By Jake Donovan
Two weeks ahead of his first pro fight in London, Vasiliy Lomachenko is literally ready to fight tomorrow.
The three-division titlist and pound-for-pound entrant was well within the 14-day weight threshold as imposed by the World Boxing Council (WBC), one of the three belts at stake for his Aug. 31 showdown with Luke Campbell at a sold out O2 Arena in London, England.
In fact, at 137.1 pounds, the Ukrainian was actually closer to the official lightweight limit than the 5% overage he and Campbell are permitted two weeks ahead of fight night.
Campbell officially checked in at 141.7 pounds, just within the 142-pound safety check limit, or 5% above the 135-pound contracted fight limit.
Both weights were provided to BoxingScene.com courtesy of Mauricio Sulaiman, president of the WBC.
Lomachenko (13-1, 10KO) shed just over seven pounds since the 144.5-pound reported weight at the 30-day mark, where both participants were required to be within 10% of the contracted limit or 149 pounds. Campbell (20-2, 13KOs) has dropped just shy of six pounds after weighing 147.4 pounds at the same weight check.
The pairing pits a pair of 2012 Olympic Gold medalists, with those games taking place in London. Ukraine’s Lomachenko—a two-time Olympic Gold medal winner and the Val Barker Trophy winner as the most outstanding boxer of the 2008 Beijing Olympics— fought just once in town since then, coming in 2013 during his tour in the World Series of Boxing.
Since then has come an historic pro run, fighting for a major featherweight title in just his second pro fight—a narrow points loss to an overweight Orlando Salido—and winning the strap in his third bout. Lomachenko has since captured titles in two more weight divisions, including his off-the-canvas knockout of Jorge Linares last May to claim a lightweight title.
The win placed Lomachenko in the record books as quickest three-division titlist in boxing history, doing so in just 12 pro fights. The feat has since been matched by the excellent Kosei Tanaka, who did so just four months later in winning a flyweight title which he defends for the second time this weekend in Japan.
Whereas Tanaka has claimed one belt each at strawweight, junior flyweight and flyweight, Lomachenko looks to pick up his fifth major belt as a pro. He became a unified titlist for the first time in his career with a 12-round win over Jose Pedraza last December, defending both titles in a four-round drubbing of England’s Anthony Crolla this past April.
Campbell makes his second attempt at a major title, coming up short in his own bid versus Linares who made his final successful title defense in their Sept. 2017 battle in California. Three wins have followed for Campbell, including a 12-round win over Yvan Mendy last September to become the WBC mandatory challenger.
The victory was doubly satisfying as it avenged the first defeat of his career, dropping a disputed decision in Dec. 2015. While waiting out his mandatory title shot, Campbell has since taken on a stay busy bout, stopping Adrian Yung in five rounds this past March.
The final safety weight check will come Aug. 23, where they must be within 3% of the lightweight max or 139 pounds.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox