Vasiliy Lomachenko Defeats Luke Campbell in London
By Hector Franco | Senior Writer and Editor
Published: August 31, 2019
LONDON, ENGLAND – In front of a raucous crowd at the O2 Arena in London, England Vasiliy Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) came one step closer to becoming the undisputed Lightweight champion by defeating the United Kingdom’s Luke Campbell (20-3, 16 KOs) to win the vacant WBC Lightweight title.
Before the fight, Lomachenko was the high betting favorite as he is listed on most publications as one of the top three best fighters in the world pound-for-pound.
Both men are Olympic Gold Medalists with Lomachenko having won gold in 2008 and 2012 and Campbell also winning Gold in 2012 in London.
The two pugilists are both known for being technically proficient leading many to predict that Campbell’s reach would give Lomachenko problems throughout their bout.
With both men fighting out of the southpaw position, the footwork and movement that Lomachenko utilizes could be mitigated against Campbell.
The bout started tentatively with both men attempting feints.
By the end of the round, Campbell was able to land a looping left hand that seemed to stun the Ukrainian signifying that this would not be an easy night for the two-time Olympic gold medalist.
The next three rounds were all tightly contested with both men having their moments of success.
It was clear that Campbell would be successful if he were able to keep the fight at a long-range distance as Lomachenko attempted to get on the inside.
Throughout the fight, Lomachenko would use his jab, whether it landed or not to disrupt many of Campbell’s advances and allow him to penetrate his guard with body punches.
In the fifth round, Lomachenko landed a well-timed left hand that badly hurt Campbell leaving him open to an onslaught from the Ukrainian three-division champion.
Lomachenko hurt Campbell to the body, leaving him looking weary as the bell saved him from further punishment.
Campbell responded well in the sixth round using more lateral movement to allow him to outwork Lomachenko in spots.
After six rounds ESPN’s broadcast commentator former Super Middleweight and Light Heavyweight champion Andre Ward had the fight even at three rounds apiece.
The seventh-round may have been the most exciting round of the match with Campbell stunning Lomachenko as he worked his way inside with a right hand.
Lomachenko responded like a champion by applying more pressure on Campbell and picking up his volume of punches. He was able to land a right hook on the U.K. fighter that stunned him once again leaving himself open to another onslaught of body punches.
Lomachenko kept applying pressure in the eighth round with the pace slowing down as the championship rounds came into view.
The eleventh round saw Lomachenko put the proverbial nail in the coffin, as he was able to score a knockdown due to another barrage of body punches.
A beautiful straight left hand to the body hurt Campbell leading to the knockdown.
In the final round, Campbell absorbed another enormous amount of punishment, as he was once again hurt to the body. However, the UK fighter showed tremendous heart in front of his fellow countrymen always firing back at Lomachenko.
After twelve exciting and tactical rounds, all three judges awarded Lomachenko the victory with scores of 119-108 twice and 118-109.
Lomachenko landed 211 out of 527 total punches at a 40 percent connect rate. Campbell was able to land 131 out of 470 total punches at a 31.5 percent connect rate.
The disparity in the punch statistics was highlighted in the power punches department with Lomachenko out landing Campbell 136 to 87 power punches landed.
With the victory, Lomachenko has now added the vacant WBC Lightweight title to his collection including the WBA and WBO Lightweight titles.
He now holds three of the four major championships at Lightweight leaving him just the IBF title to reign as the undisputed champion of the division.
In the modern era, there have only been four fighters who have won all four major titles in a division including the likes of Bernard Hopkins and Jermain Taylor and most recently Terence Crawford and Oleksandr Usyk.
The next move for Lomachenko could see him facing the winner of the upcoming bout between Richard Commey and Teofimo Lopez for the IBF Lightweight title.
(Featured Photo: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing)