Boxing Clever: Luke Campbell’s hard road to world title continues vs Ryan Garcia

Luke Campbell is one of Britain's most underrated and unlucky boxers.

The Hull man could become one of the best from these shores to fall short of winning a world title.

But tonight he looks to take a major step in ensuring that is not the case.

And he is doing it in the way he only knows how. By taking on yet another tough challenge.

Campbell, 33, faces rising American ace Ryan Garcia in a final eliminator for a shot at the WBC lightweight title over in Dallas, Texas.

Garcia is touted as one of the brightest prospects Stateside but Campbell is looking to dim the hype around the Californian.

The Hull man is a huge underdog with the bookmakers, who many feel are calling this wrong.

But it does prove yet again that Campbell hasn't opted for the easy route to world honours.

  • Luke Campbell has no Vasiliy Lomachenko regret ahead of crucial Ryan Garcia showdown

Few things seem to have come easy to the Yorkshireman.

When he won European gold as an amateur in 2008, it looked like he was on the path to the top.

But there were plenty of bumps along the way to becoming Olympic champion four years later.

That gold medal is often forgotten about as team-mate Anthony Joshua's success got more attention.

But it was a remarkable achievement in a stacked bantamweight division and his win over Irishman John Joe Nevin in the final was up there with one of the performances of the Games.

Yet, it was super-heavyweight Joshua who got the huge fanfare in turning professional while Campbell shuffled along.

  • Luke Campbell and Ryan Garcia to hold discussions over interim WBC lightweight clash

The early days of his pro career were not easy as he dealt with his father having to fight cancer.

A surprise defeat by little-known Frenchman Yvan Mendy in his 13th outing cast huge doubt over whether he would make it in the paid ranks.

But he rebuilt and responded with five wins which secured him his first title shot against Jorge Linares, the slick Venezuelan who was coming off back-to-back wins over Anthony Crolla.

Just a few weeks before the bout, though, Campbell's father died after his long struggle with cancer.

  • Shane McGuigan eyes more world titles – but admits 'there's more to life than boxing'

Already in the US preparing, Campbell didn't pull out but instead picked himself off the floor both figuratively and literally – after hitting the deck early in the 2017 fight – to come within a whisker of winning the WBA lightweight crown.

Who would he get into a mandatory position to face next for a world title? None other than Vasiliy Lomachenko, one of the modern greats.

A points defeat against the Ukrainian was certainly not something to be ashamed of.

Now here one of the country's best ever amateurs sits ready to take on rising superstar Garcia to get a shot at WBC champion Haney.

  • Vasyl Lomachenko beats Luke Campbell by unanimous decision in thrilling contest

Christmas was cancelled for Campbell and his family as he spent it in a Dallas gym with trainer Shane McGuigan preparing for tonight's fight after the December 5 date was shelved because of the Brit catching Covid-19 back in November.

Another bit of misfortune for him.

If Campbell pulls it off then he will have done it the hard way to get his shot at being third-time lucky.

And if ever anyone deserved the rub of the green it is the Hull man.

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