BOXING

AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

STAR BOXING PREVIEW: Vasyl Lomachenko v George Kambosos Jr

Two former undisputed champions will clash in Australia this weekend as future hall of famer Vasyl Lomachenko enters away territory to take on local favourite George Kambosos Jr, writes JORDAN NEILD.

The vacant IBF title will be on the line but this fight represents more than just a belt with both men fighting to remain relevant in the 135lb division.

Lomachenko had 397 fights as an amateur and lost just one (he avenged it) and is considered the greatest amateur of all time and he has set similar ridiculous standards as a professional. Inside 20 fights, he has claimed titles in three weight divisions and consistently sought out the toughest challenges in an era when most boxers look for the easiest route to a title.

The Ukrainian superstar could have survived in any era of boxing and he set the tone for his career by challenging for a world title in just his second fight. He lost on that occasion, and has lost twice since, but they have nothing to derail his career or legacy. Fans respect his desire to fight only the best and he has set a precedent for how the sport should look.

If truth be told, Lomachenko is too small to be fighting at 135lbs but his ability means he must search for challenges outside of his natural environment. For what he lacks in natural size, he makes up for in brains and it’s his ability to outthink his opponents that sets him apart.

At 36, Lomachenko (17-3 11KO) is in the final chapters of his career but there is no sign of his powers dwindling. He has every club in the bag and no matter how the fight plays out, he has a way of finding comfort and usually emerging victorious. He is also comfortable on away soil and he will be expecting to add another belt to his haul this weekend.

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George Kambosos Jr (21-2 10KO) doesn’t have the same aura as Lomachenko and he hasn’t achieved half as much in a ring but he is a success story in himself. As a former sparring partner, he has built and incredible career for himself on hard work alone and when he beat Teofimo Lopez in 2021 to become undisputed lightweight champion, he wrote his name in the history books forever.

The Australian lost the belts just one fight later against Devin Haney (and was comprehensively beaten in the contracted rematch) but that’s no slight on his ability. Haney is a world class operator, who also holds a win over Lomachenko and although he was outgunned, Kambosos Jr displayed incredible heart and courage to hear the final bell.

The one negative heading into this weekend for the home favourite is his last performance against Maxi Hughes. He was a huge favourite in that fight and although he eventually came out with a majority decision victory, he looked poor and many believe Hughes done enough to get the win.

Fighting someone like Maxi Hughes is a world away from what Kambosos Jr is going to experience this weekend and if that poor performance has left any niggling mental doubts, the Australian could be in trouble this weekend.

Lomachenko isn’t the biggest puncher in the world but he can overwhelm opponents and we could see that play out this weekend. Kambosos Jr is a tough man and will fight with everything he has on home soil but the sheer accumulation of punches coming his way could lead to this fight being stopped in the second half.

Vasyl Lomachenko to win by KO/TKO is worth a small bet.


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PROFIT/LOSS (MAY 2024): -10.10 POINTS


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