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Vasiliy Lomachenko wants to be undisputed champ at 135

Image: Vasiliy Lomachenko wants to be undisputed champ at 135

By Charles Brun: Vasily Lomachenko won the vacant WBC lightweight title in beating Luke Campbell, and now he’s looking to become the undisputed champion at 135. Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) needs one more belt to become a 4-belt champ at lightweight. Campbell (20-3, 16 KOs) tried his best to foil the 31-year-old Lomachenko’s grand vision, but he came up short on the scorecards.

The judges saw Lomachenko as the better fighter in scoring it 119-108, 119-108, and 118-109. Campbell was knocked down in the 11th round when he got caught with a right hand while backing straight up. That’s something fighters are told not to do, but Campbell wasn’t thinking, and he got dropped.

Lomachenko: I want the IBF belt next

“Of course I want [IBF title] next,” Lomachenko said after beating Campbell.

Lomachenko wants to follow in the footsteps of his good friend Oleksandr Usyk, who unified the cruiserweight division. To unify the lightweight division, Lomachenko will need to wait until the smoke clears from the Richard Commey vs. Teofimo Lopez fight. They still don’t have a scheduled date for their fight. Lomachenko could end up waiting for the remainder of 2019 before he can fight the winner next year.

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Is it worth it for Lomachenko to unify the lightweight division?

It might be a waste of time for Lomachenko to unify the lightweight division, because it won’t be appreciated by casual boxing fans. There is absolutely no demand by casual fans in seeing Lomachenko fight Commey or Teofimo. Those guys aren’t popular. Lomachenko would help his career ignoring collecting titles against paper champions, and focus on fighting the guys fans care about. That means Lomachenko should fight Gervonta Davis, Manny Pacquiao, Oscar Valdez, and Tevin Farmer. Fighting the winner of the World Boxing Super Series 140-lb title would be ideal for Lomachenko to increase his popularity.

Arum: Lomachenko can’t wait to return to UK

“We’re looking to win the fourth belt but Loma has told me he can’t wait to come back to the UK to fight here again,” said Lomachenko’s promoter Bob Arum. “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. We’re going to fight the best fighters at featherweight, the best fighters at super-featherweight and the best fighters at lightweight.”

If Lomachenko is going to return to the UK, then it’ll need to be against someone good, because he’s not going to interest the U.S fans. Tonight’s fight for Lomachenko against Campbell didn’t create a lot of buzz in the United States. The interest the fight generated in the U.S is from the hardcore boxing fans, but those aren’t the ones that Top Rank wants to lasso in to make Loma a star. They’ve already got them. This fight was strictly a UK thing to appeal to the fans in that part of the world.

If Arum is trying to turn Lomachenko into a star in Great Britain, then he should forget about fighting the Commey-Lopez winner. Lomachenko needs to stay over there, and look to fight their top guys. Unfortunately, there’s no one for Lomachenko to fight that would interest the UK fans. He already beat the best British lightweight in Campbell. Unless Lomachenko wants to fight Josh Taylor at 140, Carl Frampton or Josh Warrington at 126, he’s not going to have anyone to fight. Warrington and Frampton aren’t even the best fighters at featherweight.

There’s no gain for Lomachenko in fighting either of them. Further, Frampton is over the hill, and has nothing left at this point. Warrington is arguably a paper champion, who’s best win was against a shot Frampton. Josh Taylor will probably lose in the final of the WBSS tourney against Regis Prograis. It won’t be a good look for Lomachenko to fight Taylor after he loses. If Lomachenko is going to return to the UK for future fights, it’ll be ‘business type’ of fights.


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