The great Vasyl Lomachenko will be in action in the UK on Saturday night, at The O2 in London in a fight that will see “Hi Tech” attempt to retain his WBA and WBO lightweight titles and win the vacant WBC strap in a fight with fellow Olympic gold medal winner Luke Campbell.
A massive betting favorite to win (listed as a 1-14 favorite on some betting sites), Lomachenko will present Campbell with plenty of problems. Yet the 20-2(16) Campbell, who also shares the southpaw stance with Lomachenko, is confident he can solve the Loma puzzle; The Matrix. And Campbell’s trainer, Shane McGuigan, feels his man has a number of advantages despite the Ukrainian’s obvious special qualities.
Number one, McGuigan says his fighter, a natural lightweight, will not be facing a featherweight version of Loma, who had “so many more attributes as a featherweight than he does now as a lightweight.”
“We have the frame which is a big advantage for us,” McGuigan told BBC 5 Live Boxing. Also, McGiugan says he feels Lomachenko’s body is “seeing a lot of wear and tear,” due in large part to the vast number of amateur fights he had: 396 (with just one loss, this avenged).
McGuigan had said a number of times how he will not be shocked if his fighter not only wins on Saturday night, but wins via stoppage – perhaps a stoppage win that will later be revealed to have come about due to an injury suffered by Loma.
“They are both 31, Luke had 160 amateur fights roughly, Lomachenko had 396 and he lost one. But his body is seeing a lot of wear and tear,” Mcguigan said. “His dad is strategic with training, doing low impact stuff, maybe because there are injuries. It wouldn’t surprise me if Luke were to walk him onto a shot and stop him that it came out there was an injury or something like that.”
Lomachenko, 13-1(10) has suffered injuries in fights before, such as when he hurt his arm in his quite tough, off-the-floor win over Jorge Linares. And in his last fight, against another British fighter in Anthony Crolla, Lomachenko injured a knuckle. Who knows, maybe all those unpaid fights have caught up with the 31 year old? But an injury aside, can Campbell really win, by stoppage? It would be one massive upset, as McGuigan agrees:
“The biggest in UK boxing,” McGuigan says.
While the absolute jaw-dropper Randy Turpin pulled off way back in 1951, when he somehow managed to beat the incomparable Sugar Ray Robinson, will likely never be topped, a Campbell win in London would for sure send shock-waves through the sport.
Campbell and McGuigan are loaded with confidence and are talking a great game, with plenty of good sense. That said, it really is tough to predict anything but a commanding win for Lomachenko. Can Loma KO Campbell though?