In the eyes of everyone except the three judges Vasiliy Lomachenko was being tested, and he’s belts and hopes of becoming undisputed lightweight champ were in serious danger entering the 11th round. Unaware of were he stood on the official scorecards, Loma stepped up the pace dominated the final six minutes, dropped Luke Campbell and removed all doubt. Lomachenko is clearly the best lightweight in the world, has unified three-fourths of the lightweight hardware and captured our Fighter of the Week award. He now awaits the winner of the Richard Commey vs Teofimo Lopez showdown to see who he will face off with to become the first undisputed lightweight champ since “Sweet Pea” Pernell Whitaker nearly 30-years-ago.
Vasiliy Lomachenko found himself in an unusual situation two rounds into his fight with “Cool Hand” Luke Campbell. He was being outboxed. Campbell was keeping Lomachenko out of range at the end of his long jab and landing with a left hand that stopped Loma in his tracks in the first round. A round he held Loma to just one landed punch for the entire round. If the Ukranian was being frustrated by the Brit in the early going he didn’t show it landing a lightning-quick combination just as the second round ended, which may have stolen him the round but definitely got him into the fight. Lomachenko began to open up more and land right hooks and left hands to the head. “Cool Hand” Luke stayed competitive with his long jab and solid bodywork but Loma was beginning to impose his will and get the best of the Brit through rounds three through five. Perhaps falling behind, Campbell rallied in the sixth and seventh and momentarily hurt Loma, bringing his home crowd to their feet. Going into the final two rounds the fight seemed to still be up for grabs and it was Lomachenko who grabbed the fight by the horns. With the Brit clearly fatiguing with just over a minute left in the 11th, Loma landed a lightning-quick three-piece combination that put Campbell on the canvas. Cool Hand was able to survive the 11th and press on. However, he had no more success and again was in trouble and in survival mode late in the 12th. Lomachenko pulled away in the final two rounds in a fight that many thought was much closer than the judges scored it. Officially, the judges had it 119-107 twice and 118-109. The Ukranian icon was able to add his third lightweight belt in the same city that he won his second gold medal in seven years ago.
It was a tougher fight than many expected for Lomachenko, but Loma did what he needed to do down the stretch to secure his titles. The next step for the “Matrix” is fairly straight forward. Being represented by Top Rank he will simply await the winner of the all Top Rank showdown between Ghanian World champ Richard Commey and 21-year-old sensation Teofimo Lopez for the IBF lightweight belt. This is the logical next step for the two winners, it’s also the practical step with all fighters being with the same promotional company and its most importantly the most lucrative option. So it will likely get made in early 2020. If the Ukranian is able to unify all the belts he has mentioned he’d like to go back down in weight. A move down in weight would open up big fights with either Miguel Berchelt or Tevin Farmer.