So this past weekend we had a ‘big’ fight over in Russia where Sergey Kovalev battled against the young challenger Anthony Yarde and tonight we have pound for pound star Vasyl Lomachenko going to fellow Olympic champion Luke Campbells back yard.
First, the fight review for Kovalev vs Yarde. Kovalev had look rejuvenated under the watchful eye of his trainer Buddy McGirt. McGirt was a great boxer but he is also proving he is a great trainer. The only fear for Kovalev was that he may look beyond Yarde with a mega fight with Canelo Alvarez on the horizon. For Yarde, this was his chance to show all the doubters the hype around him was real…
The issue was always going to be experience. Kovalev has been in with the best, sharing 20 rounds with Andre Ward, who was for a time the number one boxer in the world. Yarde hadn’t been in with anyone of note, not to mention Kovalev’s extensive amateur background compared to Yarde’s non existent amateur career in comparison. There was also the small matter of travelling to Kovalev’s home town almost taking a decision out of the equation, good luck getting the verdict if the fight is even remotely close.
In the end though, Kovalev showed the timing for this one was all wrong for Anthony Yarde. The Krusher had plenty left in the tank to topple the young upstart. At 36 there would have been cause for concern that the 29yr old in his peak Yarde would be able to overpower Kovalev but the Russian never gave him counterpart the chance to get going. Backed by a stiff jab which he used all night, the fight was really one way traffic. The only blip was round eight where Yarde was instructed to empty his tank and take the fight to Kovalev.
Yarde did get close in round eight, another 10-20 seconds and he could well have forced the stoppage but unfortunately for Yarde he was now exhausted having punched himself out and Kovalev went back to using his jab and it was the jab which caused the knockout. An exhausted Anthony Yarde just didn’t have anything left and was rolled over by a jab in round eleven. In reality the fight could have been waved off at the end of round 10 maybe even round nine, it was clear for all to see Yarde didn’t have anything left.
I’m not going to criticise Yarde’s trainer Tunde Ajayi for his instructions on round eight, after all Yarde almost pulled it off in that round and then everyone would be calling Ajayi a genius. They took a calculated risk and it didn’t pay off. The difference in class and experience between the fighters showed but the powerful Yarde also showed he does have the potential to become world champion, you’ve also got to respect he went to Kovalev’s back yard to fight him, not many would be willing to do that. After just 30 or so professional and amateur fights and he has challenged for a world title, you have to say both Ajayi and Yarde have done extremely well and it’s not over yet.
Vasyl Lomachenko vs Luke Campbell
Look, I’m just not sold on this fight, I think it is going to be an easy night’s work for Lomachenko. That’s taking nothing away from Luke Campbell. Campbell is a very good fighter, he has Olympic pedigree and he gave Jorge Linares – whom I rate very highly, everything he could handle. I just think at this point of his career, Loma is in the zone and he will make quality opponents look mediocre, much like Floyd Mayweather Jr was doing.
Campbell does have some advantages, he is bigger, taller and with a longer reach but unfortunately for him, fighting on the outside to make use of those advantages is exactly where Lomachenko wants the fight. If Campbell sits on the outside it will give Loma the time and space to utilise his nifty footwork and box circles around Campbell. You really need to force the pace against Loma and make it a rough nights work for him by keeping him as close to you as possible. Even then you have to be a great fighter to pull it off and defeat Lomachenko. Either that or just be plain bigger than him….
Stranger things have happened in boxing, that’s why it is such a beautiful sport, Campbell is bigger and who knows whether he can bang hard enough to cause an upset. Loma is one of those fighters I cannot see losing unless he keeps going up in weight and comes across someone too big for him or you wait long enough for Loma to age and hope that slows him down. Good luck to Luke Campbell but I see this being a one sided fight, expect Loma to break down the taller fighter to the body, if he does then I’m calling stoppage, if he doesn’t then I am going with a wide points win.
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