London calling: Vasiliy Lomachenko wins third title with decision over Luke Campbell
SAN DIEGO, Calif., August 31, 2019 – Vasiliy Lomachenko is now four for four in London, adding the third of the four titles he needs to unify the division with his victory over Luke Campbell Saturday.
A tough, determined Campbell (20-3, 16 KOs) had his moments, but Lomachenko’s (14-1, 10 KOs) ability to deliver precisely what he needs to win allowed him to roll up rounds on the cards. By the end of 12 rounds, judges scored the fight a virtual shutout for the Ukrainian by 119-108 on two cards, and 118-109 on the third.
Lomachenko predicted a tough fight. When one of the world’s best pound for pound fighters calls an opponent tough, it’s relative. Campbell did his best, and at times looked capable of winning. Such is the skillset of Vasiliy Lomachenko, he can call on multiple tools in his toolkit to win.
“He’s very good. He’s a special fighter. We all knew he was a special fighter,” said Campbell after the fight. “We’re all trained to win. I’m disappointed. He always adapts.” Thanking his fans, Campbell said, “Tonight was Lomachenko’s night. My time will come.”
Lomachenko said he found Campbell a tricky opponent. “He has good amaeteur experience, he is a smart and technical fighter. But he has reach, longer size. It was very hard to me to adjust to him”
Campbell gives a good effort against one of boxing’s best
Campbell looked good in the opening round, and it seemed possible he would use his greater reach and size to work from the outside, rolling up rounds. Campbell found ways to get to Lomachenko with left hooks to the body and the head. But he couldn’t put enough of them together to do serious damage.
Lomachenko remained patient, urged by his father and trainer Anatoly Lomachenko to remain methodical, and avoid trying to score a one punch knockout. “He said throw a lot of punched, he said to me, ‘you need to do some combination.’ I try, I try, but his hands, it was hard for me,” said Lomachenko.
But it wasn’t impossible. Lomachenko slowly turned up the heat, and in the final minute of the fifth round, he had Campbell in serious trouble.
Lomachenko’s fast twitch muscle fibers were firing in earnest now. Campbell landed several good single shots through the middle rounds, but Lomachenko was the busier and more accurate puncher. He had Campbell hurt in the ninth, and again in the 11th round. This time, solid body punches plus accumulated damage made the difference, and Campbell took a knee. As he rose and beat the count, Campbell took a deep breath. The fight was effectively over. Campbell survived the round, and willed himself through the final round to end the fight on his feet after a tremendous effort he can be proud of years from now,
Bob Arum rates Lomachenko with the all-time greats
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said, “He’s up there with the greats. Muhammad Ali, Marvin Hagler, Sugar Ray Leonard, Floyd Mayweather, Oscar De La Hoya, Manny Pacquiao, He belongs with those fighters.” Arum then vowed after Lomachenko unifies the lightweight division, he would fight the best fighters at featherweight, super featherweight, and at lightweight.
Lomachenko has made it clear his current goal is to unify all of the titles at 135 pounds. He only has one to go, the IBF title being contested by Richard Commey and Teofimo Lopez in a fight on December 14. Only then will he consider other options, which will allow other division champions to breath a sign of relief – for now.
Lomachenko’s greatest enemy is age, and wear and tear. He is only 31 years old, but it’s easy to forget his 400 amateur fights, and the recent injuries to shoulder and knuckle. Lomachenko has recovered, but he may be more vulnerable to wear and tear as he moves through his thirties. As with other great fighters, Father Time might be his toughest opponent. Enjoy watching Lomachenko while you can.
Povetkin pounds Fury for decision win
In a plodding, lackluster fight, heavyweights Hughie Fury of England (23-3, 13 KOs) and Alexander Povetkin of Russia (35-2, 24 KOs) slogged through 12 long rounds. All three judges scored it 117-111 in favor of the veteran Povetkin, who was the aggressor and who managed to hurt Fury several times through the middle of the fight. Fury didn’t seem motivated to do what was necessary against Povetkin, who found enough in the tank just two days shy of turning 40 years old to keep his career alive.
Young British heavyweight Joe Joyce immediately called out Povetkin on social media. We don’t hate that matchup at all. Fury has some serious thinking to do about his place in boxing after a poor performance.
Joseph Buatsi continues rise in the light heavyeweight ranks
Light heavyweight prospect Joseph Buatsi (12-0, 10 KOs) took his time with Ryan Ford of Edmonton, Alberta (16-5, 11 KOs), patiently working through the Canadian challenger to a seventh round knockout win. Ford, who took the fight on just three weeks notice, gave a good effort, but he left himself open for upper cuts by leaning in, and his high guard made him vulnerable to body shots. Buatsi eventually landed both, and in the seventh he put together a series of hooks and body shots, and it was a left to the body that ended the fight.
“We worked hard in the gym, it’s been a long camp. Weeks and weeks,” said Buatsi. “I’m grateful. I saw he was available upstairs, then back downstairs, mix it up.”
Buatsi said he learned something watching Anthony Yarde’s loss last week to Sergey Kovalev. “The side point it gave me is to stay in your lane, do your thing.” Buatsi asked about his plans to take on the top names in his extremely competitive division. The young prospect is playing things smart, indicating he plans to take his time. “The king is coming, I’m coming.”
Edwards and Martinez set up for grudge rematch with no-contest result
After a controversial outcome and reverals, WBC flyweight champion Charlie Edwards of Surrey (15-1, 6 KOs) and Julio Cesar Martinez of Mexico (14-1, 11 KOs) will get to do it all again after their bout was ruled a no contest.
Martinez was in change from the opening bell. In the third round, Edwards took a knee after Martinez blasted him with power punches. Martinez then landed a final body shot as Edwards was on the ground. The English champion could not recover and was counted out for what appeared to be a knockout win for the underdog Martinez. As the Mexico City based fighter and trainer Eddy Reynoso celebrated winning the WBC title, promoter Eddie Hearn and WBC commissioner Mauricio Sulaiman quickly conferred. Although the British Boxing Board of Control does not use instant replay, the WBC does. Based on the replay evidence, the victory was overturned, and an immediate rematch ordered.
“The WBC has an instant replay rule,” explained Sulieman. “I have had an agreement with BBBC that our rule would stand in controversy. This fight has been ruled a no contest and a direcrt rematch will be ordered.
“Can you imagine the feeling of both fighters? The kid thinks he is the champion. The other thinks he was hit when he was down. I truly believe in instant replay,” added Sulieman. “You do it by the evidence. 18,000 people and milion of people are watching the replay. The kid was hit when he was down. We will deal with the controversy. It was an accidental foul, not on purpose. We have ordered an immediate rematch.”
It was the right decision, however disappointing. Edwards said, “He hurt me, I won’t deny that. The rules are the rules I suppose. He did hurt me and that’ why I took a knee. But then he hit me and I was completely down. Watching it back, I seen how dirty it was. I thank the WBC for sticking by the rules.”
Martinez said the referee had not yet stepped in when he delivered the body punch to Edwards. “He was down, he was already knocked down, I feel I knocked him out. He went straight down, the referee counted him out.
“Here’s really what ended up happening, I hurt him and he didn’t go straight down. I thought I hit him, before the referee stepped between us. He sensed how hard I punch.”
Martinez said he’s eager for the rematch, “but I am the champion and I want to be the A-side.” Edwards also said in the ring he’d give Martinez a rematch. It can’t happen soon enough for fight fans eager to see both men again in a serious grudge match.
Savannah Marshall gets fifth round stoppage win
Super middleweight Savannah Marshall of the UK (7-0, 5 KOs) had no trouble with Daniele Bastieri of Brazil (2-1, 2 KOs), ending the scheduled eight round bout by knockout in the fifth round. Marshall continues to build on a strong amateur career by delivering increasingly impressive performances as a pro.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal is an award-winning boxing journalism covering the Sweet Science for Communities Digital News based in San Diego, California. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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