By Charles Brun: Vasiliy Lomachenko is looking past his fight this Saturday against Luke Campbell towards and arguably more interesting match-up against unbeaten 130-lb champion Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis (22-0, 21 KOs). Lomachenko says he wants to face Davis in the future, because he sees that as an appealing fight.
Gervonta Davis’ management has no desire to let him fight Lomachenko
A fight between Davis, 24, and Lomachenko could happen one day, but likely not until the two-time Olympic gold medalist gets older and has slipped a notch. That’s the belief that most fans have. Mayweather Promotions aren’t going to let Gervonta fight Lomachenko while he’s still in his prime. That’s the sad thing for Boxing fans. They’re not going to get a chance to see Lomachenko fight Tank Davis until he’s old, and nearing retirement. Lomachenko already made it clear this week that he’ll be retiring before he turns 40-years-old. He’s not going to stick around like Manny Pacquiao fighting beyond his prime.
In that respect, it mirrors what Golden Boy Promotions did in having their #1 bread winner Saul Canelo Alvarez wait until Gennady Golovkin had turned 35-years-old, and was showing signs of deteriorating skills before they let him fight him. In the rematch, Golden Boy had Golovkin wait another year before letting Canelo fight him again. Lomachenko might need to wait 3 to 5 years before he gets a fight with Davis.
The WBC recognizes the professionalism of both fighters, @VasylLomachenko @luke11campbell and their respective teams, as they have fulfilled all the medical requirements, exams and safety protocols needed.@matchroomboxing
— Mauricio Sulaiman (@wbcmoro) August 27, 2019
Lomachenko wants Gervonta Davis now
“Maybe in the future, but not now,” said Lomachenko when asked if he’d be willing to move to 140. “It’s a very interesting fight. I want this fight,” said Lomachenko about his desire to face Gervonta Davis. “I’m enjoying it. I’m ready 100 percent, we train hard, and I love Boxing and hard preparation,” said Lomachenko to Sky Sports News.
For UK Boxing fans, they probably won’t be as interested in watching Lomachenko fight Gervonta compared to this Saturday’s fight involving Campbell. The U.S fans have an opposite view. They want to see Lomachenko and Gervonta battle it out, as it would be perceived as a toss-up where either guy could win. In contrast, this weekend’s fight between Lomachenko and Campbell (20-2, 16 KOs) is viewed largely as a mismatch.
Even Campbell’s own British Boxing fans aren’t giving him much of a chance of beating Lomachenko. That’s not an intentional knock on Campbell out of meanness. He’s not considered to be at the same level as Lomachenko right now in terms of skills. That could change in the future as Loma ages, but for now, he’s the better fighter than Campbell on paper.
Lomachenko won’t fight until he’s 40
“No, I don’t want that, it’s too much,” said Lomachenko to AFP in talking about not fighting until he’s 40 like Manny Pacquiao. I have trained since I am four years old. I was born a boxer. Always, something has to end. I want to hunt, I want to fish every day. Now I can’t do this as I train every day. My motivation, my goal, is four titles (at lightweight). After, I don’t know what happens. Now it’s two more belts.”
Lomachenko could get more guys wanting to fight him if he stays around until after his prime, but he’ll be struggling by that point in his career. You can’t fault Loma for not wanting to hang around until he’s ready for a rocker before retiring, because he’ll be chewed up by the younger lions. We saw Boxing great Roy Jones Jr. and Muhammad Ali stay around past their primes, and suffer defeats that they never would have if they were young.
Lomachenko isn’t going to allow that fate to happen to him, which is why it’s important that Gervonta fight him now. Mayweather Promotions probably won’t allow that to happen though. They’re guarding Davis and putting him in with the right fights to ensure that he doesn’t lose. When Mayweather Promotions has stepped Davis up, they’ve done it against aging fighters that are on their last legs.
It would be a great move for Davis to fight Lomachenko right now, because if he were to beat him, he would get full credit. Gervonta’s career would take off like a rocket, and he would likely become a pay-per-view star overnight. But with the conservative match-making that Mayweather Promotions is doing for Davis, he’s not going to fight anyone good where he’s not considered the favorite going in.
Campbell expects to have the crowd on his side
“I think the home crowd will be cheering for the home boy definitely,” said Campbell to IFL TV. “Yeah, people are excited at seeing Lomachenko, but they may not necessarily want to see him to win. I do believe I can win this fight, whether it be on points or by stoppage. Whatever means necessary, I believe I can win this fight. That’s what I’ve trained for my whole life to be on that stage [pound-for-pound list]. To compete with the best at the elite level, and put great fights on for everyone. So that’s the way I’ve wanted it to be in Boxing, and this is part of it.
I could easily be sitting now 22-0 undefeated with a world title around my waist easily, because I thought I beat Linares. I thought I won 7 rounds out of 12. And the first defeat to [Yvan] Mendy, I thought it could have gone either way. On the night, I should have never gotten in the ring. So they both easily could have gone in my favor, and I could be sitting 22-0 with a world title around my waist. Would people be saying a different story? Maybe, maybe not,” said Campbell about whether Boxing fans would be giving him a shot at beating Lomachenko if he were undefeated.
It’s pretty obvious that the British crowd will be on Campbell’s side this Saturday, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to win. There’s a good chance that Lomachenko will take the crowd out of it almost immediately by working Campbell over from round 1.
Campbell admits that he’s nervous
“You’re always going to be the underdog going in with Lomachenko,” said Campbell. “He’s ranked pound-for-pound #1, and it’s not for nothing. So, I’m well aware that I’ve got a hell of a hard fight coming up on Saturday night, but I’m well aware that I’m ready for this. Any fighter that tells you that they’re going in the ring without nerves is lying. It’s a fact. And if they’re not nervous, then they’ll probably get chinned or beat. You need your nerves and adrenaline to keep sharp. It’s controlling it. Right now I’m relaxed. I’m not fighting tonight. I’m not fighting tomorrow, so I’m relaxed right now. Obviously when the time comes closer, I’ll have the nerves, as I always do for every fight, and we’ll for from there,” said Campbell.
It’s good that Campbell is nervous, because he’ll be more prepared for what Lomachenko brings to the ring on Saturday night. Lomachenko will be nervous too, because he’ll be fighting in front of a large crowd of fans that he’s trying to impress.