares in May, Kevin Mitchell (39-3, 29 KOs) returns to the ring hoping to fight his way back to that world platform once again, as he contests Ismael Barroso (18-0-2, 17 KOs) for the WBA interim title.
The winner of this lightweight meeting will be due a crack at recently-crowned WBA champion Crolla, who gallantly lifted his belt in Manchester by stopping Colombian Darleys Perez, and his fellow countryman Mitchell is 11/8 to down Barroso.
Romford fighter Mitchell faces a tougher test than some may expect against his South American foe, with the Colombian having never been beaten to date in his professional career, and he is 11/4 to inflict more misery on the Londoner with a stoppage win.
Ring veteran Paulie Malignaggi’s (34-7, 7 KOs) shot at the European welterweight title has been cancelled on short notice ahead of his UK return, with champion Gianluca Branco having pulled out for an unknown reason. Although, the London crowd will still get to witness the 35-year-old ‘Magic Man’ in action as he contests Antonio Moscatiello (20-2-1, 14 KOs) instead.
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