Vasily Lomachenko v Luke Campbell Preview6 min read
Luke Campbell faces a huge challenge on Saturday night as he bids to produce one of the biggest upsets in British boxing history.
Campbell faces pound for pound number one Vasily Lomachenko at The O2 Arena with the Ukrainian’s WBA and WBO world lightweight titles on the line along with the vacant WBC belt.
Campbell faces daunting task
Campbell has maintained his self-belief heading into this weekend’s fight but the Hull boxer will have to produce a career-best to have any chance of winning the world titles.
The 31-year-old has won 20 of his 22 fights, with 16 coming by knockout and two defeats.
Campbell won Olympic gold at the London Games in 2012 and he will be hunting more glory in the capital this weekend.
His professional career started strongly in 2013 with three successive stoppage wins and he delighted home fans in 2015 after a tenth round knockout win against former sparring partner Tommy Coyle.
Campbell’s first setback in the ring came with his split decision defeat to Yvan Mendy at The O2 at the end of 2015. After being floored in the fifth round, he was unable to recover enough to win as he went 12 rounds for the first time.
He responded to the loss with five successive wins to earn a world title shot against Jorge Linares in 2017 but the Venezuelan claimed a split decision win in California.
Campbell again bounced back from the defeat with a fifth-round stoppage of Troy James, before avenging his defeat to Mendy by overcoming the French boxer by unanimous decision at Wembley.
His last fight came in March as Campbell produced a devastating performance with a fifth-round stoppage of Mexican Adrian Yung in Philadelphia. It was an impressive victory but Campbell will need to surpass this if he is to threaten the supreme champion this weekend.
Lomachenko focused on lightweight dominance
Lomachenko also won Olympic gold at both the 2008 and 2012 Games, with the boxer boasting an exceptional amateur record of just one defeat from 396 fights.
After turning pro, Lomachenko, who has a record of 13 wins from 14 fights, challenged for the world featherweight title in only his second fight in 2014. It was a hugely ambitious move but he came up just short as Mexican Orlando Salido won the split decision.
Undeterred, Lomachenko tied the record for fewest fights to win a world title as he outpointed Gary Russell Jr to claim the vacant featherweight belt in just his third bout.
Lomachenko became the fastest boxer to win a world title in two weight divisions in 2016 after his fifth-round stoppage of Roman Martinez for the WBO super featherweight belt in his seventh fight.
He made more boxing history last year at Madison Square Garden after winning a world title in a third division in his 12th bout.
Lomachenko was put down in the sixth round by Linares, but recovered to stop his opponent with a vicious body shot in the tenth round to win the WBA lightweight title.
A unanimous points victory against Jose Pedraza in December enabled him to add the WBO lightweight belt.
Anthony Crolla bravely challenged the 31-year-old in Los Angeles in April but the Manchester boxer was stopped in the fourth round.
Lomachenko v Campbell: The verdict
Campbell is 15/2 to pull off a huge upset with Lomachenko as short as 1/16 to walk away with three world title belts on Saturday night.
This looks a monumental challenge for the home boxer and despite carrying a size and weight advantage it is difficult to see him toppling the awesome champion.
Lomachenko is a phenomenal athlete with no weaknesses. His hand speed is exceptionally fast and ten of his 13 wins have come inside the distance.
It is just 3/10 for the fight to finish early and the favourite is 2/5 to win by KO/TKO or disqualification.
Lomachenko should be too skilful for his opponent but Campbell cannot be underestimated and is capable of taking him 12 rounds.
The challenger has never been stopped and can maintain this record with Lomachenko winning on points generously priced at 5/2.
Tip: Lomachenko to win by decision or technical decision