By Doug Berman: Luke Campbell says fans shouldn’t be “shocked” when he beats Vasiliy Lomachenko next Saturday night on August 31 on Sky Box Office at the O2 Arena in London, UK. Campbell (20-2, 16 KOs) has trained hard, and he knows what he needs to do to beat WBA/WBO lightweight champion Lomachenko (13-1, 10 KOs).
Lomachenko-Campbell will be fighting for the vacant World Boxing Council 135-lb title that was recently given up by Mikey Garcia. The title is important, because the winner of the fight will hold three of the our belts at lightweight. There’s a lot to gain for Campbell, 31, and Lomachenko to unify the 135 pound division. It would create news, and it would take their respective careers to the next level.
Luke’s two losses as a pro were controversial
Campbell is a 2012 Olympic gold medalist, and he’s looked superb since turning pro in 2013. Although Campbell has lost twice as a pro, they were close controversial defeats to Jorge Linares and Yvan Mendy. They were fights that could have gone the other way. What hurt Campbell’s chances of beating those two fighters were the flash knockdowns he suffered early in the contests. Campbell was hit with shots that caught him off balance, and he was sent to the canvas. In the Linares fight, Campbell lost 12 round split decision in the U.S. A lot of Boxing fans saw Campbell winning the fight, but the judges liked Linares’ combination punching.
It’ll be a huge upset for everybody when I beat Lomachenko says Campbell
“It’ll be a massive shock for everybody else, me going in there and getting the win against Lomachenko,” said Campbell to IFL TV. “It would be a huge upset for everybody else, but I won’t be so shocked, because we train to win. I never get full of myself, and get big-headed or anything like that. I go in the gym everyday, work hard, and dedicate myself day in day out. You have to be confident in your own ability otherWISe you’re not going to go anywhere. [I’ll use] Any means possible to get the win,” said Campbell.
It will be a huge upset if Campbell beats Lomachenko, because the two-time Olympic gold medalist is seen as #1 in Boxing by fans. Lomachenko is rated as the top pound-for-pound fighter in the sport, and he’s been near invincible since 2013. His only loss as a pro was to ring veteran Orlando Salido, and that was in his second pro fight. Moreover, Salido had a massive weight advantage over Lomachenko, and he used it to out-slug him. In reality, Lomachenko wasn’t prepared to face a body puncher like Salido that early in his career. It wasn’t the weight advantage that led to Salido winning the fight, as many Boxing fans believe. He beat Lomachenko with his body attack. Campbell has obviously studied the Lomachenko-Salido fight in depth, and he’ll be looking to attack Lomachenko’s body next Saturday.
Campbell admits he can’t make mistakes against Lomachenko
“I know what I’m capable of doing, and I’m confident in myself,” said Campbell in talking about Lomachenko fight. “It’s about me being the best I can be, and not making mistakes. If I go in their making mistakes, he will 100 percent capitalize on them and expose it. So, I’ve got to be the best I can be, and not make any mistakes and fight my fight.
Boxing is a reaction game. You might go in there with a game plan, and you might not be able to get the game plan off. I have to hit him everywhere,” said Campbell in giving the key to victory against Lomachenko. “It’s certainly going to be a tough fight. He’s ranked there for a reason. What he did in the [Anthony] Crolla fight is completely irrelevant, because we’re two different fighting styles,” said Campbell.
It’s important for Campbell to be near perfect against the 31-year-old Lomachenko, as he’ll get taken apart if he shows flaws in his game. Lomachenko likes to get in close, and throw dozens of rapid fire shots to demoralize his opponents. This generally leads Loma’s opposition to quit mentally, and give up the ship. The 5’9″ Campbell has got to keep the shorter 5’7″ Lomachenko on the outside where he’s less of a problem. Lomachenko is capable of landing longer punches, but his lack of reach will limit what he can do against Campbell from the outside.
Join us in London next week for the build-up to #LomaCampbell 👊
All welcome to the Public Workout at York Hall on Weds at 5pm and to the Weigh-In at Spitalfields Market on Fri at 1pm. pic.twitter.com/5oYYapM3yt
Campbell states the venue could be advantage for him against Lomachenko
“Who knows, it could be an advantage,” said Campbell about the Lomachenko fight taking place in London. “It could be an advantage for me. It is just another fight. That’s the reality of it. Yeah, the guy in front of me is very good, but it is just another fight. I believe so,” said Campbell when asked if he’s the biggest test of Lomachenko’s career.
The hometown crowd will be less of a factor than Campbell realizes, since Lomchenko has traveled around the world and can win anywhere. Lomachenko is mentally strong, and doesn’t require cheering from Boxing fans for him to do well inside the ring. The London fans may help Campbell though fight with more confidence, and that could be a big plus for him. Campbell didn’t look comfortable with the cheering that Linares got in their fight in Inglewood, California. Some of Campbell’s fans made the long journey to see that fight, but not enough obviously. Linares had the fan support in that contest, and it seemed to effect Campbell. Next Saturday, Campbell will have a fans in his pocket, and this could help him raise his game.
Lomachenko blames problems on moving out of his normal weight class
“Of course I can’t fight with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez or Terence Crawford, because these guys are bigger than me, much bigger,” Lomachenko said to Loma: Pound-4-Pound, available On Demand now. “When I fought in my natural weight classes it was easy for me. I didn’t have a problem. When I stepped up to the next weight class, it isn’t my natural weight. Guys are bigger than me, they have a bigger reach, they are [taller]. It is harder,” said Lomachenko
Lomachenko’s excuses about him fighting out of his normal weight class [featherweight] is a poor one, because he’s as big as Manny Pacquiao. The Filipino star started out his career at 105, and he’s captured world titles all the way up to 154. If Pacquiao had stayed at his natural weight class, he might have never lost, but’s he’s moved up to become a star. Lomachenko is as big as Pacquiao, but he’s not shown the same ambition and courage to advance his career. As such, Loma hasn’t become a star, and probably won’t get to that level. If Lomachenko were to move up to 147, and test himself against the lions up there, he could become a big name.