By: Sean Crose
“Luke Campbell is a tall southpaw with a strong boxing IQ,” said WBA and WBO lightweight champ Vasyl Lomachenko. “I know I can’t look past a fighter with his skills. He won an Olympic gold medal and has had a lot of success as a pro.” The 13-1 Lomachenko, who is regarded by many as the best active boxer in the world, will be facing the 20-2 Campbell at the O2 arena in London this Saturday. The Ukrainian star hopes to walk away with the vacant WBC lightweight strap. On Thursday, Lomachenko engaged in a media workout at a crowded York Hall, as did his rival, Campbell.
“I have wanted to fight in London ever since I turned pro,” Lomachenko said. “The fans appreciate my boxing style, and every time I’ve come here, they make me feel appreciated. Campbell is from the UK, but I feel very comfortable.” Should Lomachenko prove victorious on Saturday, he will hold three of the four major lightweight title belts. “This brings me one step closer to my main goal of having all the belts,” he said. “I want to ‘unificate’ all of the titles. That is my next goal in boxing. I have won titles in three weight categories, but I never won all four belts in a division. So, for me, Campbell is a very important name as I write my boxing history.”
He may be regarded as one of today’s top athletes, but Lomachenko made it clear on Thursday he wants to be in possession of career that will be talked about throughout the years. “I want to make history,” he said matter of factly. “That’s the most important thing for me. When I turned pro, I wanted to win a world title right away, and I tied a record by winning a world title in my third fight. Now, I want to make a different history. Very few fighters have won all four titles. It would mean a lot for me to accomplish this.”
As for Campbell, the hard hitting fighter let the world know he’s looking to shock the sport of boxing by walking away with three title belts this weekend. “I’m feeling great at the minute,” he said. “It’s a fantastic opportunity for me. I’ve got the best team around me and we’re all confident.” Although he’s essentially fighting at home – always a big advantage for a fighter, the former world titlist made it clear he’s focused on the task before him. “It doesn’t matter how I do it,” Campbell stated, “( so long as) I get the win.”
Both fighters indicated they are well prepared heading into the weekend. “I trained at the Olympic Sports Centre in Kiev,” said Lomachenko, “and it was nice to train at home. We did not change much with my preparation, but I feel very good physically. The weather was good, and I am 100 percent ready for whatever Luke Campbell brings.”
The Lomachenko-Campbell fight is scheduled for 12 rounds and will be aired live this Saturday on ESPN+.