Vasyl Lomachenko achieved his dream, but keeps on getting better

Vasyl Lomachenko vs Luke Campbell
Action Images/Reuters/Andrew Couldridge
More than a decade ago, Vasyl Lomachenko won exactly what he wanted. Yet he continued to push his limits. John Dennen hears from the Ukrainian enigma

WHAT do you do when you’ve scaled the top of the mountain? What do you do when everything you wanted, the dream, the goal has been achieved? Vasyl Lomachenko is a rare case where he managed to keep on getting better. The greatest moment, as far as ‘Loma’ is concerned, was when he won his first Olympic gold medal in 2008. Nothing else, not his second Olympic gold at a second weight, not becoming a three-weight professional titlist, nor potentially becoming an undisputed lightweight world champion could compare.

“No,” he says quickly. “I don’t think so. Because it’s a special moment. When you’ve won the Olympic Games, when you’ve lived with that dream… When you go to school, every time you think about the gold medal, then you’ve won this Olympic medal. It’s unbelievable, I can’t explain my feelings, but no, not in the future, we can’t compare this moment.

“Of course it was Beijing, it was my first Olympic Games, it was my best moment in my career. If we can compare all my titles during my boxing career, first place it’s the gold medal in Beijing.”

Yet now, 11 years on from Beijing, Lomachenko is a far more accomplished fighter than he was at that Olympics, even more accomplished than he was at London 2012 or when dominating the World Series of Boxing the following year. As a professional, he is brilliant and he is not stopping, not any time soon.

“I don’t want to talk about the finish of my career. Now I am ready, I am motivated and I want to show my skills for people and create my history in my boxing career,” he says.

Vasyl Lomachenko next fight
Lomachenko is a special fighter Chris Farina/Top Rank

His rapid ascent has created that history and a victory over Luke Campbell, at the O2 Arena in London on Saturday (August 31) would unify the WBC world title with the WBO and WBA lightweight belts that Lomachenko already holds. “It’s not easy but I have a goal, I have a dream. I want to unify titles,” he said.

This might be Lomachenko’s last appearance in London. He says, “Maybe because after Luke Campbell, I don’t know about any other names in my weight class from Great Britain.”

Expect, therefore, a show. “Of course I have a strategy but if my strategy doesn’t work I have one minute to create another strategy,” Lomachenko says. “I think only about my result, and of course if during the fight I feel it’s my fight and I find the key, of course I can show a little. In the first place I think about the result, I need the result but after that I can create something.”

He plans to then move on. “I’m healthy, 100 per cent, I’m ready but this is boxing, it’s a brutal and hard sport,” Lomachenko says. “My motivation is four belts, and my motivation is boxing history.”

For our in depth preview of Lomachenko vs Campbell, don’t miss the latest issue of Boxing News magazine

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