London will be the stage for Luke Campbell as he bids to upset all the odds and dethrone the widely regarded best pound-for-pound boxer on the planet. In a year that has been full of shocks in the ring, this would undoubtedly top the lot. Will the O2 witness one of the finest coming of ages performances from Campbell? Or, will Vasyl Lomachenko once again show the world why he is so highly regarded?
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Campbell and his coaches have had a tough challenge to find a weakness in the armoury of Lomachenko, but finding one and then exploiting that are two completely different propositions. In truth, from the mere eye, there isn’t a weakness in the arsenal of Lomachenko, so it will be interesting to see what Campbell and Shane McGuigan have managed to find during their extensive research. Lomachenko remains one of the most difficult puzzles to figure out in professional sport, and his quality in the ring is second to none. For fight fans that have yet to see the Ukrainian in action; they will be in for a treat.
It will also be a welcome return to London for Lomachenko since he hasn’t fought in Britain since claiming his second gold medal at the 2012 Olympics. Lomachenko return as the WBO, WBA and Ring Title holder and all will be on the line against the home crowd favourite. Campbell, of course, does bring in a record with two defeats, which means whether he has adjusted his style enough to cause serious problems for the Ukrainian remains a doubt. However, Eddie Hearn has consistently told the media that this is the perfect time for this bout since the Brit is just entering the prime of his career.
The two match-up closely in the stats, with the one striking stand out being the reach of Campbell. If he is to have any success against the Ukrainian, then he will need to find the perfect tactic to utilise it. Lomachenko has only fought 14 professional bouts, but make no mistake about his capability. His record in the amateurs was astounding. He fought 397 times and was only beaten once. The honours that the Ukrainian has collected throughout his career makes this a must-watch occasion for boxing fans, as there is nobody else like Lomachenko.
Recent form will be a good indicator for both fighters. Lomachenko has been perfect over his last ten fights, with only one of these going to a decision. Meanwhile, Campbell has lost twice in his last ten outings; including a defeat to Jorge Linares. Linares fought Lomachenko after his win over Campbell, and he was viciously defeated by the Ukrainian. That just highlights the job that Campbell has on his hands. It’s not impossible, but it would take a superhuman effort, and that is highlighted by the fact that Campbell is priced at 6.31 with BetXChange to win the fight.
The only way that Campbell can win this fight is by dictating the pace, which will be incredibly difficult against Lomachenko whose movement is the best in the business. If the Ukrainian settles into the fight in the early rounds, then this bout could be over fairly quickly.