Luke Campbell won gold at the 2012 Olympics and has been one of Britain's top prospects since turning pro, but the 28-year-old lightweight from Hull suffered his first setback today in London, dropping a split decision against French veteran Yvan Mendy.
Scores for the fight were 115-112 and 115-113 for Mendy, and 115-113 for Campbell, which when announced was booed by those in attendance. BLH had it 115-112 for Mendy, who dropped Campbell (12-1, 10 KO) in the fifth round, and whose dogged pressure gave the favored fighter fits all 12 rounds.
Campbell, to his credit, never mentally folded in the fight, but he was not able to build any momentum or serious offensive rhythm against Mendy (33-4-1, 16 KO), who just would not be deterred. Campbell worked the body pretty well early, but nothing could keep Mendy, 30, from marching forward and walking Campbell down. Mendy kept up a good pace, landed a lot of clean shots, and by the third round it was clear that Campbell was getting his first serious professional test. By the end, though Campbell was competitive, it was clear that he had lost the fight.
It's a big setback for Campbell, who said he felt he'd won the fight but didn't offer excuses, perhaps because he doesn't feel he needs any, if he believe he won.
Veteran welterweight Paulie Malignaggi improved to 35-7 (7 KO) with a wide 12-round win over Italy's Antonio Moscatiello (20-3-1, 14 KO) on scores of 119-110, 119-110, and 120-109. Malignaggi, 35, is hoping to eventually fight for the European title, which was the original plan for this bout. Heavyweight Dereck Chisora (24-5, 16 KO) fought for the second time in two weeks, too, stopping Croatia's Jakov Gospic (16-14, 12 KO) in three.