After a gallant loss to Jorge Linares last Saturday in California, Luke Campbell has proved himself as a world class lightweight. With “Coolhand” looking forward to a ring return in early 2018, what are the options for the 2012 Olympic gold medalist?
1 Jorge Linares (43-3)
After scores of 115-112, 114-113 to Linares and 115-113 Campbell, the Briton and his promotional team feel they have more than a leg to stand on in forcing a rematch.
In the twilight of his career and comfortable fighting on the road, you would expect Linares to be easily persuaded to come back to England for a rematch; like he has done twice with Anthony Crolla and Kevin Mitchell, however the dangling carrot of Mikey Garcia may be too tempting to refuse for the Venezuelan.
2 Terry Flanagan (33-0)
"Turbo" Flanagan has been quietly going about his business without setting the division on fire, so a 'breakout' fight with Campbell could be just what his career needs after making five straightforward defenses.
The biggest stumbling block preventing this fight getting made is the promotional problems between Matchroom's Eddie Hearn and Frank Warren, with the pair rarely sharing shows. If they couldn't get Crolla in the ring with Flanagan when they both had world titles, what chance has Campbell got?
Campbell's technical ability and amateur pedigree would put him in great stead for a bout with Flanagan, however politics is more than likely to puncture any chance of this domestic clash happening.
3 Anthony Crolla (31-6-3)
After back-to-back losses to Jorge Linares in Manchester, "Million Dolla" Crolla meets Scot Ricky Burns in a crossroads fight in October to determine who's still in the mix for world honours.
If Crolla gets the victory, another domestic clash with Campbell would work perfectly as a 'final elimintor' for another run at a world title under the guidance of Matchroom's Eddie Hearn.
Crolla has thrived off being an underdog in the latter years of his career, and if the Mancunian can't carve out another world title fight after the Burns fight, a clash with Campbell would be a close second best.
4 Ricky Burns (41–6–1)
As is the case with Anthony Crolla, a fight against Luke Campbell for Ricky Burns is probably reliant on a win on October 7.
After losing his WBA light welterweight crown to Julius Indongo in April this year, Burns is continuing to fight despite talks of retirement after the near twelve round shutout against the Namibian.
Burns needs to win well against Crolla to tempt Campbell into the squared circle for a fight in the early part of 2018, with a loss to Crolla likely resulting in "Rickster" hanging up his gloves.
5 Dejan Zlaticanin (22–1)
Prior to his knockout loss to Mikey Garcia in January, the Montenegrin had a perfect record of 22-0. After claiming the vacant WBC lightweight title against Franklin Mamani, his reign was short lived with Garcia proving a class above in New York.
The 33-year-old has real power, and with a heightened profile after his last nine months, a clash with Campbell could be perfect timing for both fighters.
After Campbell's performance against Linares, you would expect the Briton to come in as the favourite for this fight, however, Zlaticanin has already shown his worth at 135lbs, with Campbell's chin showing susceptibility to power.
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