Promoter Bob Arum, in speaking with IFL TV, says he understands how fellow promoter Eddie Hearn has reserved The O2 in London for Vasyl Lomachenko against mandatory challenger Luke Campbell. The fight, yet to be announced, would see Lomachenko defend his WBA/WBO 135 pound belts, while the vacant WBC title will also be on the line.
“I wish I could [confirm the fight] but Eddie has a deal in place with us for Lomachenko, he’s trying to finalise a deal with Campbell,” Arum said. “The WBC gave it until next Friday. No more past next Friday. Eddie wants it in the UK, I want it in the UK, I believe Eddie has reserved The O2 Arena.Loma really is looking forward to fighting in England. He said to me,’Bob, if possible I want to fight in London.’ It will, it will [happen]. He just has to finalise with Campbell and then we will announce.”
Lomachenko has indeed spoken about his desire to fight in a big UK stadium. Excited by the big, big crowds that fill these arenas, Lomachenko wants a piece of the action, of the drama. If he does fight over here in the UK, Lomachenko will join all-time greats such as Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Robinson, Thomas Hearns, Mike Tyson and Marco Antonio Barrera as legends who opted to leave the U.S behind, for one night at least, and fight in the U.K. It would of course be great for British boxing to have the supremely gifted southpaw do his stuff here.
But can Campbell give Lomachenko a real test? Lomachenko faced a British fighter last time out, and we all saw the quite brutal fate a game but over-matched Anthony Crolla suffered. Campbell, 20-2(16) and a southpaw himself, may or may not be better than Crolla; he may or may not be better able to give Lomachenko a far stiffer challenge. We will soon see, most likely in London.
The O2 would almost certainly sell out for this one. Boxing royalty could be in attendance on these shores sooner rather than later.