Lomachenko claims landslide WBC triumph over Campbell

Now WBC, WBA and WBO lightweight champion, Vasyl Lomachenko worked through his beguiling repertoire to outpoint Luke Campbell.

Published : Sep 01, 2019 11:32 IST , London

Vasyl Lomachenko's stated aim is to complete the collection of the four major championship belts at lightweight.
Vasyl Lomachenko's stated aim is to complete the collection of the four major championship belts at lightweight.

Vasyl Lomachenko's stated aim is to complete the collection of the four major championship belts at lightweight.

The brilliant Vasyl Lomachenko added the WBC lightweight crown to his WBO and WBA titles with a unanimous points win over Luke Campbell in London.

Campbell made his height and reach advantages tell intelligently during the opening two rounds at an enraptured O2 Arena before his fellow Olympic gold medallist masterfully took control.

The Ukrainian superstar was unable to finish the job inside the distance despite flooring the Hull man in the penultimate round.

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Campbell's third professional defeat was a formality at that stage – one confirmed by margins of 119-108 (twice) and 118-109 – although he should take pride in his application throughout what is beginning to look like boxing's mission impossible.

Lomachenko's stated aim is to complete the collection of the four major championship belts at lightweight, with Ghana's Richard Commey expected to defend his IBF crown against the undefeated Teofimo Lopez before the end of the year.

A prospective 2020 superfight against explosive Floyd Mayweather Jr protege Gervonta Davis is also one to whet the appetite, but it remains hard to see anyone at 135lbs or below living with Lomachenko in this mood.

Campbell earned a nod of approval from the champion when an overhand left found a home during an opening round the home fighter did enough to win.

Some solid body shots in two led the crowd to chant the Hull man's name, although the Lomachenko backers found their voice in the next session when a stinging straight right drew a rueful smile from Campbell.

Suddenly the punches the challenger had been scoring with started to find forearms, elbows and fresh air in the fourth – easily Lomachenko's most convincing round in the first third of the contest, where there were ominous signs of the master solving his latest puzzle.

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The visitor's quicksilver footwork dazzled in the fifth, setting up raids to the body and a crunching left hook upstairs. Another brutal blow to the solar plexus sent a grimacing Campbell towards the futile sanctuary of the ropes and the bell saved him.

A surreal hush gripped the arena in six as Lomachenko crisply picked out his opponent's temples with clinical precision, only for Campbell's gutsy response to earn roars.

From that studious appreciation, the masses were on their feet when Campbell suckered Lomachenko on to a left uppercut.

Lomachenko sagged briefly under the impact but a solid right hook began a spiteful response - the seventh bell another Campbell was grateful to hear.

A pattern was set, with a slicing right to the body in the ninth the latest example of increasingly fleeting success and unwavering defiance from the underdog.

Campbell deserved to hear a final bell that must have felt hours away when Lomachenko's unrelenting body assault persuaded the challenger to visit the canvas.

He was cheered to the conclusion as yet more savagery poured forth, earning every one of his 36 minutes in painful proximity to greatness.

WBC done, now sight set on IBF

But the three-weight world champion, who was driven on by his animated father and trainer Anatoly throughout, feels there is plenty of room for improvement.

"I want to see my fight on the TV and after I will understand what happened in this fight," Lomachenko told a post-fight news conference as Campbell underwent precautionary checks in hospital.

"I think if we took a score out of 10, it would be maybe seven."

Campbell impressed during the opening two rounds, intelligently using his height and reach advantages.

Although he would fall short, as he did in his first world-title bid versus Jorge Linares two years ago, the Hull southpaw ensured pre-fight respect from his fellow Olympic gold medallist was in no way misplaced.

"I said before it wouldn't be easy for me," Lomachenko added.

"He's very smart, he's technical, he has reach – that's his main weapon.

"I was too close [to the knockout], but it doesn't matter. What matters is just to win.

"He has very big power and a good couple of shots he got me good, yeah. I wasn't hurt. He hit me but I wasn't hurt."

Lomachenko now wants to complete the set of major titles at lightweight, although he acknowledges IBF champion Richard Commey's expected showing with Teofimo Lopez means he will probably have to bide his time.

"Of course, I want the last title, IBF. But I don't think it will be this year in the next fight," the 31-year-old said.

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