Vasiliy Lomachenko Heavily Favored Over Luke Campbell in Lightweight Title Fight

Posted on: August 31, 2019, 02:00h. 

Last updated on: August 30, 2019, 11:59h.

WBA and WBO world lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko is looking to pick up another title on Saturday, when he takes on 2012 Olympic gold medalist Luke Campbell at the O2 Arena in London, England.

Vasiliy Lomachenko Luke Campbell
Vasiliy Lomachenko (center) is a heavy favorite vs. Luke Campbell in their lightweight championship fight on Saturday. (Image: Getty)

Lomachenko is an overwhelming -2000 favorite in the fight at the DraftKings Sportsbook, while Campbell can be backed at +750.

Lomachenko: Goal is to ‘Unificate’ Title Belts

Lomachenko (13-1, 10 KOs) has plenty of Olympic success himself, having won gold medals at both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. That’s part of one of the greatest amateur boxing careers of all time, in which he went an astounding 396-1 before turning pro.

Perhaps that’s why, despite his relatively limited experience at the professional level, Lomachenko is already considered one of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters of his generation. On Saturday, he’ll look to extend that legacy by not only defending his two titles, but also picking up the vacant WBC lightweight title.

“This brings me one step closer to my main goal of having all the belts,” Lomachenko said during a pre-fight press conference. “I want to unificate (sic) all of the titles. That is my next goal in boxing. I have won titles in three weight categories, but I never won all four belts in a division. So, for me, Campbell is a very important name as I write my boxing history.”

Campbell Has Size, Home Crowd in His Corner

Few expect Campbell (20-2, 16 KOs) to be much more than a footnote in Lomachenko’s legacy. But it would be wrong to completely overlook the British fighter, who has had a solid pro career and is ranked as the No. 5 lightweight in the world, according to the BoxRec rating system. He’s bigger than the champ, he’s fighting in front of a home crowd, and most of all, he appears to be confident that he has a real chance heading into Saturday’s fight.

Why would I not believe in myself? I’d be silly not to,” Campbell told 5 Live Boxing. “Some way, I will win this fight, by doing what I do best…This is what every fighter dreams of: a massive, pinnacle fight, selling out, and everyone will be screaming my name, it will be amazing.”

That said, it will take something extremely special for Campbell to beat Lomachenko. Given their extensive amateur backgrounds, both men are extremely skilled technical fighters. But Lomachenko is widely believed to be at a whole different level than even most of the world’s elite boxers, let alone a relatively unknown like Campbell.

That means an upset would probably require Campbell to fight a nearly perfect fight, and for Lomachenko to have an off night. It’s not impossible to imagine that happening, but it would be – as the betting odds suggest – a shocking result.

And yet, Campbell trainer Shane McGuigan says he believes that is exactly what will happen this Saturday.

“I expect one of the best technical fights in the UK ever,” McGuigan told 5 Live Boxing. “Two Olympic gold medalists, two skilled fighters, full of power, speed, and I expect one of the biggest upsets in British boxing history.”