Vasyl Lomachenko had to be at his skillful best to defeat a defiant Luke Campbell in what looked to be one of his toughest tests to date. The Ukrainian magician picked up his 3rd belt in his quest to become undisputed, but it was not as easy as he may have hoped.
At times Campbell successfully used his noticeable height and reach advantage and managed to win a few rounds. Against a mortal opponent, Shane McGuigan and Luke Campbell would be disappointed with their performance, especially when considering his London Olympics gold medal triumph. But this is Lomachenko, a fighter who has displayed a technical ability that we have never witnessed within the squared circle. It is astonishing that he is able to dominate high level opponents in a lightweight division that he is clearly too small for. Even so, Campbell will be proud of what he was able to achieve, a statement that puts into context the supreme level that Vasyl Lomachenko finds himself at.
So, what is next for both the fighters? Unusually, we could say that there is a bright future for both, even though there was only one clear winner.
What’s next for Campbell?
Even in defeat, Campbell may be in a good position to fight for a vacant belt in 2020. Bob Arum has made it clear that Lomachenko will most likely go down in weight once he becomes an undisputed champion. This will leave all the belts vacant and will surely leave Campbell next in line for a mandatory slot for one of the governing bodies. Eddie Hearn will most likely arrange a warm up fight either late this year or early next year so Luke can get back to winning ways.
The performance that Campbell achieved will still hold him in high regard within the boxing industry, and he should still be optimistic even though he suffered his third defeat of his career.
What’s next for Lomachenko?
Lomachenko will have his sights set on the fight between Richard Commey and Teofimo Lopez that is due to take place in December. Bob Arum has said that the winner is his ideal next fight, but whether he takes a fight in between remains to be seen.
Loma will find himself out of the ring for quite a while if he doesn’t take on another opponent, as after a December fight neither Lopez nor Commey will be available until at least March/April. A potential fight that could happen is Lomachenko’s WBO mandatory Emmanuel Tagoe, who has been unbeaten since being stopped in his pro debut. This fight could work perfectly in tandem with Commey-Lopez, seeing that the winner will most likely be fighting Loma next. It is not only a great opportunity to promote the fight; it is also a chance for Arum to rid Lomachenko’s mandatory obligations.
Devin Haney is favourite to defeat Zaur Abdullaev in a WBC mandatory title eliminator. This would be an intriguing contest, as Haney has looked stellar in his last couple of fights. Something tells me that Arum will not risk this and will move Lomachenko down a weight or 2, especially because he looks small at the weight (and we all know how long the WBC take to enforce their mandatories…). Lomachenko would still be favourite to win the fight, but it might not be worth taking a risk from a promoters perspective considering that he would of already achieved undisputed status and Haney’s profile isn’t where it needs to be to make it financially lucrative.