By Rory Fitzgerald
It has been a relatively disappointing year for the people of Hull. Their beloved football team endured a disappointing season with the team being relegated from the Premier League. While there will be subdued emotions at Hull City’s football stadium this year, there will be top action this Saturday night from their Rugby Union sister’s club Hull Kingston Rovers ground.
The venue is Craven Park and it will play host to the much anticipated battle of the “former friends” and the cities own Luke Campbell and Tommy Coyle. It is a contest that may divide the city of Hull for one night only with the ruling being – if you are east-side you are with Coyle and if you are west-side you are with Campbell. If the bragging rights aren’t enough for these two, there is also the added bonus of the vacant WBC International lightweight title up for grabs.
Eddie Hearn has echoed Campbell’s comments this week that the two lightweights are more acquaintances rather than friends. It would not surprise many people that this may in fact be an elaborate ploy by Hearn to try and add a bit of spice to a build up that has been lacking any needle.
The promoter may be trying one last trick in the book to get people really interested in a fight that may very well end up being one sided.
Luke Campbell is an Olympic gold medallist from the 2012 London Olympic Games and has an excellent amateur background to boot. Irish fans may remember Campbell from London 2012 as it was Ireland’s John Joe Nevin whom he defeated in the final by a score of 14-11. From that day on, the boxing world knew it had to stand up and take notice of the Hull lightweight and bigger things were surely destined to come for him.
After the London Olympics he turned his attention to the pro game and has never looked back. “Cool Hand” has won all of his 11 fights and has stopped 9 of his opponents in emphatic fashion. He has barely lost a round since he has turned pro and every time he laces on the gloves he seems a more polished version from his previous bout.
If he can get by the tough as teak Coyle, he may well be looking at title fights in the not so distant future. In a lightweight division, jam packed full of top English talent, there may also be some huge domestic battles that might interest Campbell. The likes of Terry Flanagan, Anthony Crolla, Kevin Mitchell, Ricky Burns, Derry Matthews and Scotty Cardle will all be staking there claim over the coming months and years, to be known as the best lightweight in Britain.
Tommy Coyle is as hardy as they come, a very exciting fighter to all fans who love a good old fashioned tear up. He will always leave you with the impression that in a split second change of events, he could knock his opponent out, or get knocked out himself. The casual boxing fans dream.
The man known as “Boom Boom” for his punching style, has had a very up and down career. In 2012 he lost in the first round of prizefighter to the eventual runner-up Gary Sykes. He bounced straight back from that defeat in his next fight to capture the vacant WBC International silver lightweight title against Portugal’s Antonio Joao Bento.
His chance then came to fight for the commonwealth title against Derry Matthews in a thrilling fight that Matthews won via a 10th round knockout. A fight that was surely a candidate for fight of the year.
Since then Coyle has won six fights on the bounce, including a classic tear up with Daniel Eduardo Brizuela. Both fighters were down an incredible four times each before Coyle finally managed to keep his opponent down in the final round.
Talk of the fight with Campbell has been doing the rounds for some time now and this Saturday they will finally get it on. The only opponent both fighters have in common is Brizuela, with Coyle struggling to a win and Campbell blitzing the Argentinean inside four rounds.
Campbell will arrive as many people’s favourite for the victory but “Boom Boom” loves the underdog tag and knows it only takes one punch to change a fight.
On the undercard:
Brian Rose will look to redeem himself against an opponent he was brutally knocked out by in February. Carson Jones took all that Rose could give in the first round of that fight, before landing one perfect shot on the Blackpool man and it was lights out. The 30 year old has not fought since that defeat and knows another similar outcome come will mean curtains for his career.
Another man looking for redemption will be Ricky Burns. Coming off the back of his harsh wide margin points defeat to Omar Figueroa in Texas in May, the Scot has a nice opportunity to give himself some well needed confidence against little known Ghanaian Prince Ofotsu. Should the 32 year old come trough that unscathed, he will be after some classic domestic dust-ups in the lightweight division.
Future Anthony Joshua opponent Dillian Whyte is also in action as he takes on former David Price foe, the Brazilian Irineu Beato Costa Junior.
Rising star Gamal Yafai will be looking to enhance his already growing reputation when he takes on the Spaniard Angel Lorente, in what should be an easy night’s work for the Birmingham man. Yafai, who’s record is 6-0 has been widely tipped for great things in the sport. He is the younger brother of Kal Yafai who may well be fighting for World honours in 2016.
Super-featherweight prospect Martin J Ward also features on the bill.
A cracking night of Boxing awaits us this Saturday night, and with the catchy name the card has been dubbed the “Rumble on the Humber”, Eddie Hearn has to be credited with putting on another top show.
The Barclays Centre in Brooklyn, New York plays host to two intriguing contests in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Danny Garcia will face off against the outspoken Paulie Malignaggi, in what will be his first bout since his controversial majority decision victory over former Amir Kahn opponent Lamont Peterson in April. Garcia, who currently holds the WBC world super lightweight title will be looking to put on a good performance, as he will be hoping to take on some of the worlds top pound for pound boxers in 2016.
Malignaggi, who mixes his job as a brilliant ringside analyst, as well as being a top quality fighter on his day knows that the task that lies ahead is a huge one. “Magic Man” has mixed it with some of the sports top stars in the past such as Ricky Hatton, Shawn Porter, Miguel Cotto and Amir Kahn. Maybe he is getting a bit long in the tooth now but he will leave it all in the ring and won’t be defeated for his lack of heart.
Daniel Jacobs will defend the WBA world middleweight title that he won against Jarrod Fletcher when he takes on Californian Sergio Mora in Brooklyn.
Jacobs, who goes by the alias of “Miracle Man” has only one defeat to his name in his impressive professional career, and that came against the unbeaten Russian Dmitry Pirog all the way back in 2010. The 28 year old has knocked out an amazing 26 of his opponents in his 29 victories to date. Whether it be another early nights work this weekend or not, he will surely still keep hold of his WBA strap in his hometown, before moving on to much bigger and better things.