As expected, Vasyl Lomachenko captured his third of the four most recognizable alphabelts at lightweight on Saturday, now holding the diadem of the WBC to go with the WBA and WBO straps already on his mantle. The Ukrainian phenom also made his third defense of Ring Magazine’s belt. It was a good, solid twelve round fight. As was the case in his first title attempt against Jorge Linares, Luke Campbell gave his all and had some moments. He was simply in with a better man.
It is boxing’s oldest adage that a good big man always beats a good little one. But tell that to Vasiliy Lomachenko. The brilliant Ukrainian defied a large height and reach disadvantage to add the WBC world lightweight title to his WBA and WBO belts with a gaping points victory over Luke Campbell. Most boxing experts rate Lomachenko as the world’s best pound-for-pound fighter. Watching the master at work it was again hard to argue.
But on a night of jangled nerves and jumbled memories Campbell did himself proud with a brilliant and courageous performance. Two judges made it 119-108, with another giving it 118-109, which seemed a touch harsh on the 31-year-old from Hull. Certainly the crowd thought so. As the fighters embraced at the end 20,000 people at the 02 Arena stood up and chanted: “There’s only one Luke Campbell.”
They knew the mountain Campbell had to climb could not have been much steeper. In Lomachenko he was facing a man who had ended his amateur career with two Olympic gold medals and a 396-1 record – and then claimed three world titles at different weights in a record time as a professional.
“He’s a special fighter,” Campbell said. “I’m disappointed. “Tonight was Lomachenko’s night but my time will come.”