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Shane McGuigan: Luke Campbell cannot give Lomachenko respect

Action Images/Reuters/Andrew Couldridge
Trainer Shane McGuigan, in his own words, tells Boxing News what it will take to beat the mighty Vasyl Lomachenko and why Luke Campbell is the man to do it

IT’S got me buzzing about the fight. I enjoy being involved in these big, high profile fights [and] this is the biggest fight I’ve been involved in, with a pound-for-pound elite fighter. I’ve had unified world champions, two weight world champions, guys like George [Groves], [Carl] Frampton and [Josh] Taylor, but I’ve never had anyone box an elite, pound-for-pound star and that’s what we’ve got.

It will be the biggest upset, not even in British boxing, in boxing in general. It’ll be a huge, huge night. That’s what we’re planning for.

One of the things I’ve been really stern on is you cannot give this guy [Lomachenko] respect. I spoke about when Linares dropped him he touched gloves with him. Everybody has this respect for Lomachenko. Obviously his credentials show why they’re giving him respect but he’s an on top fighter and if the shoe was on the other foot, he wouldn’t be touching gloves with Linares. That’s why Luke keeps just saying it is just another fight. If you go in there thinking he’s some god you’re going to bottle it and he’s definitely not going to do that.

Vasyl Lomachenko
Mikey Williams/Top Rank

I believe in Luke Campbell getting the win and our chances in this fight because of the way he adapts to people, figures them out. He’s got such a great mindset when he’s in boxing.

Anthony Crolla was a world champion and Luke hasn’t done that yet so people are thinking: ‘Crolla was a world champion and look at how he [Lomachenko] played with him.’ But Anthony Crolla isn’t the fighter that Luke Campbell is and, no offence to Crolla, I think Campbell would have got him out of there sooner than Lomachenko on that night. He would have knocked him out in one or two rounds. He’s long past his best.

I would say his punching power isn’t one of [Lomachenko’s] strong points. It would have been when he was featherweight but since he’s moved up, he’s still knocking guys out but he’s having to throw more punches to get the stoppage and the guys who are in the slightly higher weight divisions, they don’t box at such a high pace, so he’s used his pace to get his stoppages and overwhelm people. That’s why a lot of people have packed it in the stool because it’s too much for them.

I feel like there are lots of things that Pedraza did that offset him, there are things that Gary Russell Jnr did that worked. Orlando Salido got the victory and had to push him back. We’re prepared to do anything to get the victory and if that means we’ve got to push him back, if we’re losing the technical battle and we’ve got to push him back, we’re going to do that. Obviously he’s not known for that but he can do it. I’ve forced him to do it in this camp.

You’re going to have to prepare for everything and that’s what we’ve done.

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