By Miguel Maravilla at ringside
Photos: Sumio Yamada
WBA lightweight champion Jorge “El Niño de Oro” Linares (43-3, 27 KOs) scored a twelve round split decision over 2012 Olympic gold medalist Luke Campbell (17-2, 14 KOs) on Saturday night at the ‘Fabulous’ Forum in Inglewood, California.
A second round knockdown propelled Linares to victory. Scores were 115-113 Campbell, 114-113, 115-112 Linares.
Feeling each other out in the opening round Linares and Campbell stuck the jab and let loose in the final seconds of the round. Linares pressed in round two as Campbell jabbed away, the champ countered with a hard left hook and moments later dropped Campbell with a straight right as the Englishman got up and was cut below the right eye from the right. The champ came out attacking Campbell in the fourth going downstairs to the body, later in the round Linares landed an uppercut.
In round five Campbell landed some good counters as Linares was pressing forward on the attack. At the halfway point in the sixth Campbell jabbed away following up with straight lefts as Linares went in aggressively. The second half of the fight saw Campbell composed boxing effectively jabbing and catching Linares with counters on the way in.
Late in the fight in the ninth Campbell and Linares boxed countered but in the closing seconds of the round Campbell landed a combination. Campbell worked behind the jab in the tenth as Linares countered and pressed. The championship rounds saw Campbell lands the stiff jab as the fast handed Linares kept coming at the Englishman. The twelve and final was all Linares as he boxed effectively keeping his distance as Campbell who needed the knockout stuck the jab.
Judges scored the bout 115-113, 114-113, and 115-112 as Jorge Linares pulls out the split decision and retains his WBA and Ring Magazine lightweight title.