Linares Retains Against Campbell

Jorge Linares has successfully defended the WBA Lightweight Championship for a second consecutive time, defeating Luke Campbell via split decision on Saturday night from The Forum in Inglewood, California.

“I fought very well,” Linares said. “I’m happy with the fight. At the fifth round, we had some trouble but we came out on top. Trust me, I have a great connection with my team and with my trainer, so we worked hard and kept at it. I knew I had to let the dogs out.”

Linares and Campbell both came out cautious in the first. Both were feeling their opposition out, but still managed to land in some shots. The tipping point of the bout may have come in round two, however, as Linares caught Campbell with a straight right and knocked the challenger down with about 50 seconds left in the round.

Linares continued his momentum in round three by being the more aggressive fighter. While Campbell seemed more comfortable by the fourth round, Linares did not seem to be slowing down. The fifth round was closer in that while Linares was still going, Campbell was looking to cut off the ring and stop the champion’s hands.

“No one can ever doubt my hard work,” Campbell said. “Yes, I got off to a rocky start. [Linares] caught me in the eye. A nice shot that put me on the mat. But I had to fight. I had to get focused. I didn’t think he was landing any shots whatsoever in the second half.”

After two close rounds, it was the eighth that Campbell truly convinced the boxing community that he was making the comeback. The combinations Linares was putting together had either slowed or stopped completely.

After a close round nine and ten, both of which seemed in Linares’ favor but could have gone either way, the 11th saw Campbell slowing down a bit — thinking he had the match in the bag it seems. Linares’ shots were getting blocked partially, but the champ’s jab was landing well. Both men were then strategic — and quite confident with taunting — in the 12th, forcing the bout to go to the scorecards.

While one judge gave the bout to Campbell 115-113, the other two saw the bout for Linares with scores of 114-113 and 115-112.

This is Linares’ 11th win in a row. Following the bout, Linares called out Mikey Garcia.

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Romero Duno came away with a decision victory over Juan Sanchez. Both men started the bout with a feeling out process of sorts, until Dunn broke through in the third and fourth rounds. Both had their fair share of heavy shots, as well as their ability to take a punch, but Dunn seemed to be more in control throughout the bout. The judges saw the bout this way, with all three giving the bout to Duno with scores of 78-74.

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