Vasyl Lomachenko vs Luke Campbell as it happened
Luke Campbell’s brave bid to topple Vasyl Lomachenko ended in heartache as the Ukrainian retained his WBA and WBO lightweight titles and scooped the vacant WBC crown with a clinical performance.
Campbell was knocked down in the 11th round and, in the end, did well to reach the final bell as he dropped a unanimous decision by two scores of 119-108 and one of 118-109 at London’s O2 Arena.
Campbell performed well but Lomachenko expertly closed out the rounds that were closely contested. Overall Lomachenko underlined just why he is regarded as the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet as he took another step towards becoming the undisputed champion in the 135lb division.
Lomackenko circles Campbell, shifting his head from side to side, moving easily across the canvas. Campbell finds it hard to get his jab through, but places his backhand left over the top to catch Lomachenko’s head. All the while Lomachenko is thinking, judging his opponent.
Campbell gives up the centre of the ring to Lomachenko in this round. But the Englishman seems more relaxed, his jab landing. Lomachenko begins to press in with more aggression. His defence is imperfect though, Campbell scoops his left into the body. But Lomachenko finishes the round with a straight left-right landing.
Lomachenko is judging the distance between them expertly. Campbell swings a left hook that falls short. His right misses. Whereas Lomachenko hits him with the cleanest punch of the round, a left cross that jolts the Briton’s head back.
Lomachenko takes the pressure on Campbell up another notch. He slips jabs smoothly and doubles up his own. He digs a hard left hook into Luke’s body. Campbell is still catching him, but he is making more mistakes.
Campbell is deploying his lead right but Lomachenko begins to hurt him. His left drives Campbell back, he hurts Luke on the ropes only for the bell to ring. Campbell winces as he returns to his corner.
The Briton is having to move away from Lomachenko, his mouth open as he sucks up air. Lomachenko closes in, finishing a combination with cuffing blows to Campbell’s head. The latter has to work to fight his way clear of Lomachenko’s attacks.
Just as Lomachenko is seeming to settle into a rhythm in this round, Campbell snaps in his left. Lomachenko feels the weight of it, and Campbell attacks as the crowds roars him in. But Lomachenko turns him back with hefty right hooks and harries Luke along the ropes before the round is out.
Campbell is by no means overawed, chopping his punches down when Lomachenko leans in close. The Ukrainian has still fired clean, crisp shots through Luke’s guard, but Campbell is riding their power.
Campbell stabilises himself in the ninth round as the pace of the fight begins to slow. He hacks a right hook into Lomachenko’s body. The Ukrainian still springs in behind his left cross.
There are clinches but in and around those, the two are boxing superbly. Lomachenko pops in his lead right but has to be cautious, Campbell can still flick his left through as they both dart in and out, still light on their feet.
Campbell begins the round well, lining up long hard shots from range. But Lomachenko uncorks a whipping left to the head. He plies the body with punches, hurting Campbell. Lomachenko piles in, a final right dropping Campbell. Hurt, Campbell manages to see out the round.
Lomachenko is in the ascendancy, on the front foot and looking to press home his advantage. But Campbell still finds shots, a right hook catching the body. However Lomachenko applies tremendous pressure, drilling shots into Campbell’s head, getting through, only for Campbell to leap forwards desperately into a clinch. Campbell has boxed well at times, but not well enough.
Lomachenko wins a unanimous decision, 119-108 twice and 118-109. He unifies the WBC with the WBO and WBA lightweight world titles he already holds.