|Vasyl Lomachenko v Luke Campbell|
|Date: 31 August Venue: O2 Arena, London|
|Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live and text commentary on BBC Sport website|
Campbell, 31, can win Lomachenko’s WBA and WBO world lightweight titles on Saturday and claim the vacant WBC belt.
But Lomachenko, 31, is a 1-14 favourite and boasts a stellar reputation.
“Lomachenko is not unbeatable and we have the attributes to be able to take away some of his qualities,” McGuigan told 5 Live Boxing.
“I expect one of the best technical fights in the UK ever. Two Olympic gold medallists, two skilled fighters, full of power, speed and I expect one of the biggest upsets in British Boxing history.”
Dreams, the pinnacle and victory
Lomachenko, who took Olympic gold in 2008 and, like Campbell, at London 2012, has never boxed as a professional in the UK going into Saturday’s O2 Arena bout in London.
He has gone on to win world titles at featherweight, super-featherweight and lightweight at record pace but acknowledges that at 5ft 7in, he will face a stiff challenge with a size and reach disadvantage given Campbell’s 5ft 9in frame.
McGuigan added: “When you’re moving up in weights like Lomachenko has, he had so many more attributes as a featherweight than he does now as a lightweight. We have the frame which is a big advantage for us.
“They are both 31, Luke had 160 amateur fights roughly, Lomachenko had 396 and lost one. But his body is seeing a lot of wear and tear. His dad is strategic with training, doing low impact stuff, maybe because there are injuries. It wouldn’t surprise me if Luke were to walk him onto a shot and stop him that it came out there was an injury or something like that.”
Lomachenko’s incredible amateur record has resulted in 13 of his 14 professional bouts being for world titles – with just one loss on his record.
Campbell, by comparison, patiently built to his only world title shot to date – a narrow points defeat by Jorge Linares in 2017 – and has reeled off three wins since.
“This is just the start,” Hull’s Campbell told 5 Live Boxing. “This fight is the start of my career, that’s how I get my head around it. You have to believe in yourself. I work in the gym, have ice baths, eat clean, I do it all, so why would I not believe in myself? I’d be silly not to.
“Some way, I will win this fight, by doing what I do best. I sometimes think ‘I have sold a fight out in the capital, I must be doing something right’. This is what every fighter dreams of – a massive, pinnacle fight, selling out and everyone will be screaming my name, it will be amazing.”
No mystery but Loma’s to lose – analysis
5 Live Boxing’s Mike Costello:
Either of these men can produce a technical masterclass. Campbell goes back a long way with Lomachenko, all the way back to the European Amateur Championships in Liverpool in 2008. That does break down some of the mystique.
I can’t look beyond Lomachenko but I see this as a fascinating technical puzzle to be solved on both sides. Campbell has so much skill, he’s grown as a professional, is digging heavy punches as a lightweight and I can’t wait for this.
5 Live Boxing’s Steve Bunce:
People used to talk about Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson and say people were half beaten before they got in the ring against them. There’s a bit of that with Lomachenko but not if you’ve been in the same tournaments as him around the world like Luke has. That takes away a lot of the mystery as you’ve seen him up close as a human being.
Campbell is the lightweight to beat Lomachenko if the Ukrainian has only a decent night. If Lomachenko has a great night, then there are very few people who stand a chance against him.