By Keith Idec
After witnessing what he saw Saturday night from a ringside seat, Eddie Hearn doesn’t know that there’s anyone in or below Vasiliy Lomachenko’s weight class that could beat him at the moment.
Luke Campbell, whom Hearn’s company promotes, gave the WBA/WBC/WBO lightweight champion some difficulty during their 12-round fight at O2 Arena in London. But every time Campbell obtained some momentum, Lomachenko seemed to regain it quickly.
Ukraine’s Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) battered England’s Campbell (20-3, 16 KOs) to the body, eventually knocked down his left-handed challenger in the 11th round and easily won a unanimous decision (119-108, 119-108, 118-109).
“He hurt Lomachenko a couple times to the body, in my opinion,” Hearn told BoxingScene.com following their fight. “But, then Lomachenko came back and rallied twice as hard as he did previously. So, I don’t know how you beat Lomachenko? Technically, I don’t think Lomachenko’s gonna fight many better fighters at lightweight than Campbell. Could he face some bigger punchers than Campbell? Yeah, but Campbell hits pretty hard. But there are some bigger punchers out there at lightweight.”
Hearn senses that it’ll require the 31-year-old Lomachenko exiting his physical prime before someone becomes the first fighter to beat him since Mexican veteran Orlando Salido roughed up Lomachenko and won a split decision in their 12-rounder 5½ years ago.
Lomachenko since has won world titles in three divisions – featherweight (126 pounds), junior lightweight (130) and lightweight (135). He hopes to become the fully unified lightweight champion before deciding whether he should move back down to 130 pounds.
“It’s just the things that he does,” Hearn explained. “You know, the feet, the distance, the shot selection. I just don’t know who’s gonna beat him. But, one of my hopes tonight was that maybe time will crack Lomachenko. He had 397 amateur fights, 14 pro fights. But tough, proper, elite-level fights. At what point does that shoulder keep playing up? Or the knee goes a little bit? And you need that bit of luck to beat him.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.