By: Sean Crose
WBA and WBO world lightweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko will try to add the WBC world lightweight title to his collection when he faces former titlist Luke Campbell at the O2 arena in a scheduled twelve round bout that will be aired live Saturday on ESPN+. The 13-1 Lomachenko will be coming off a commanding knockout win over Anthony Crolla last April in Los Angeles. The 20-2 Campbell, on the other hand, will be coming off a stoppage over Adrian Yung last March in Philadelphia. Campbell, of Yorkshshire, England, will essentially be fighting in front of a hometown crowd Saturday, as the O2 arena is in London.
Lomachenko has had a stunning career to date. With less than fifteen professional fights under his belt, the former Olympic legend has won himself world titles in three weight divisions and is now hoping to unify the major lightweight belts. “This brings me one step closer to my main goal of having all the belts,” Lomachenko said on Thursday. “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.”
Campbell, who will walk into the ring on Saturday with a two inch height advantage of the 5’7 Lomachenko, has expressed confidence in the leadup to the bout. “I’m feeling great at the minute,” he said on Thursday. “It’s a fantastic opportunity for me.” It’s also an opportunity that some feel the hard hitting Englishman has a chance to capitalize on. Most of Lomachenko’s opponents have been completely overwhelmed by the awkward fighter’s speed and brilliant use of angles, but Campbell, with his impressive knockout ratio, has only a single loss on his resume (to Jorge Linares) that he hasn’t avenged. In other words, he’s a man used to winning.
Aside from the lightweight title throwdown, Saturday’s card will showcase an interesting heavyweight matchup when Tyson Fury’s cousin, Hughie Fury faces Alexander Povetkin in a scheduled 12 round affair. Fury has fought twice since losing to Kubrat Pulev last October, besting Chris Norrad and Samuel Peter respectively. The veteran Povetkin, on the other hand, hasn’t fought since being knocked out by Anthony Joshua in a title bout back in 2018. Fury, who teamed up with Matchroom Boxing recently, is clearly looking to impress, while Povetkin is looking to reenter the conversation of top heavyweights.
Saturday will also see the 14-1 Julio Cesar Martinez try to wrest away the WBC world flyweight title from the defending champion, 15-2 Charlie Edwards. Edwards is coming off a March decision win over Angel Moreno, while Martinez is coming off a knockout victory over the well known Lee Selby, in a bout that also went down last March. Martinez has stopped or retired all eight of his previous opponents. Edwards will be defending his WBC belt for the third time, since winning the title off of Cristofer Rosales last December, via decision.
The Vasyl Lomachenko versus Luke Campbell card will begin at 5PM EST on ESPN+ this Saturday.