By Keith Idec
Vasiliy Lomachenko lost to Orlando Salido and has beaten Gary Russell Jr., Nicholas Walters, Guillermo Rigondeaux and Jorge Linares, among others.
Eddie Hearn still feels Luke Campbell will give Lomachenko the most difficult fight of his career next month in London. Hearn expressed that belief to Lomachenko during a press conference Monday in London to officially announce their August 31 bout at O2 Arena.
“You know boxing,” Hearn, Campbell’s promoter, told Lomachenko. “Of course, your father knows boxing. You recognize the test and the challenge of Luke Campbell in this fight. You’ve took part in many tournaments together. I see this as the toughest fight of your career so far – but a big challenge for you, in London, against a British fighter.”
Ukraine’s Lomachenko (13-1, 10 KOs) and England’s Campbell (20-2, 16 KOs) both won gold medals at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Lomachenko won his second Olympic gold medal at lightweight that year, four years after winning gold in the featherweight division at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Campbell, arguably the best amateur in British boxing history, earned gold in the bantamweight division in 2012.
Campbell and Lomachenko are very familiar with one another because they often fought in the same international tournaments as amateurs. Linares is their one common opponent in the professional ranks.
Lomachenko stopped Linares with a perfectly place body shot in the 10th round 14 months ago at Madison Square Garden in New York. In September 2017, Linares (45-5, 28 KOs) topped Campbell by split decision in their 12-round fight for Linares’ WBA lightweight title at The Forum in Inglewood, California.
The 31-year-old Lomachenko acknowledged Hearn’s take on how formidable of a challenger Campbell, also 31, will be next month.
“Maybe, because he is tall,” Lomachenko said. “He has a big reach [advantage] and he is a smart boxer. That’s why. And, of course, he has a high boxing IQ. Because he has a very big amateur experience. Maybe it will be, for me, a big challenge.”
Lomachenko-Campbell will be streamed live by ESPN+ in the United States. It’ll be televised live via pay-per-view by Sky Sports Box Office in the United Kingdom.
They’ll fight for Lomachenko’s WBA and WBO lightweight titles and the vacant WBC 135-pound championship.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.