The build up for tonight’s eagerly anticipated “Rumble on the Humber” showdown at Hull’s KC Lightstream Stadium, between local favorites and now “former” friends Luke Campbell and Tommy Coyle, has truly manifested into an extraordinary event around the city of Hull.
Former Olympic Gold medalist and the city’s very own poster boy, Campbell, hails from the west side of the town, while the son of a Hull market trader and working class hero, Coyle, hails from the east.
The fans flocked in the droves to catch a glimpse of the two men who have divided a City.
In front of the raucous crowd, the highly touted Campbell took the spoils in the battle of Hull, displaying a breathtaking performance against a brave Coyle, which only further settles the argument that the former Olympic champion is an elite level operator.
As well as claiming the bragging rights of the best fighter in Hull, Cool Hand Luke also earned the mandatory challenger status for the WBC lightweight title, which could lead to a world title shot in the future.
On the other hand, however, lifelong friend Tommy “Boom Boom” Coyle has the unwelcomed task of rebuilding his career after suffering a devastating high profile defeat that will undoubtedly live long in his memory.
Each man entered the ring to a chorus of noise, with Campbell looking the more composed out of the two. It was clear the reach height advantage lay with the rangey Campbell; however, after witnessing both men nose-to-nose, Campbell’s height could’ve been the real difference in the fight as he towered over the much shorter Coyle.
When the opening bell sounded, it was clear that Tommy Coyle’s game plan was to rough the slick Campbell up by bullying him around the ring. Nevertheless, the Golden Boy had other ideas, as he controlled the action with his quick southpaw jab, not allowing Coyle to get in close.
The 27-year-old’s quality counterpunching ability was apparent early in the second, as he landed a beautiful quick fire left to the body, dropping Coyle to the canvas in pain. But the 25-year-old Coyle, who does have a history of being hurt to the body, showed great character, beating the count and surviving the round.
In the next three minutes, the former Olympian was beginning to back the brave Coyle up against the ropes, yet was still wary of what was coming back. Campbell’s piercing lefts and rights were very impressive, halting the bull like Coyle in his tracks instantly.
After numerous warnings from the referee, Coyle was walking a tightrope as he continued to rush in with his head onto the chest of his rival, though the 25-year-old battler was showing a tremendous heart, refusing to take a backward step despite being pummelled with laser-like lefts from Campbell.
In the sixth round, the chants of “Campbell!, Campbell!” were ringing throughout the open air stadium as Hulls most favorite son started to land at will. Although to his credit, Coyle still continuously welcomed Campbell in regardless of what has been thrown at him.
The next three sessions were controlled by the fleet footwork and quality punch variety of Luke Campbell, who was targeting the body of Coyle constantly. The bravery of Coyle was to be commended, however, as he was starting to slow his assault considerably, which could spell the end for the 25-year-old fighter.
A sweeping left hand to the body from Campbell dropped the tired Coyle slowly to the canvas in the tenth. The courageous fighter beat the count but with two long minutes left in the round, Campbell jumped right on his man, and after hammering him into the corner, then to the canvas for the second time, the referee had no option but to call a halt to the contest with 1:18 left in the round.
Luke Campbell was understandably elated with the biggest victory of his career so far, but was also full of admiration for his fellow Hull slugger.
“It was a fantastic fight, credit to Tommy I hope we gave the fans a great fight,” Campbell told Ed Robinson of Sky Sports.
“Tommy’s a great fighter. I needed to be patient and I had to pick my shots,” said a happy Campbell.
The unsuccessful Coyle was gracious in defeat, even though he was utterly devastated and believes Campbell is without doubt the real deal.
“It was a massive opportunity for me to go on and do something i never expected to do but this man here, he’s a special, special talent,” a deflated Coyle stated.
“He’s too smart, I’m a domestic fighter at best–that’s it!,” Coyle stated.
Promoter Eddie Hearn was delighted with his charge and truly believes that the world could be already looking at the best lightweight in the world.
“In Luke Campbell, you could be looking at one of the best lightweights in the world already,” said the Matchroom Mogul, who thinks Campbell is not too far away from a world title fight.
“The division is red hot, Terry Flanagan’s here, Kevin Mitchell is here, Anthony Crolla is here–it’s a red hot division, a couple of more fights and he will be ready for a world title,” a confident Hearn confirmed.
On the stacked card, Heavyweight prospect Dillian Whyte passed an easy assignment by knocking out Brazilian challenger Irineu Costa inside a round.
Whyte hopes that if he continues winning, he could set up a mouth-watering clash with British rival Anthony Joshua, whom he beat in the amateurs all those years ago.
There was also a win for the former two-weight world champion Ricky Burns, who has been on somewhat a renovation mission after his significant fall from grace a few years back.
Burns despatched an underwhelming Prince Ofotsu after the Ghanaian’s corner threw in the towel for no apparent reason. Even though the Rickster won, the dark cloud of doubt still lingers over the Scotsman’s future at the top level despite his move back down to the Lightweight limit where he once prospered.
Although, the fight of the night was undeniably the rematch between former world title challenger Brian Rose and American hard man Carson Jones, who literally torn lumps out of one another both verbally and physically in the build up to the bout as well as on fight night.
Jones stopped Rose in a solitary round in their previous encounter on Valentine’s day this year, so the Englishman was hell-bent on revenge. In an ill fated, back and forth tussle, either fighter showed their utter disdain for one another, continuously landing flush on each other after the bell.
It was Rose who prevailed, though, by a narrow points decision leaving the door ajar for a rubber match, as the scoreboard is nicely poised at one win a piece.
In the end though, the UK city of culture was the true winner in the Rumble on the Humber, with Hull’s very own sons doing their beloved city proud. That being said, the night unquestionably belongs to Cool Hand Luke who not only attained his WBC International Lightweight title in a title eliminator but also, just like his namesake Paul Newman in the iconic film, has now most definitely earned the respect of his fellow lightweight peers around the world, without the need for 50 boiled eggs!