BOXING fans may have to savour Vasyl Lomachenko (13-1, 10 KOs) over the next year or two as the 31-year-old has admitted that he is coming towards the end of a long amateur and professional career, and he also stated that he has other areas of interest in his life.
Speaking to Mike Costello for Radio 5, the dazzling Ukrainian said that he is still driven by a thirst for titles, and hopes to add the vacant WBC lightweight one to his WBA Super world and WBO world belts when he meets Luke Campbell (20-2, 16 early) at the O2 on Saturday yet he has not given much thought to what happens immediately after that. “Always, something has to end,” he said.
“I want to hunt, I want to fish every day. Now I can’t do this as I train every day. My motivation, my goal, is four titles [Richard Commey holds the IBF title]. After, I don’t know what happens. Now it’s two more belts.”
The three-weight world champion had around 390 amateur fights, he may have only had 14 fights as a pro, but he has fought at a high level since his debut against Jose Ramirez in October 2013 and, as he stated himself, nothing lasts forever. The words will be hard for his fans to hear especially as they may fill Campbell with confidence and the sense that this could be his time.
Joseph Parker’s outspoken manager David Higgins has confirmed that Parker (26-2, 20 KO) has been handed a firm offer to fight Dereck Chisora (31-9, 22 KOs) at London’s O2 arena in October. “It’s pretty close to being done,” he revealed to Sky Sports.
He added: “It’s been talked about for months and we finally received an offer yesterday which we will accept. The email we received is for October in London and we will take it.”
However, the New Zealander admitted that he is not happy with the idea that his man is the B-side despite being the visiting fighter against the popular Chisora, saying: “We haven’t been told if we’re the main event or not, only that Parker is the B-side despite being part of one of the biggest PPV’s in UK history and then having another huge fight against Dillian Whyte.”
“It has been hard to get a deal done, Haye and Hearn talked a good game but they’ve simply left us waiting. We wanted the fight in April but we ran out of time, Joe wouldn’t have been able to have a proper training camp. We have tried to be polite behind the scenes but it’s been difficult.
“I do like Haye and Hearn, but they’re very wealthy British toffs, communication has been very poor on their part. For the AJ-Parker fight, Hearn was returning my calls straight away, but for this, I’ve been ignored for the most part.”
Higgins also said that they expect Hearn, Haye and all associated with Chisora to “behave like dogs”, arguing that Parker was treated badly by British fight figures and officials in previous visits to these shores.
“We’ve been in the UK on three occasions now, we had a big disagreement over the referee when fighting Hughie Fury, then against Anthony Joshua, the ref was on their team, he would never let Joe get up close and protected ‘AJ’ throughout,” he said. “Last year against Whyte, Joe received a concussive head butt which was somehow called a knockdown. If that’s called correctly, the fight ends in a draw.”
Hearn has revealed that he very nearly brought together a Joshua-Fury fight but it was Hughie Fury (23-2, 13 stoppages), not Tyson, who almost ended up in the ring with “AJ”. “Actually, there was a time around the Anthony Joshua versus Dillian Whyte fight that Hughie was the mandatory for the British title,” Hearn told Sky.
“I never believed that Peter Fury and [promoter] Mick Hennessey wanted the Joshua fight. But now I know them, they did want the fight because I’ve seen them fight Joseph Parker aged 22, and Kubrat Pulev aged 23.
“Now aged 24 he’s fighting Povetkin, so the guy is fearless. There was a time when the Hughie versus Joshua fight was very close — I just didn’t believe them! Now knowing them, I know they wanted it.”
Hearn was speaking ahead of Fury’s showdown with Alexander Povetkin on the undercard of Lomachenko-Campbell; Peter Fury, Hughie’s trainer and father, admitted that they would have been up for a shot at Joshua if had come at the right time.
“Eddie wanted it, there and then, but we had already given our word to fight somebody else and Hughie was young, and I saw that Hughie needed another fight,” he said. “I said, ‘He’s got this fight in the next couple of months, you are scheduled for AJ to have a fight, let’s fight for the next one,’ but it never transpired, so it never happened. Well, I think as history tells you now, it would have been taken. I’d said we’d take it, and we would have taken it, and if it comes up in the future, or any fight comes up in the future.”
There is talk of Sergey Kovalev (34-3-1, 29 KOs) meeting Saul Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 early) later this year, with Team Alvarez reportedly demanding a November date, which would give the WBO light-heavyweight titlist very little time off after Saturday night’s dominant 11th-round KO win over Anthony Yarde (18-1, 17 KOs).
Alvarez has a history of being tough to negotiate with, but Kovalev should dig his heels in for a longer recovery and full preparation time as well as insisting the fight takes place at 175lbs in order to give himself every possible advantage. His trainer Buddy McGirt has told BoxingScene that whatever happens the Russian would be more than a match for Canelo.
“Sergey is ready for Canelo without a doubt,” he said. “He showed that he still belongs. People wrote him off saying ‘he’s old, he’s this, he’s that,’ and he proved them wrong. He still belongs at the top. He still has that fire burning inside to be the best. I don’t care who Sergey fights next, but if Canelo wants to step up to the big boys, then Sergey’s going to have to beat him.”