The pound-for-pound king will return to action on August 31 at the O2 Arena in London, England. Vasyl “Loma” Lomachenko will defend his WBA (Super), WBO and The Ring lightweight titles in addition to the vacant WBC strap against Luke “Cool Hand” Campbell.
This will mark Lomachenko’s first ring appearance in London since the 2013 World Series of Boxing when he shut out Sam Maxwell over five rounds.
Lomachenko (13-1, 10KOs) will look to extend his extraordinary 12-fight winning streak and a step closer to unifying the four major lightweight titles against the Brit, Campbell (20-2, 16KOs).
Tale of the Tape
Once again, Loma will be a huge -2500 favorite with Campbell coming in at +1000.
The Ukrainian has been sensational and the consensus pound-for-pound number one for several reasons.
He makes world-class opponents look ordinary and has retired four consecutive fighters to include forcing a certain Guillermo Rigondeaux to quit on his stool.
Loma has only ever lost two fights – one as an amateur and one professionally. Both of those losses to Albert Selimov and Orlando Salido were quite controversial.
The 2008 and 2012 Olympic gold medalist has accomplished more over just 14 bouts than many others have done in 2-3 times that timespan. Few realize that he won a world title in just his third amateur fight.
His pro career has not been shabby either littered with wins over quality opponents like Rigondeaux, Nicholas Walters, Jorge Linares, Jason Sosa, Jose Pedraza, Anthony Crolla and Miguel Marriaga.
Campbell enters this contest as the second best lightweight in the world behind Loma. He’ll try to do the unthinkable and beat his fellow 2012 Olympic gold medalist and the betting favorite on Saturday.
At 5’9” and sporting a 71-inch reach advantage, Campbell is without question the bigger man.
He’s a skillful fighter with solid fundamentals and a pretty good jab, which he puts to great use when setting up his offense.
As a pro, he has lost just two fights – one to Yvan Mendy, which he later avenged and the other against Lomachenko victim Jorge Linares.
Campbell is a well-rounded fighter but we have yet to see him fight at another level when tested and it will be interesting to see if he can land anything of real significance upon the elusive Lomachenko.
They are both southpaws too although Loma is a switch-hitter, who uses the right hand more often to deliver his power shots.
Campbell does have a solid chin, but it will be tested, and it will be how he responds to that adversity that will determine how well he performs overall against a chess master.
“This is a fight for history because my goal is to unify all of the belts in the lightweight division,” Lomachenko said. “Luke Campbell is the next challenge for me on that journey. He is an excellent fighter who I remember well from the 2012 Olympics. He has a difficult style, and I cannot afford to overlook him.”
“I think I can knock out anyone that I hit right, I believe that I am one of the biggest punchers in the lightweight division. This is going to be the toughest fight of my life and I’m preparing for it, physically and mentally. This is Luke Campbell’s year, it’s my time.”
I do agree with others who feel that Campbell will probably trouble Lomachenko in the early rounds much like Linares. The Englishman does know how to use his size and is physically strong. He just might have a chance of stealing a few rounds too if he can keep Vasyl on the back foot with the jab, but he’ll need a more diversified plan of attack to sustain it and that is where I see him coming up short. Campbell is a very good world class fighter but I see another dominant, clear win for Lomachenko in what should be a reasonably competitive fight and another excellent night of boxing.
Verdict: Lomachenko by either sixth-round knockout or lopsided decision.