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Luke Campbell Smart Boxes Way To Win Over Yvan Mendy

Michael Woods

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In the co feature at Wembley Stadium, the 40-4 Yvan Mendy rematched with 18-2 Luke Campbell, who drew roars from the assembled as they waited for the tango to begin.

Luke showed he’s come far since taking on Mendy the first time, as his ring generalship mightily impressed the judges.

This was no barn burner, Campbell’s defense would not allow that. After 12 rounds of sweetly scientific work the judges opined: 119-109, 118-111, 116-112…Campbell.

The Brit Campbell in round one used the lefty stance and pumped the jab. Mendy looked to warm up and press forward and pressure Luke.

In the second, the French fighter cut off the ring on the Brit, who jabbed and slid left and less so right. Luke had a volume and accuracy edge. He went low with the left to end an effective round.

In round three, Luke was the effective aggressor. It looked like he’d grown since losing the SD in Dec. 2015 to Mendy. Luke moved well in the fourth, and was the superior ring general. Again, Luke fired hard at the tail end of the round in case he needed to steal it. 

To the fifth—Luke moved and hurled and showed a mobility and ring intelligence edge. Then Mendy stepped up the pressure and sling shots to the body. 

In the sixth, Luke stayed focused. He was dialed in and his stamina was holding. The MBE recipient had hands low but stayed at safe range, pot shotted and one-two’d effectively. To 7; Luke mastered distance again. 

In the eighth, we saw Luke smashing to the gut, rip shots and then slide out. Mendy wasn’t cutting the ring off well enough to win the round, as per usual. He sought to counter but Luke was a slippery eel.

Luke had the strategy down and Mendy couldn’t move him off of it in the ninth. Mendy would need to press like a maniac, make Luke make a mistake. He couldn’t do it in the tenth. Mendy pressed harder in the 11th, knowing where he stood in the judges’ eyes. His right hand landed clean a few times but as Campbell was back tracking, so the impact was minimized.

In the 12th, Mendy couldn’t land the walk off homer, so we went to the cards. Mendy raised his hands after so maybe he really thought he’d done better work. No dice, sir.

Editor/publisher Michael Woods became addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the fearsome Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of TheSweetScience.com from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and numerous other organizations.

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