It is obvious just by clocking his shirt that Vasyl Lomachenko is not short of confidence. Some would say the big-collared paisley number was more TK Maxx than Liberty, but then on his salary it could well be Prada. Either way it was brash and bold, in keeping with the fanfare that has followed the pound-for-pound superstar to London where he meets Hull’s Luke Campbell on Saturday night.
Few give Campbell, a fellow Olympic gold medallist and world class pro, a chance in the three-belt lightweight match-up at the 02, not that he cares overly about that. “I’ve been through a lot,” said Campbell. “Having the experience of the London Olympics, the crowds and the pressure of going out there and getting a medal, and winning.
“My professional career, going over to America to fight [Jorge] Linares for a world title with everything that was going on [father’s death] as well. I’ve learnt from my experiences and I’m here today. Boy do I love a challenge. I’ve always said for years, being in boxing, to be the best, you have to beat the best, and this is certainly one of those challenges.”
To add to the sense of menace that envelopes him, Lomachenko does not like to over elaborate. Asked if he were ready to fight again in London, where he won the second of his Olympic golds, Lomachenko bristled: “Of course I’m ready, that’s why I come to the UK. I can’t wait to come to the ring and show my boxing skill for British fans, and for fans around the world.”
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In a slightly more considered voice he added: “Maybe it will be a harder fight for me, but I can answer after the fight. Luke Campbell is not an easy fighter. He’s a top fighter, he’s a smart fighter, a technical fighter, so it will be very interesting and a technical fight.”
Understandably Campbell is trying not to dwell on the scale of the challenge, preferring to focus on his own game. “You can’t go in there worrying about what someone else is going to do. You’ve got to go in there and concentrate on yourself, that you’re not making any mistakes, and you are the best person you can be on that night.”