Pound for pound king Vasyl Lomachenko and Olympic gold winner Luke Campbell met at the O2 Arena in London on the 31 August 2019, in what was an eagerly anticipated lightweight bout.
UK fight fans had waited a long time to see Loma in action professionally on these shores, and while Campbell is a cool hand in the ring, it was expected to be a comfortable night’s work for the Ukrainian.
Campbell Goes The Distance
However, things didn’t necessarily go to plan for the three-weight world champion, with Campbell more than holding his own against the WBA and WBO belt holder. While Loma seemingly bossed all but one round, Campbell was able to stand up to the majority of what came his way, and only touched the canvas in the 11th, before rallying to ensure the fight went the distance.
Loma Overcomes The Pressure
While Loma won by a clear margin on the scorecards; and in so doing adding the WBC lightweight belt to his collection; the night was all about Campbell. The Hull-born southpaw was giving no chance heading into the bout; at one stage seemed to trouble Lomachenko with a cutting body shot. It left everyone with no doubts about Campbell’s aims to be world champion; which he would have been if he had faced any other opponent apart from Loma.
Looking ahead for Lomachenko and Campbell, both of whom are 31 years old, the former will look to dominate the lightweight division by winning the IBF belt. Loma’s promoter Bob Arum insisted this was the case following the Ukrainian’s victory in London; with current holder Richard Commey set to defend his IBF strap against Teofimo Lopez later this year.
Options For Loma
There are other options Team Loma could consider too. Floyd Mayweather promoted Gervonta Davis has fuelled speculation about a possible bout previously. Unbeaten in 22 fights so far, the 24-year-old more than fancies his chances against a fighter he called “old man”, and his punching power could give Loma a few problems. Recently there’s also been talk of a mouth-watering match up between Lomachenko and Naoya Inoue. He’s the IBF and WBA bantamweight champ and ranked as one of the top boxers on the planet, just like Loma.
Three Defeats For Campbell
Luke Campbell’s defeat to Lomachenko was the third blemish on his otherwise perfect record; with his other two reverses coming against Yvan Mendy and Jorge Linares. Cool Hand’s aim has always been to secure a world championship title, and so far he’s failed twice, first with the split decision loss to Linares and then his defeat at the O2.
Options Running Out
He will, however, be undeterred, especially after putting on one hell of a show against Loma. The problem Campbell faces is there’s only one belt left to aim for; that will likely soon be in the hands of Loma. Matchroom and Eddie Hearn will get Campbell back to winning ways as quickly as possible. But where his world championship aspirations lie, that remains unclear.