Lomachenko relishing GB challenge
Olympic and world champion Vasyl Lomachenko is relishing the opportunity to return to London on Friday as the GB Lionhearts brace themselves for a big test in the World Series of Boxing.
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Lomachenko will join another Olympic champion, Oleksandr Usyk, in the Ukraine Otamans line-up for the high-profile showdown at York Hall in Bethnal Green.
Last summer Lomachenko, widely regarded as the best amateur boxer in the world, skated to his second consecutive Olympic gold at lightweight with a points win over South Korea's Han Soon-chul.
On his return to the capital he will again face Great Britain's Sam Maxwell, whom he outpointed in their previous meeting in the reverse fixture in Kiev in January.
Lomachenko said: "It will be great coming back to London - I have great memories associated with the city and it will be fantastic to complete in a place with such a great boxing history."
Usyk, also a reigning Olympic and world champion at heavyweight, will meet fast-rising Londoner Joe Joyce in a bout that will reveal much about Joyce's potential to mix it with the very best.
Joyce is currently unbeaten and top of the individual WSB standings in his weight category, despite having not even graduated to the Great Britain podium squad when he was first called up to the team.
GB general manager Matt Archibald said: "I've been to many tournaments and I think Vasyl Lomachenko is the best boxer I've seen.
"He is one of the few who seems to be able to consistently win gold medals and I can't remember the last time he got beaten.
"Ukraine has one of the strongest boxing programmes in the world and someone like Lomachenko can only be an inspiration for the rest of the team.
"For someone of the calibre of Lomachenko to be coming to fight at York Hall is excellent for everyone concerned. But I know Sam and Joe will get in the ring with every intention of beating them."
Olympic silver medallist Fred Evans and two reigning European champions, Welshman Andrew Selby and Ireland's Joe Ward, will also line up for the Lionhearts.
The hosts go into the tie secure in the knowledge that they will progress to the knockout stages irrespective of the result, where they will face Mexico City Guerreros in a two-legged contest in March.