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Luke Campbell vs Tommy Coyle: Fight preview and analysis

Dave Oakes takes a look at today's big UK domestic showdown between Luke Campbell and Tommy Coyle.

Scott Heavey/Getty Images

After a long and recently fractious build up, Luke Campbell and Tommy Coyle finally get down to business on Saturday night when they meet in front of 15,000 fans at the KC Lightstream Stadium in Hull.

Despite having known each other since being kids, and generally being cordial and supportive to each other for the majority of their careers, the past few weeks has seen the pair become less friendly. Whilst there doesn't seem to be any genuine malice towards one another, there is a genuine edge to this fight that wasn't expected at the start of the year when the match-up was being lined up.

The unbeaten Campbell hasn't had to get out of first gear thus far in his short career. Having turned pro just two years ago, following a year break after winning Olympic gold, the tall southpaw has looked every bit like a future world champion.

The most impressive performance from Campbell was his five round dismantling of Daniel Eduardo Brizuela late last year. Brizuela had given Coyle hell eight months previous, flooring Coyle four times before finally succumbing himself in the final round. There was never any chance of him producing a similar performance against the technically superior Campbell, who kept the tough Argentinian on the end of his jab before stepping in with some crunching shots to head and body.

Coyle's performance against Brizuela is probably the highest point of his career also, alongside his knockout of an old Michael Katsidis. The fight against Brizuela can be used as a perfect summation of Coyle's strengths and weaknesses. He can be easy to hit, hasn't got the solidest of chins and can be hurt to the body, but on the flip side he showed he's got a huge heart, great stamina and carries power in both hands.

Campbell seems to be ultra confident of securing the victory, believing his technical ability will be more than enough for Coyle to contend with. He alluded to this when speaking to Sky Sports this week - "I believe in facts. There's levels in boxing and I believe I'm a fair few above him."

Even Coyle agrees about Campbell's superior ability, although he believes his own strengths will be enough to cope with whatever Campbell can produce: "Luke is a better fight than me, I am a realist and I am going to be truthful. He is a better technician than me, but I don't think he possesses what I possess inside. That grit, desire and will to win. I think that is going to be the winning factor in this fight."

Whilst Coyle's grittiness and punch power will make him the biggest test of Campbell's career, it's hard to envisage him pulling off a shock victory. Campbell is the 1/12 favourite for a reason. There looks to be no chance of Coyle winning on points, he just hasn't got the ability to clearly win enough rounds against an opponent who has the advantages in reach, speed, footwork, defence and punch repertoire.

That leaves Coyle with the only option of going for a knockout, which will be easier said than done. Campbell hasn't had his chin tested yet but there doesn't seem to be any obvious vulnerability there, although Coyle is heavy handed and possesses a superb left hook that Campbell should be wary of. The trouble for Coyle could be trying to force the opportunity to land a heavy blow, Campbell won't provide many chances for Coyle to counter-punch and Coyle could leave himself wide open to the counter shots himself if he goes gung-ho.
There's no doubt in my mind as to who wins this fight, the only question is how. That'll come down to how Coyle approaches the fight. If he tries to go all guns blazing at Campbell from the opening bell then it's not beyond the realms of possibility that Coyle gets dropped numerous times and stopped within two or three rounds. If he tries to box clever and stay out of trouble early then there's a chance the fight goes into the second half. Campbell, however, will start to pick Coyle apart at some stage and will force a mid to late rounds stoppage.

The pick of the undercard sees Carson Jones and Brian Rose meet in a rematch of their controversial first meeting of February this year. Rose was stopped prematurely by Ian John-Lewis in the first round after being wobbled by Jones. Despite being shaken he wasn't in dire straights and was robbed of the chance to regain his composure by the all to familiar sight of John-Lewis panicking and jumping in to stop what was turning into a thrilling encounter.

To be fair to Jones, he was robbed of getting a more satisfactory finish to the bout. He may well have stopped Rose in more conclusive fashion had the fight been allowed to progress and would've eradicated the need for a rematch - not that the fans will be complaining if the rematch is as entertaining as their first brief encounter was.
Rose will be looking to control the fight from the outside and pick Jones apart with the one-two, whereas Jones will be trying to get inside and bully Rose. The outcome will come down to who can impose their style the better. Rose should be more wary of Jones' power this time, he didn't believe the American could hurt him in the first bout and came a cropper as a result. If he's learnt from that mistake then Rose is the pick to edge a close fight on points.

The rest of the card sees Ricky Burns, Martin J Ward and Dillian Whyte all in keep busy bouts that they should look impressive in winning.

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