Vasiliy Lomachenko doesn’t need to do this, continuing this pursuit to recapture another belt as a lightweight champion.

He’s already won two Olympic gold medals, already become a world champion in his third pro fight, already stopped four consecutive foes on their stools – including rival double gold-medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux – and already won world titles in three divisions.

Now 36, Ukraine’s Lomachenko (17-3, 11 KOs) travels a world away Saturday on ESPN seeking the vacant IBF lightweight belt against Australia’s former unified lightweight champion George Kambosos (21-2, 10 KOs).

“A few things matter for longevity: not getting hit and your lifestyle outside the ring, not partying,” ProBox TV’s “Deep Waters” analyst Chris Algieri said on Thursday’s episode. “And dedication and desire. Lomachenko has that.

“Lomachenko’s not fighting for money. He’s fighting to be a champion again. Yeah, he’s got great defense. Yeah, he stays in shape. But he also has that fire in his belly. That’s a guy who’s going to last.”

Considering Lomachenko has only been defeated narrowly in his career – by an overweight Orlando Salido when Lomachenko fought for a world title in his second pro bout and by Teofimo Lopez and Devin Haney on the scorecards in this most unfavorable of the three weight classes he’s fought in, this Saturday bout is packed with intrigue.

Yes, Kambosos has the home-arena advantage at RAC Arena in Perth and he’s younger, but Lomachenko carries that intangible of so badly wanting that strap.

How badly? Go back and look at the video of his post-fight tears following the loss to Devin Haney. Who else in the game has responded like that?

And while Lomachenko can certainly follow the direction suggested by his Top Rank promotional company with subsequent bouts against the likes of their current and expected lightweight champions, respectively, in Shakur Stevenson and Emanuel Navarrete, there’s also intriguing contests that exist against the other 135-pound champion, Gervonta “Tank” Davis, 130-pound champion Oscar Valdez or a move all the way to where he started at featherweight against Ring Magazine’s newly anointed pound-for-pound king, undisputed super-bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue.

“That’s a big step down for (Lomachenko) … people are throwing around Inoue because he’s a very hot topic, but he’s a 122-pounder, and he just got there,” Algieri said. “I don’t see him jumping to 130. He looked small against (Luis) Nery and he got dropped. You’re going to give up (so many) pounds against a bona-fide puncher?

“I don’t (even) think Lomachenko’s looking past this fight at all. This is the be-all, end-all fight for him and a loss could be the end.”

That’s likely the fiercest truth of all given what Lomachenko has brought to this sport, seen in the exquisite skill he developed under the guidance of his trainer-father, Anatoli, which led to the creation of his marvelous and deserved nickname, “The Matrix.”

Is he still that at 36? Still capable of dissecting foes mentally and physically as he did during his peak?

“For (Kambosos) to pounce or capitalize, he needs you in his range, to (deliver) his explosive capability … I don’t see Lomachenko giving that to Kambosos,” former welterweight champion Shawn Porter said on “Deep Waters.” “If you aren’t giving Kambosos what he wants, he’s not going to create or force anything, not going to work his jab, his feints, his good, quick feet.

“If Kambosos doesn’t have some rhythm or get in a flow, this will be Lomachenko’s fight from the time he starts until the time this fight ends.”

Porter agrees that victory is imperative to ensure the continuation of Lomachenko’s career.

This week, Lomachenko promoter Bob Arum, who once pronounced his fighter the sport’s “Picasso,” and his most creative boxer since Ali, has said he sees some slippage in the Ukrainian.

Yet, Porter said he views Lomachenko as fresher than another aging fighter who looked superb Saturday night, Canelo Alvarez.

“He has what it takes to be a champion again and contend with anybody around the 135-pound division,” Porter said.

While Arum is suggesting an opportunity to extend his expiring contract with WBC champion Stevenson by pitting him against a victorious Lomachenko, Porter foresees a better fight being the one against Mexico’s Navarrete (38-1-1) if he can win a fourth division title by defeating Denys Berinchyk May 18 in San Diego.

“The style difference … that’s one of the best fights to be made at 135 now,” Porter said.

Lomachenko has sought a Davis date for more than five years, as well, and Davis’ June 15 title defense against Frank Martin gives them a favorable calendar pairing.

Lomachenko is a -650 favorite to win Saturday.

“We can’t count out Kambosos if he performs at the level he can, but … Lomachenko understands what he wants to do,” Porter said. “Lomachenko is still training the way he needs to, to perform the way he needs to.”

No matter where he is on his career spectrum, no matter who awaits, Lomachenko knows no other way.

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