By Charles Brun: The excitable Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn believes that Luke Campbell can take the #1 pound-for-pound spot by beating WBA/WBO lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko next month on Sky Box Office in the UK and DAZN on August 31.
#1 WBC Campbell (20-2, 16 KOs) is facing P-4-P king Lomachenko (13-1, 10 KOs) f0r the vacant World Boxing Council lightweight title on August 31 at the O2 Arena in London, England. It’s scary to imagine a limited fighter like Campbell being elevated to #1 in the pound-for-pound rankings. Anything is possible in boxing though, and Campbell might surprise us.
The southpaw Campbell might be able to put together the perfect fight to dethrone Lomachenko, and send him back home without his titles. A victory for Campbell, 31, would make him a three-belt champion at 135, and would lead to a lucrative rematch with the two-time Olympic gold medalist Lomachenko.
Hearn: Campbell can beat Lomachenko
“He’s here so Luke Campbell can beat him,” said Hearn about Lomachenko to skysports.com. “That’s why we brought him here, if Luke just cared about the money in this fight, the fight would have taken place in America. We feel as a team that Luke Campbell has a good chance to beat him on home soil. We know it’s going to be difficult, and we know Lomachenko is a genius, but they’re both very, very good technical fighters,” said Hearn.
There’s nothing on Campbell’s resume that would lead one to believe that he’ll beat Lomachenko on August 31. Moreover, he failed when he did step it up against Jorge Linares in 2017, and he was a poor loser in denying that he’d lost. It was clear to the many boxing fans that saw the Linares-Campbell fight that Campbell had lost. Hopefully, Campbell takes the high road and admits defeat if Lomachenko wins on August 31, because it would look bad if he complains afterwards.
Campbell’s best wins as a pro have come against these fighters:
- Yvan Mendy
- Darleys Perez
- Derry Mathews
- Gary Sykes
- Argenis Mendez
Hearn: Luke Campbell is fighting for the pound-for-pound No.1
“Luke Campbell is not just fighting for WBC, WBA, WBO, Ring Magazine world titles, he’s fighting for the pound-for-pound No 1 position. If you’re going to gamble, gamble big,” said Hearn.
It would be better for the pound-for-pound #1 spot to be left out of this fight, because Campbell won’t be seen as the #1 pound fighter if he wins. If Lomachenko loses the fight, the next highest ranked fighter on the P-4-P list, Terence Crawford, should and likely will be elevated to #1 on the list rather Campbell taking the top spot.. That might not make Hearn and Campbell happy, but Luke hasn’t shown the talent to put him above the arguably far more talented fighters on he pound-for-pound list.
These are the top 10 pound-for-pound fighters:
- Vasiliy Lomachenko
- Terence Crawford
- Saul Canelo Alvarez
- Naoya Inoue
- Oleksandr Usyk
- Errol Spence Jr.
- Gennady Golovkin
- Juan Francisco Estrada
- Mikey Garcia
- Donnie Nietes
Campbell doesn’t fit among that group, and definitely not at #1 if he wins against Lomachenko on August 31. With the Lomachenko-Campbell fight taking place in the UK, you can’t rule out a premature stoppage, or a controversial decision that works in Campbell’s favor. After all, Campbell is the home fighter competing in front of his loyal British boxing fans in his hometown, and Lomachenko the visitor.
Given that Lomachenko is fighting Campbell in his neck of the woods in the UK, ANYTHING is possible. You’d hate to see Campbell be given a questionable decision, but we’ve seen controversial decisions happen in the past. But for Campbell to be vaulted to the #1 spot in the pound-for-pound ratings after a questionable win, it would look bad.
Campbell hasn’t shown pound-for-pound level talent
Even if somehow Campbell gets lucky and beats Loma, it would be difficult for boxing fans to view him as the #1 pound guy in the sport. For the fans that have seen 2012 Olympic gold medalist Campbell lose to the likes of Yvan Mendy and Jorge Linares, he hasn’t shown the type of talent in the past for him to ever be viewed as a pound-for-pound level fighter.
Although Lomachenko has lost in the past two Orlando Salido, but that was a long time ago against a very good fighter. He was in against an experienced veteran, and he couldn’t handle the body attack from the talented Mexican fighter.
Campbell would have had fits if he fought Salido on the night that he beat Lomachenko. Salido was fighting at a super high level, and not going to be denied no matter who he fought. It’s very likely that Campbell would have been destroyed by the Salido that beat Lomachenko. Salido would have walked through Campbell’s shots, and wore him down with body shots.
Lomachenko will look to win decisively
Lomachenko knows he’s fighting away from home, and he’s not going to want to let the judges have a say. As such, Loma will look to smash Campbell as fast as possible in order to keep him from getting his confidence up. Lomachenko doesn’t want the fight to go the full 12 round distance, because that would be inviting trouble in terms of the judges getting to decide the outcome.