Lomachenko to fight in April against TBA
By Allan Fox: Three months from now WBO featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko (3-1, 1 KOs) will be returning to the ring to face an opponent still to be determined. The southpaw Lomachenko is recovering from a hand injury from his last fight against Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo last November on the Manny Pacquiao vs. Chris Algieri fight card.
There’s no word who Lomachenko’s opponent will be, but one fighter it definitely won’t be is WBA champion Nicholas Walters, according to Dan Rafael. That fight still needs to be built up more before the two of them can face each other. In other words, the Lomachenko vs. Walters fight needs to marinate more in order to make it a huge fight.
Let’s just hope that one of them doesn’t get beaten before the fight comes off, because we saw what happened to the Juan Manuel Lopez vs. Yuriorkis Gamboa fight. That’s a fight that Bob Arum of Top Rank let marinate too long until Lopez was beaten in back to back fights by Orlando Salido.
“We’re waiting to hear from Top Rank and it will depend on what HBO wants to do, so we’re waiting to see,” Lomachenko’s manager Egis Klimas said via Dan Rafael at ESPN.com.
If it’s not going to be Walters then it will likely be just one of the regular contenders that the WBO has ranked in their top 15. You can forget about #2 WBO Abner Mares, because that fight isn’t going to take place. Mares’ adviser is Al Haymon, and that makes a fight against the Top Rank promoted Lomachenko highly doubtful.
Lomachenko needs bigger names than the guys that Top Rank has been putting in with him because he’s not going to increase in popularity if he keeps fighting nobodies. Lomachenko’s fight against Piriyapinyo probably did nothing for his career. It might be a little early to put Lomachenko in with Walters, but it’s a move that would definitely give Lomachenko’s a shot of adrenalin.
Lomachenko’s injured hand is still healing after a little more than a month. They say it doesn’t need surgery, but you have to worry when you see someone’s injury not healed after five weeks or rest. It would be a huge disappointment if Lomachenko turns out to need surgery to repair his hand, because he can’t afford to miss a lot of time. Lomachenko had an extended amateur career, and it wouldn’t be good for him to stay inactive for too long.