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Monday, 17 December, 2018

McDonnell may struggle to handle Mexican storm

Campbell can make home fans happy

Gavin McDonnell hits Jorge Sanchez with a big right
1 of 2

WBC Super-Bantamweight title
Sky Sports 2, 8pm Saturday

Hull plays host to Gavin McDonnell's first crack at a world title and also welcomes back its favourite son, London 2012 Olympic golden boy Luke Campbell, on a big night of action in the UK City of Culture 2017.

McDonnell is hoping to emulate the achievements of his brother Jamie, the WBA bantamweight world champ, but he is up against it and will start as an underdog against big-punching Mexican Rey Vargas.

The stats do not make good reading for McDonnell, who is attempting to win the WBC title in just his 19th pro fight. The Doncaster man is undefeated with two draws on his record, but has only four stoppages to his name. 

Vargas has a perfect record with 28 wins from 28 fights and, significantly, he has 22 knockouts under his belt. 

This is also Vargas's first attempt at a world title and there is a case to suggest that his record is padded by contests against average fighters, but there is plenty of footage of him on YouTube and it is clear that he is a very good fighter. 

Apart from a couple of fights in the US, Vargas has fought his entire career in Mexico so he could be unsettled by a trip to Hull in February, but if he is able to perform at his usual level it could be a tough night for the Yorkshireman.

McDonnell has excellent boxing ability and will likely try to keep it cagey at the start and weather the Mexican storm, but Vargas fights at a furious pace and his relentless pressure may eventually wear down McDonnell's resistance to force the stoppage.

The chief support sees local superstar Campbell fight in his home city for the first time since 2015 when he knocked out Tommy Coyle in the Battle of Hull.

He lost his next fight against Yvan Mendy, but that defeat seemed to do his career a power of good. He switched trainer and moved his training camps to Miami, and he has looked superb in three fights since - most recently destroying Derry Mathews inside four rounds in his Liverpool backyard thanks to some sickeningly brutal bodyshots.

A world title shot is on the cards later in the year and Campbell, the WBC silver lightweight champion, is a massive favourite to dominate Jairo Lopez, who has lost three of his last six fights. 

Odds of 1-33 were snapped up earlier this week and he was just
1-100 to win the fight on Friday, while a Campbell KO win is also long odds-on so finding a bet is not easy, but Coolhand Luke should get the job done in three or four rounds. 

Campbell's former local rival Coyle is also on the card as he tries to rebuild after a British-title defeat to Tyrone Nurse, and he may have too much for undefeated yet inexperienced Rakeem Noble. 

Both men love to scrap and this could be a great tear-up, but Coyle should be favourite to get the stoppage.

R Vargas by stoppage
1pt 6-5 bet365
L Campbell round three
1pt 7-1 Betfair
L Campbell round four
1pt 7-1 Betfair
T Coyle by stoppage
2pts 21-10 bet365

Vargas has a perfect record with 28 wins from 28 fights and, significantly, he has 22 knockouts under his belt
E.W. Terms
Sky bet