Let’s face it: the fast approaching heavyweight extravaganza between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko – which has already shifted an amazing 90,000 tickets – doesn’t really need much of an under-card; at least not in terms of pulling in any extra sales.
The Wembley heavyweight show, snapped up as it has been by eager fans, high rollers and the social elite, has already made its promoters millions – so an under-card of anything approaching quality was never going to be needed. But, as credited to Eddie Hearn and co., there is now a solid support fight set for the night of April 29.
Once-beaten lightweight talent Luke Campbell, the 2012 Olympic gold medal winner, will face tough, experienced and highly ranked Colombian Darleys Perez in a final eliminator for the WBA 135 pound belt currently held by the superb Jorge Linares. Begging the pardon of Scott Quigg, Katie Taylor and Lawrence Okolie; this fight is the only fight aside from the main event that will really be worth watching two weeks this Saturday.
Campbell, 16-1(13) has been groomed for stardom ever since turning over to pro level; the upset decision loss to Yvan Mendy proving a wholly unexpected setback. The Mendy speed-bump has proven temporary, however, as the 29 year old southpaw is now one win away from a big world title shot. Perez, 33-2-2(21) is a step above the capable Mendy. Can Campbell rise to the occasion?
The 33 year old has won two since drawing with, and then being stopped by Anthony Crolla, and the former interim WBA lightweight ruler has been stopped just once (by Crolla in the return fight). Having been in with excellent fighters such as Yuriorkis Gamboa (L12), Argenis Lopez (W12) and “Million Dollar,” it might just be that Perez proves too tricky, too experienced and too good for Campbell.
At the very least, the April blockbuster now has a genuinely watchable supporting bout. And the winner against the classy Linares could really be a fine fight to look forward to.