Boxing politics could determine who Luke Campbell faces in his second attempt to win a world title.
The 30-year-old from Hull earned a shot at the WBC lightweight title on Saturday night when he outpointed Frenchman Yvan Mendy by a unanimous verdict.
In theory, that should have made him the No 1 challenger to WBC champion Mikey Garcia.
But the American has expressed a desire to move up in weight to fight Errol Spence, the reigning IBF welterweight champion, and conqueror of Sheffield’s Kell Brook at Bramall Lane 16 months ago.
If Garcia does step up and therefore surrenders his belt, then Campbell’s next fight for a world title could come against Javier Fortuna of the Dominican Republic for the vacant WBC lightweight belt.
Either way, Campbell should not have to wait too long to learn who stands in his way with promoter Eddie Hearn set to force the issue at a WBC convention in Kiev next week.
Hearn said: “Mikey Garcia will not want to fight Luke, because he is after bigger fights. But Garcia is long overdue his mandatory defence.
“He will either have to face Luke, or vacate the title.”
Campbell lost his first world title fight to Venezuela’s Jorge Linares in Los Angeles last September, but Saturday’s victory over Mendy was his 19th win from 21 professional fights.
Tony Bellew is convinced he will defeat Oleksandr Usyk and become undisputed world cruiserweight champion.
Mikey Garcia will not want to fight Luke, because he is after bigger fights. But Garcia is long overdue his mandatory defence. He will either have to face Luke, or vacate the title.Eddie Hearn
Bellew challenges Ukraine’s Usyk, holder of four titles, on November 10 at Manchester Arena. The 35-year-old Liverpudlian said: “Everyone asks why. I was on my honeymoon watching Oleksandr beat up Murat Gassiev on a mobile phone. The fight stops, and then he makes the ultimate sin – he says my name. Soon as he said my name, I knew.”