By Chris Williams: Floyd Mayweather Jr. says the money is inadequate right now for him to match his fighter former IBF super featherweight champion Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis (19-0, 18 KOs) against the Top Rank promoted WBO 130 lb. champion Vasyl ‘Hi-Tech’ Lomachenko (10-1, 8 KOs) for a fight in 2018.
Mayweather understands that Lomachenko and Top Rank wants to make a fight against the 23-year-old Davis right now, but he doesn’t feel there’s a rush to make the fight, especially with the money the 2-time Ukrainian Olympic gold medalist is making. Mayweather states that Lomachenko is a good little fighter, but he only made $1.2 million for his last fight against the previously unbeaten Guillermo Rigondeaux on December 9 on ESPN. Lomachenko used his size advantage to defeat Rigondeaux, who moved up 2 weight divisions to take the fight.
“He’s not scared of Lomachenko,” said Mayweather to Fighthype in talking about Gervonta Davis. “He’s my fighter. He wants the fight. I told him there’s no rush. He beat 3 undefeated fighters in a row. Lomachenko, he can fight. This is a guy that they’re talking about is pound-for-pound the best fighter. He’s making $1.2 million dollars. He better stop listening to his promoter. Don’t ever let nobody put no battery in your back to pump you up to talk disrespectful about no fighter that’s with me. I’m not hiding nobody. Tank wants to fight you,” said Mayweather.
If Davis winds up facing Lomachenko, it’s hard to imagine him getting a better offer than the 75/25 purse split that was given to Rigondeaux for the fight with the Ukrainian. Davis is better off waiting 7 years or however long it takes for the fight with Lomachenko to increase in magnitude so that it makes sense to make the fight. Lomachenko’s promoter Bob Arum wants to turn him into a pay-per-view star on ESPN. That’s a pipe dream right now for Arum. But if he’s able to accomplish that goal, then it’ll make sense for Davis to agree to fight him, because the money will be there for the fight. There’s only small money at the current time for the Lomachenko-Davis fight to get made.
Mayweather suggests that Lomachenko take some risks with his career right now by moving up to lightweight and challenging Mikey Garcia. While Arum has been busy talking up a storm about wanting to make the Lomachenko-Garcia fight, Lomachenko has shown very little interest in making that fight. Lomachenko gives that 1000 yard stare when he’s asked by the boxing media if he’s willing to move up to lightweight to fight Mikey. I don’t think Lomachenko wants to make that fight at all, period.
“We know that Rigondeaux is extremely small,” said Mayweather, in minimizing Lomachenko’s recent victory over the Cuban fighter. “I’d rather not be known as the pound-for-pound fighter in boxing and getting $6-8 million per fight. If you want to take bigger risks, you can be rewarded. That’s why Mikey Garcia is right here,” said Mayweather.
It’s doubtful that Lomachenko will ever make $6-8 million per fight. I don’t think that’s going to happen in this lifetime. If Lomachenko was making all the right moves with his career by moving up to 135, 140 and 147 and winning, he might have a chance of transitioning over to become a PPV attraction. But unfortunately, he’s not doing that. Lomachenko is dragging his feet about moving up to the 135lb weight class to increase his popularity. If Lomachenko would move up quickly and take on the best at 135 to 147, he could become a star in PPV in no time flat.
Lomachenko would likely need to beat these guys in the next 2 years to become a PPV star: Mikey Garcia, Jorge Linares, Robert Easter Jr., Adrien Broner, Terence Crawford, Keith Thurman and Errol Spence Jr. At this pace, I don’t see Lomachenko fighting any of those fighters anytime soon. But if Lomachenko did make the right career moves, he could be a star for PPV very fast. It’s too bad Lomachenko doesn’t have the same daring that we see from Gennady Golovkin.
”As soon as I got away from Bob Arum, I started making crazy money,” said Mayweather. “If Lomachenko got $1.2 and the boy [Rigondeaux] got 400, that makes $1.6. I got fighters making that. Tank isn’t hiding from you. Tank wants to fight you. Tank wants to fight you. Tank asked me about fighting with you on more than one occasion. I told him if you fight all these big fights now, what are you going to do in 10 years from now? Remember, he’s 30-years-old, Tank. You got 10 years in front of you. You still got time. 7 years from now, he’ll [Lomachenko] be 37, so you A-OK. There’s no rush,” said Mayweather.
Davis needs to get busy with his career and take on WBA super featherweight champion Alberto Machado, IBF champion Kenichi Ogawa and WBC champion Miguel Berchelt. Those are all winnable fights for Davis. He doesn’t need to wait for any length of time before fighting those guys. Davis has the punching power and the boxing skills to do the job against them.
“If it’s a fight of that magnitude, the money has got to be better,” said Mayweather about the Lomachenko vs. Davis fight.“So, Lomachenko, tell your promoter [Bob Arum of Top Rank] to pay you. I like Lomachenko. I like his little boxing style. He’s got good little movement. He’s got good little speed. I respect him as a fighter. But at the end of the day, learn the business part. The business part is this: tell your promoter to pay you! You got $1.2. You should have got $2.5,” said Mayweather.
I’d be surprised if Arum pays Lomachenko a lot of money to fight the likes of Davis. I don’t think he will, so that fight will probably never happen. What we’re likely going to see is Davis turn into a star by taking risks with his career, and Lomachenko failing to get to the next level because of his reluctance to take on guys that are bigger than himself. Lomachenko’s career will stay the way it is, and he won’t become a legitimate PPV star.