Home Boxing News Coyle and Campbell headline in Hull

Coyle and Campbell headline in Hull

Photo credit: Lawrence Lustig

Thanks to Britain’s Olympic bantamweight gold medallist, Luke Campbell, the Yorkshire city of Hull is becoming a mini hotbed for the sport with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom promoting in the city this coming Saturday, 22 February 2014, for the third time inside seven months.  Campbell is, of course, on the card as is Eddie’s hot young lightweight Tommy Coyle, also from Hull.  The bill is being staged at the Ice Arena.

The main event features Coyle, who coincidentally has emerged from the shadows of the lightweight division at the same time that Campbell was becoming famous at London 2012.  Hearn now has a two-pronged attack with which to tempt the local boxing fans to his shows.  Coyle, 17-2 (7), faces Argentinian Daniel Brizuela, 25-2-2 (8), in a fight which is billed for the IBF International lightweight title.

As an amateur, Brizuela participated in the Athens Olympics in 2004, where he was stopped in the first series on the outclassed rule by future world professional champion Vitaly Tajbert of Germany.  This was in the now defunct featherweight division.  Following this he turned professional in January 2006 but has noticeably failed to pull up any trees in the pro game.  He went unbeaten in his first 19 fights before being shockingly knocked out in the first round by compatriot Daniel Dorrego.  Since then he has boxed mainly in his home state of Mendoza, winning mostly run of the mill 6-rounders against local opposition.

In July last year, Brizuela travelled to Australia to challenge Indonesian Daud Cino Yordan for the meaningless IBO lightweight title.  Despite being stopped in his previous fight at featherweight, Yordan, stepping up two weights, was far too good for Brizuela and won comfortably over 12 rounds.  Now Brizuela finds himself with another away trip to face Coyle.  He will be getting relatively well paid to come to England but fortunately for Coyle he does not bring much threat with him.

Coyle is one of the most improved fighters in the UK over the past 18 months.  He created a small wave when losing in the first round of the PrizeFighter tournament in October 2012.  There, he fought tooth and nail with former British super-featherweight champion Gary Sykes before losing the 3-round decision.  This writer was one of many who thought that Coyle had just edged the victory.  The next time that Tommy was in front of the television cameras he fought a superb defensive battle against Derry Mathews and was boxing the Scouser’s ears off before walking onto a stunning left hook in the tenth round, negating his huge lead on the scorecards.  Coyle really came of age that night and although he was distraught in the ring following the defeat, he had won over Britain’s fight fans with his magnificent display of boxing.

In Coyle’s last fight he thrashed former British featherweight champion John Simpson, boxing smartly off the back foot and flooring his veteran opponent three times before the referee stepped in during the seventh round.  Coyle may have difficulties with Brizuela, who is not the archetypal Argentine come forward slugger, but is himself a back foot fighter.  The only problem for Coyle though is whether or not he can get the stoppage.  With hot young trainer Jamie Moore devising the strategy he should win this fight easily.  However, he will probably need to go the full 12 rounds for a wide points win.

There has been talk this week that should Coyle get the expected victory here, he will next be fighting fellow Brit Kevin Mitchell on the Groves-Froch II undercard.  That is a mouth-watering prospect indeed.

Luke Campbell, 4-0 (3), fighting in the pro ranks as a lightweight, goes for his fifth straight victory when he takes on Scott Moises, 8-8-1 (2), from Norfolk.  Although, as in the main event, Moises poses no threat to the local lad, he could give him an uncomfortable evening.  There is an interesting potential form guide which we might be able to take from this fight.  Moises took another prospect, Londoner Mitchell Smith, the full 10 rounds in September last year, and Smith struggled to come to terms with the awkward Moises, only winning by one point on the referee’s scorecard.  Having said that, this writer must admit to being flabbergasted when the score was read, as it looked as though Mitchell had won by a landslide.

For his first three fights Campbell looked quite sensational, blowing away his opponents with aplomb.  However, it must be said that in his last outing, in November against Chuck Jones, when Campbell was taken the full four rounds for the first time, he looked distinctly ordinary.  Another performance like that on Saturday could see him dragged down to another disappointing showing.  Going by the fact that Moises has not been stopped to date, and his effort against the normally dynamic Smith, I feel that he will quieten the local crowd and take Campbell the full eight rounds before losing widely on points.

Perhaps of most interest to non-locals is the British light-welterweight title fight between under-rated champion Darren Hamilton, from Bristol, and Driffield’s Curtis Woodhouse, his latest challenger.  Hamilton, 14-2 (3), is making the third defence of his title and gets to keep the Lonsdale Belt if successful here.  Facing him is sentimental favourite Woodhouse, 21-6 (13), who always brings a lot of fan interest and support with him whenever he fights.  That should be even more the case on Saturday, as Woodhouse has announced that this will be his last fight.  He always reminds us that he promised his dying father that he would win the British title and there lies the main interest in this match-up.

There has been an entertaining, albeit friendly, war of words between the two rival camps during the build-up, with characters Spencer Fearon and Dave Coldwell, respectively managers of champion and challenger, going at it on Twitter.  The fight however is not as well-matched as the Twitter war has been.

Hamilton is a very strong champion, in every sense of the word.  He took the title from Ashley Theophane on a disputed decision but has since gone from strength to strength.  He polished off his first two challengers who were considered dangerous prior to the fights, in Steve Williams and Adil Anwar.  He was too tough for tough-guy Williams, beating him at his own game, and overwhelmed the slickster Anwar, almost punching him to a standstill.  Hamilton’s punch output is phenomenal and he is relentless right through to the final bell.

As for Woodhouse, each time he has stepped up to anywhere near this level, he has come a cropper.  If one looks closely at his record, he has never defeated an opponent of any note and an interesting form line lies with Dave Ryan.  Woodhouse beat Ryan on a majority decision in September 2012, whilst Hamilton thrashed the same opponent without the loss of a single round in October 2011.  The one stand-out performance in Woodhouse’s career is his close decision loss to Frankie Gavin, when Gavin was going through a bit of a life-crisis in July 2011.  The last time Curtis stepped up was in September of last year when he challenged Derry Mathews at lightweight for the Commonwealth title.  He was battered to defeat in four rounds.

All this leads to one conclusion, which is that Hamilton is in a completely different class to Woodhouse.  Hamilton is good enough to be European champion at least.  His career has faltered due to inactivity but now that he has signed a promotional deal with Matchroom, Eddie Hearn should be able to provide him with the big fights he so desires.  I just cannot see how even a fairy tale story can stand in the way of a comfortable victory on Saturday for the champion.  Look for Hamilton to punch the resistance out of Woodhouse by about the eighth round.

Rather hidden on the card is a fight for the vacant British super-bantamweight title between Gavin McDonnell, 10-0-1 (3), from Doncaster, and Leigh Wood, 11-0 (4), from Nottingham.  Gavin is, of course, the twin brother of former IBF bantamweight champion Jamie.  Like his brother, Gavin boxed as an amateur but in his late teens he lost interest along with his desire to be a fighter.  He only returned to the sport following the amazing success of his twin and turned pro himself in December 2010.  He has since made great progress and deserves his shot at domestic honours.

Wood, for his part, can consider himself extremely lucky to be fighting for a British title.  Despite his unbeaten record, only one of the opponents he has faced has had a winning slate.  That fighter is from Brazil, where records become ridiculously padded.  In fact, the Brazilian had been knocked out in five of his last nine fights before facing Wood.

It must be said that after Quigg, Frampton, Galahad and Dickens, the rest of the British super-bantams are nowhere.  That is not to say that McDonnell cannot continue his rapid improvement and perhaps get to share a ring with one of the latter two named fighters at some point in the future.  His last victory, over experienced Josh Wale, looks very impressive indeed, winning by 8, 7 and 4 points on the judges’ scorecards.  That is good form and certainly too good for Wood.  Take McDonnell to win widely on points or by late stoppage and to next defend his title on one of his brother’s undercards later in the year.

Twitter: @RachelAylett1