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Thursday, August 28, 2014
Campbell, Coyle face tests

By Dan Rafael

Lightweights Luke Campbell and Tommy Coyle face legitimate tests in their next fights when they box on the same card Oct. 25 (Sky Sports in the United Kingdom) at the Ice Arena in their hometown of Hull, England.

Campbell (7-0, 5 KOs), 26, a 2012 Olympic gold medalist, takes on Daniel Brizuela (26-3-2, 8 KOs), 28, of Argentina, in Campbell's first scheduled 12-rounder. Two fights ago, also at Ice Arena, Brizuela was stopped in the 12th round by Coyle in an epic fight of the year candidate as each man hit the deck four times in England in February.

"This is a big step up for me but one I feel that I am ready for," said Campbell, who first has a tune-up fight Sept. 20 in London on the undercard of Christopher Rebrasse's European super middleweight title defense against George Groves. "Brizuela's fight with Coyle was unbelievable and I know I am in for a serious night's work, but I'm 7-0 now and with more rounds under my belt in September. I'm confident I can land my first [regional] title."

In the 12-round co-feature, Coyle (19-2, 8 KOs), 24, takes on Australia's Michael Katsidis (30-6, 24 KOs), 34, who twice claimed interim lightweight titles but is better known for his legendary brawls. Katsidis has won both of his fights since ending a two-year retirement in March.

"It's great to be fighting someone of Michael Katsidis' caliber," Coyle said. "There were many big names touted for this fight and I am delighted that it's Michael I'll be taking on. He has been in with [Kevin] Mitchell and Ricky Burns over here and also shared the ring with Robert Guerrero and Juan Manuel Marquez, so to beat him will be a huge achievement and a great scalp to have on my record."

Katsidis has boxed in the England before and one of his most famous brawls, a wild fifth-round knockout of Graham Earl in their first fight, came in London in 2007.

"It is nice to be fighting in England again and I am very much looking forward to the fight with Tommy," Katsidis said. "I have always enjoyed the passion of the fans and I feel at home when I fight there. I have had a number of offers from the UK and I am happy to come to Hull for the fight."

If Campbell and Coyle both win, Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn envisions a big all-Hull showdown next year.

"Tommy Coyle, who now has a reputation of being in regular wars, fights perhaps one of the most world-renowned warriors in Michael Katsidis, while for Olympic champion Luke Campbell, this is the acid test," Hearn said. "Brizuela, who came back from an impressive win following his fight of the year with Tommy, is a huge step up for Luke and one we believe he is ready for. Victory for both men will set up the battle of Hull in 2015, which will be a defining sporting occasion for the city."