A valiant effort in front of a raucous hometown crowd at the O2 Arena in London wasn’t enough for Luke Campbell to pull off the upset of Vasiliy Lomachenko. The Ukrainian’s technical prowess — and a big knockdown in round 11 — was enough to earn the two-time Olympic gold medalist a unanimous decision, and a third belt in the lightweight division.
Campbell (20-3, 16 KO) did not fight like a +1000 underdog, multiple times stinging Lomachenko while also giving him fits in the southpaw vs. southpaw matchup. Ultimately, Lomachenko’s class won out as he blasted with double jabs and a stinging attack to the body. At the conclusion of the fight, Lomachenko held a 136-87 advantage in power punches.
Campbell and Lomachenko were both hurt during a wild seventh round. After the fight, Lomachenko said, “I wasn’t hurt. But I felt his punches.” As the fight wore on, Campbell seemed to hurt Lomachenko less while Lomachenko’s shots were having an increasing effect. This led to Round 11 where Lomachenko landed a flurry of punches, culminating in a right hand that dropped Campbell to the canvas and seemingly erased any doubt over where the scorecards were heading.
The official scorecards read 119-108, 119-108 and 118-109, all for Lomachenko, who added the WBC lightweight belt to his WBA and WBO titles in beating his fellow Olympic gold medalist.
Speaking after the fight, Campbell was asked how good Lomachenko, arguably the world’s best pound-for-pound fighter, truly is.
“Well, he’s just beaten me, so he’s very good,” Campbell said. “He’s a special fighter but we all knew he was a special fighter. This is boxing and we fight to win. I’m disappointed in myself not getting the victory.
“Tonight was Lomachenko’s night, but my time will come.”
Lomachenko was similarly complimentary of Campbell following the fight, admitting it was a difficult fight.
“He has good amateur experience,” Lomachenko said. “He’s a very smart technical fighter. He had reach with longer size and hands. It was very hard for me to adjust to him.”
Lomachenko also expressed a desire to fully unify the lightweight titles, targeting a fight with Richard Commey, the IBF lightweight champ.
“We’re obviously looking to unify the title,” promoter Bob Arum said. “But Loma has told me he can’t wait to come back to the UK and fight here again.
“We’re going to fight the best fighters at featherweight, the best fighters at super featherweight and the best fighters at lightweight. There are a lot of great fighters out there.”
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