Luke Campbell felt he recovered well from the second round knockdown and deserved to beat WBA champion Jorge Linares on points
Luke Campbell was denied a world title after suffering a split decision points defeat to Jorge Linares, despite a courageous fightback in California.
The Hull man overcame a heavy knockdown in the second round and troubled Linares with a determined rally at the halfway stage, but only Britain’s Victor Loughlin scored the fight 115-113 in his favour with the other two judges giving the champion victory with scores of 114-113 and 115-112.
Campbell, wearing the same boots he used to claim Olympic gold in 2012, had fallen short in his first world title fight, although the 29-year-old had proved himself at the highest level in front of an American crowd at The Forum in Los Angeles.
Campbell did enough to earn the verdict on one of the scorecards
Linares edged forward menacingly in the opening round, capturing Campbell’s attention with a crisp right hand, and the Yorkshireman did not heed this warning in the second.
As Campbell tried to box neatly off the back foot, Linares ripped a straight right hand through his defences that dumped him heavily on the canvas.
The Hull man was floored by Linares in the second round
Campbell survived the closing seconds of the round with a nasty cut under his right eye and tried to fire back with sharp punches of his own at the end of the third.
Both fighters traded body shots in the fourth, with Campbell trying to halt the forward march of Linares, and the southpaw tagged the South American with a stinging combination in the fifth.
Campbell staged a spirited rally after a difficult start
Linares acknowledged a Campbell punch with a knowing nod in the sixth, then replied with a crunching body punch, but Campbell was utilising his accurate jab and appeared to edge the seventh.
There was even a confident smile from Campbell after he unloaded a lightning left hand in the eighth and Britain’s former amateur hero withstood another right hand from Linares before answering with a flurry of his own at the end of the ninth.
Johnny Nelson felt Campbell passed a test of character after recovering from a second-round knockdown to take the fight to Linares
As they entered the closing rounds, Campbell continued to land his straight left on Linares in the 10th, but the experienced champion raised the tempo again in the 11th and had done enough to earn victory when the final bell sounded.