The Sportsman Exclusive: Luke Campbell Talks Conspiracy Theories, His Dad And The Vasyl Lomachenko Fight

Campbell Fights The Ukrainian On August 31 At London's O2 Arena
12:06, 26 Aug 2019

Luke Campbell takes on the might of Vasyl Lomachenko on August 31 with the WBA, WBC and WBO lightweight titles up for grabs.

The Ukranian, the fastest-ever three-weight champion in boxing history, provides a monumental test for the 31-year-old from Hull but it seems the fight isn’t the only thing on Campbell’s mind.

“There’s always too many secrets out there,” he says when The Sportsman met him to chat this week. 

Conspiracy theories - from evolution to state secrets, this is Campbell’s take:

Ones you find out when the government hasn’t told anyone. Wild, big secrets about our history, I mean we descended from apes? What absolute nonsense.

“I just find it intriguing and interesting, like why do people say the earth is flat and then people go against it and say it’s not? I haven’t seen it from space. 

“From people who have seen it from space, if the earth is flat then what’s the big secret about it?”

Talking so candidly with only a few days to go until the bout, it proves this fighter really doesn’t care for all of the noise during the run-in, just focused and raring to go.

“I’m not bothered about hype” he says. “At the end of the day when the bell rings, it’s two guys in the ring fighting. It’s as simple as that.

“I’m confident I’m going to win by just doing what I do. I can’t really sit here and go ‘He does this wrong, he does that wrong’ because he doesn’t. I hit you and you hit me, and that’s what I’m going in there to do.

You can be as good as you want, but if you get hit on the right places then you’re going to get hurt.

Going into this one, he’s bullish, as you’d expect, and while he fancies his chances, he’s confident it will be a brilliant spectacle.

“We’ll see how it’s going to play out. I’m feeling good, I feel strong and I’ve got it all to play for.

“I think this is one of the biggest fights in the UK for a long time. I think for both of us, we’re in our prime. We bring power, speed, skill, everything, which I think is in the making to be a fantastic fight.”

This latest clash comes nearly two years after his defeat by Jorge Linares, a fight sadly fought just two weeks after losing his father.

Looking back on that September night in California, Campbell of course felt a range of emotions having kept the news private going into the bout.

“I didn’t want to disclose it before the fight, because I didn’t want anybody to know how I was feeling. They could see weakness in that and that’s not what I wanted to show,” he admitted.

“It’s pretty hard to describe how I felt in that fight. It is what it is. In hindsight, should I have got in the ring? Probably not with everything that was going on, but I did. 

“I thought I won the fight, I think I won seven rounds out of the 12. I think I won the fight, even though everything was against me. Going to the Champion’s back garden, on his show, whilst he was in his prime and I even think he was in the top ten pound-for-pound list at the time. 

“I went over there against all odds and I thought I had won the fight.”

The Olympic gold medallist has suffered only two losses as a professional and that, in part, is down to the high standards he sets himself.

“I guess it’s me who’s put that pressure on myself by achieving what I've achieved. I just think it’s part and parcel of boxing.

“I’ve always been hard on myself, I’ve never given myself the credit I deserve for what I’ve done in boxing. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so I never give myself enough credit. 

“You want to be the best at whatever you do it life, so the pressure just come with it. Pressure is a privilege because if you don’t have pressure then you’re not really achieving".