The unsolvable puzzle?
Buster Douglas vs Mike Tyson, Randy Turpin vs Ray Robinson, Luke Campbell vs Vasyl Lomachenko?
February 17, 1988, a king was born, and three days later, like a royal crowning, Vasyl Lomachenko had boxing gloves on for the first time.
The Ukrainian has now laced up those gloves over 400 times in a competitive manner, which has led him to be widely considered as the greatest prizefighter on the planet today. A mere two blemishes on his 400-plus fight career, one of which has been avenged twice, the other avoiding the rematch.
Dubbed ‘The Matrix’ which means cyberspace or virtual reality basically the unknown or the impossible. In boxing terms, Vasyl Lomachenko.
How do you overcome the impossible? The man faced with this task is baby-faced Luke Campbell. One of Britain’s greatest ever amateur boxers, Campbell’s amateur career boasts back-to-back ABA titles, gold at the European championships, silver at the World championships, which got him to the 2012 Olympic Games, where the world watched Luke get crowned taking home the gold once more.
The man from Hull, who too is nicknamed after a film, ‘Coolhand Luke’, may have to adopt roughhouse tactics like the prisoner in the film to overcome the pound-for-pound Lomachenko just like the Ukrainian's previous foe Salido.
If Campbell were to be successful come Saturday night, it wouldn’t be the first time the unbeatable was beaten as Lloyd Honeyghan was victorious over Don Curry 33 years ago. A win for Luke would surely eclipse the great feat by ‘The Ragamuffin Man’. Curry, at the time, was considered the second-best fighter in the world, only second to a ‘Marvelous’ fighter, this led to The Guardian brandishing the Englishman a ‘no-hoper’.
There was hope and there is hope for Luke Campbell too. Naturally, the bigger man Campbell is also a southpaw, he’ll be just the third southpaw Loma has faced, the last was Rigondeaux who quit, and the other was Gary Russell Jr, who went the 12 round distance, so does Vasyl have the key to unlock a bigger southpaw?
‘Coolhand’ boasts a five-and-a-half inch reach over the Ukrainian, and if he can utilise the distance and work behind the jab for long parts of the bout, then there is no reason why Lomachenko cannot be beaten, after all, it has been accomplished before.
On the flip side, Lomachenko being a puzzle means he is also a puzzle solver. Having unravelled hundreds of game plans previously, Vasyl fears no man, he has had world title bouts in all of his fights bar his debut facing nine world champions. Luke Campbell must make adjustments throughout this fight. Lomachenko will figure out your game plan after three rounds, be unpredictable. Go in with not just plan A and B, but take C, D and plan E too.
Should Campbell pull off the victory, it would cement his legacy in British boxing. Should Campbell lose, will he go down as this era’s Herol Graham, the best to never win a world title?
With three of the four world titles on the line, this unification battle will leave just one belt up for grabs, Richard Commey’s title would be the holy grail for this winner. However, the victor of this bout will likely go on to face the winner of Devin Haney vs Zaur Abdullaev both young, hungry and currently undefeated prospects.
One thing is guaranteed come Saturday night. Boxing fans are in for a special show filled with talent all across the card with a magician and an MBE topping the bill.
Three things to watch out for in the fight:
- In his last fight against British opposition, Anthony Crolla back in April, Lomachenko won by KO in the fourth round, to repeat that feat in this fight is 14/1 with GIVEMEBET!
- It’s unlikely that this fight will last too long, and for the fight to go under 8.5 rounds is 10/11 with GIVEMEBET!
- If you think that Luke Campbell can pull off the upset then you can get 7/1 with GIVEMEBET! for a Campbell victory.