Vasyl Lomachenko defeats Luke Campbell to win WBC lightweight title

Vasiliy Lomachenko v Luke Campbell - WBC, WBA, WBO and Ring Magazine Lightweight World Title Fight

Vasyl Lomachenko defeated Luke Campbell on points to win the WBC lightweight title at London’s O2 Arena on Saturday evening.

The Ukrainian was awarded victory 119-108, 119-108, 118-108 to claim his third belt in addition to the WBA and WBO equivalents.

Campbell held his own until the fifth round when Lomachenko connected with a big left hook, followed by a series of body and head shots.

The Briton was saved by the bell, but the onslaught continued into the sixth.

To his credit, Campbell rallied later that round to return fire and push Lomachenko all the way.

However, the favourite eventually showed his class, flooring the Hull man in the 11th round of what was an enthralling battle.

Campbell heaped praise on Lomachenko afterwards, saying: “He is so good, he adapts to any plans,” Campbell said, per BBC Sport.

“Tonight was not the jackpot but my time will come.”

Vasiliy Lomachenko v Luke Campbell - WBC, WBA, WBO and Ring Magazine Lightweight World Title Fight

Lomachenko - who now holds three of the main four belts in the lightweight division - was similarly admiring of his opponent’s performance.

“He has big amateur experience, he's a smart fighter, a technical fighter and you saw his reach so of course it was hard for me.

“He gave me a good experience and a good fight. I want a unification fight for the four belts.”

The 31-year-old will now need to beat Ghana’s Richard Commey - the IBF holder - to become undisputed champion.

Vasiliy Lomachenko v Luke Campbell - WBC, WBA, WBO and Ring Magazine Lightweight World Title Fight

In the lead-up to the fight, promoter Bob Arum called Lomachenko the greatest technical fighter in boxing since Muhammad Ali.

For that reason, Campbell - a 10-1 underdog before the first bell - deserves as many plaudits as the winner for his immense effort.

Former world champion Carl Frampton: “I never expected that. It was down to Luke Campbell who showed such skill alongside grit and determination. His stock has risen dramatically tonight even though he is the loser.

“I think Lomachenko underplayed how hard that was. I think it's the toughest fight he has had as a professional.”

Steve Bunce echoed Frampton’s sentiment: “We came for sorcery and were given a display of old-fashioned grit, determination and heart and desire,” he said.

“Such bravery, such guts. The points mean nothing. Luke Campbell made the magician look normal.”

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