SpitballingPod Interviews Luke Campbell
Last night I was able to catch up with Luke Campbell as he is away in Miami preparing to face Jorge Linares for the WBA Lightweight World Championship and WBC Diamond Belt on October 23rd at The Forum in Los Angeles. You can listen to the interview in full below, or read the full transcript if you’d prefer. Enjoy
Byron: How has it been training in Miami? Are you more focused out there than you were while training back home?
Campbell: There is literally nothing else to focus on but boxing. We literally eat, sleep and train – that’s it. There’s no distractions, there’s nothing but the gym.
Byron: In the past year or so, we’ve seen several Olympians turnover to the professional ranks, particularly with Matchroom. Looking back now, did you feel a lot more pressure coming through as an Olympian, and particularly a Gold medallist?
Campbell: Possibly, you could say that yeah, but I was the one putting the pressure on by achieving what I did. There are different ways of looking at pressure, it’s a privilege really.
Byron: Most dream of becoming a World Champion, is it something that you’ve always expected of yourself?
Campbell: I’ve never really expected anything. Everything that I’ve achieved and done has been down to dedication, hard work and discipline. I’ve always dreamed of becoming a World Champion, but it’s the same thing; I’m working hard and pushing my body to the limit to achieve my goal.
Byron: I wondered, with the loss to Mendy back in 2012, when the dust had settled, has that relieved any pressure now moving forwards?
Campbell: That performance is solely down to a learning curve. It’s a night where I should never have got in the ring and I know that, my team know that and it’s just one of those things. I don’t look at that in any way as to what im capable of doing, because that didn’t show any of my ability or what I can do. There’s a lesson learnt in every hurt, I’m moving forward stronger because of it.
Byron: Did you learn a lot about yourself during the fight?
Campbell: Most definitely. It was the weakest I’ve ever been inside the ring, just showing mentally that I can nit and grit and pull myself through. Losing by a round on my worst day, isn’t the worst thing in the world.
Byron: Moving onto Linares, what did you think of the two fights with Anthony Crolla? Was it what you expected or did he surprise you?
Campbell: I haven’t seen them. I was in America both times and so I’ve never watched the fights.
Byron: Were you surprised the fight was made for Los Angeles, considering he has travelled over here before?
Campbell: The first talks were for September in my home city at the KC stadium which would’ve been a dream come true. A few difference things happened down the line and sometimes things change; this opportunity came up, Linares was given the opportunity by HBO and I’m excited for the opportunity.
Byron: Do you think your recent range of opponents stands you in good stead for this one?
Campbell: Yeah I’ve had a mixture – I’ve had guys that come forward, guys that counter punch and that’s the thing about boxing, everyone’s different, so you have to adapt.
Byron: You’ve stopped 4 of your last 5 opponents. Is power something you’ve been working on in camp?
Campbell: No, it’s just developing, I feel like I’m growing in strength and all that comes with it in every camp.
Byron: Before the Linares fight was announced, it was mentioned that Frank Warren tried to make a fight for you against WBO World Champ Terry Flanagan, was that ever close?
Campbell: The Flanagan fight popped up at the beginning of the year, but the contract that Frank Warren sent across to me was atrocious. It wasn’t even worth thinking about. I’ll go and beat Linares and then it would be great to unify.
Byron: What kind of a fight are you expecting with Linares?
Campbell: I’m just expecting for the best Linares on the night. He’s a brilliant fighter as everyone knows.
Byron: It’s great that you’re going in there with the best too
Campbell: I’ve never done things the easy way in boxing and I won’t start now. I’m going across the water to his back yard, it’s not an easy task but I’ll go in there confident.
Byron: Thanks for giving me some of your time Luke and good luck for the fight. I really appreciate it
Campbell: No problem, much appreciated.