Rising Matchroom star Luke Campbell faces what many see as his biggest test on Saturday night when the 2012 Olympic gold medallist goes toe-to-toe with hardman Derry Mathews in Liverpool.
The 29 year-old, who has won 14 of 15 bouts since turning pro, makes a first defence of the WBC Silver lightweight title Campbell claimed when defeating former world super-featherweight champion Argenis Mendez in July.
‘Cool Hand’s head to Merseyside for the second time in his career, having improved to 6-0 with a six round points win over Craig Woodruff at the venue in the summer of 2014.
Seasoned opponent Mathews, 33, comes into the fight on the back of a tenth defeat in his 50 outings against current lightweight ruler Terry Flanagan and knows another reverse could spell the end of his time in the sport.
That’s what makes this fight so intriguing as it’s one fighter aiming to break into world-class against another who has been there, done it and attempting to halt a potential slide into also-ran status.
Both can punch, although Campbell needs to earn his war badges and there’s no doubt Mathews will be the one to do that when they hit the centre of the ring. Losing to Yvan Mendy still stings for the Hull man, meaning Campbell will be fully focused on making a statement.
Mathews has the home fans on his side, therefore the ex-interim world title holder will want to be put on a show for the Echo Arena crowd, and may well mean the fight won’t see the twelfth and final round as either boxer goes out on their shield.