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Campbell reveals his father passed away in lead-up to Linares fight

Jorge Linares v Luke Campbell Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Luke Campbell suffered a close split decision loss to Jorge Linares over the weekend, but that was nothing compared to the huge loss he head to deal with in the lead-up to the fight — his father passing away at age 58.

Campbell reveals to BBC Sport that his father Bernard, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2014, died in Hull while he was in the United States preparing to challenge Linares for his world title. Campbell kept the news under wraps as he didn’t want to show any signs of weakness to his opponent.

"If someone had found out I would have denied it. I didn't want Linares' camp thinking it was a weakness. I didn't want them thinking I was hurt," Campbell told BBC Sport. "The only thing that kept me going is I know what my dad would have wanted for me. To fight and to win.

Campbell was able to bounce back from an early knockdown in the second round to give Linares essentially all he could handle the rest of the way, but it just wasn’t enough to win on the scorecards. Even still, Campbell acquitted himself quite well, especially so for someone who was in an emotionally turbulent state.

"I had a lot to deal with in the last two weeks. All the people writing me off, the negativity and in the background my dad died. I think I shut a lot of mouths and I thought I actually won the fight.

After it was all over, Campbell says that he believes he did his father proud, but that he felt isolated from the strength of his family who were all back home grieving over the death.