HULL’S Olympic golden boy Luke Campbell faces his sternest test to date when he takes on seasoned Derry Mathews in his Liverpool backyard tonight.
Campbell looked set for a meteoric rise to world level in the paid ranks after his well-publicised gold medal joy at the London Olympics in 2012, but a recent defeat and a couple of wobbly moments have slowed his progress.
Mathews, a heavy-handed and experienced lightweight, knocked out another Hull man, Tommy Coyle, in 2013, and also has a win over Anthony Crolla to boast an impressive CV.
Campbell, who has bounced back from his shock defeat against Yvan Mendy with impressive wins over Gary Sykes and Argenis Mendez, is up for the challenge, though.
“This is a great domestic clash and is a bit of a crossroads fight for the pair of us,” said Campbell.
“It’s definitely a tough test, Derry is a warrior who carries that single punch power that can end a fight whenever.
“We all know that he has a big local following and a great fan-base, so I’m looking forward to going into his backyard.
“I have boxed in Liverpool and other places away from home before, but this is the first where I’m in a big domestic clash as the away fighter – I’m confident that it will bring out the best in me.”
Coyle, who was stopped by both Campbell and Mathews in the 10th round, thinks the Liverpudlian could produce a shock.
He said: “Although Luke is a tremendous and skilful fighter, he’s not a massive puncher like Derry.
“My head tells me that Campbell out-boxes him but my heart is telling me different.
“This is the last-chance saloon for Derry and I have a feeling he will get the stoppage.”