Approaching the most important period of his professional career, former amateur star and world title challenger Luke Campbell has left Cuban coach Jorge Rubio and come home to England to be trained by Shane McGuigan.
Hull hero Campbell took Olympic gold at London 2012 in the culmination of a fabulous unpaid career but has yet to take a similarly pivotal step as a pro. Both his career defeats have come via split decision, one last year against the excellent Jorge Linares for the WBA lightweight belt in California and the first, back in 2015, against dangerous Yvan Mendy. The Frenchman has since remained undefeated and it was recently announced that he would meet Campbell in a rematch and WBC title eliminator in September, but it has since been rumoured that 30-year-old Luke has nailed down an alternative big fight. With huge nights on the horizon, Campbell felt the time was right to make a change in the corner and to return to British shores.
“Jorge and I are still very good friends, we’re still in contact all the time, messaging each other, but just for me, he understands, I need to be back in the UK, not away from my family for eight weeks at a time,” Campbell exclusively told BBN. “This change gives me the opportunity to train in London, so people will see a lot more of me on the promotional side, rather than being in Miami away from everything.
“I wasn’t looking [for another trainer], just if something came up, I might pop down and try it out; once I’d had a week with Shane we gelled really well together, I really like what he’s adding to my style. He has a great knack for the game, is very knowledgeable and knows about the sport. I’ve been with Shane now the last six weeks. Shane’s on the ball with everything: sparring, strength and conditioning, weight-making. His dad [legendary Barry McGuigan] pops in the gym now and again too, so he ticks every box.”
While London is not Hull, Campbell is now able to easily return to his home city at weekends to see his wife Lynsey and two young sons. The sparring available at McGuigan’s Wandsworth gym is a selling point in itself, with fellow southpaw Josh Taylor offering a mouthwatering option.
Campbell remains tight-lipped about his next move from a competitive standpoint but, now he is settled with a new trainer, a spot on the Anthony Joshua vs Alexander Povetkin show at Wembley on September 22 has to be a possibility.
“I’ve never really been one for words,” he states. “I look for my actions to speak, and I think when my next fight is announced and people see me on fight night everyone will be impressed with it. I’ve got hardly any miles on the clock, I’m a fresh 30 and I still believe you’ve not even seen half of what I’m capable of.”