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Arum wants Pacquiao vs. Lomachenko

Jessie Vargas Manny Pacquiao

By Chris Williams: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is eager to match former eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao (58-6-2, 38 KOs) against WBO super featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko (6-1, 4 KOs) in his next fight if Manny gets past WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas (27-1, 10 KOs) in their fight on November 5, and if Lomachenko wins his match against former WBA featherweight champion Nicholas Walters (26-0-1, 21 KOs) in their fight on November 26.

There are a lot of ifs involved in a fight between Pacquiao and Lomachenko taking place. They would both need to win their next fights, and they would need to be agreeable to fighting each other.

Arum doesn’t think the 5’6″ Lomachenko is too small for Pacquiao, even though he fights three divisions below him at super featherweight. Pacquiao would need to drop down to at least light welterweight [140lbs] for a fight between him and Lomachenko to be a possibility. He might even need to drop lower than with a catch-weight fight below 140. Lomachenko would still be too light for Pacquiao if they fought at 140. If they fought each other at 137, it might be possible, but the results of the fight would likely be tainted because neither fighter would be at their best weight.

Lomachenko would probably be interested in facing Pacquiao, because it would be the biggest fight of his career. But it might not be the best fight for Pacquiao, because he could likely make a lot more money fighting a popular fighter like Saul Canelo Alvarez, Keith Thurman or Danny Garcia.

Lomachenko has not built up a huge fan base yet in the U.S for a fight between him and Pacquiao to be a mega-fight. Lomachenko is mainly known by the hardcore boxing fans in the U.S.

“Terence Crawford is a possibility [for Pacquiao], as is Vasyl Lomachenko, because that’s a fight I want to see more than any other fight that’s out there,” said Arum to “No, Manny isn’t 147. Manny fights 135 and 140. No, it won’t be an issue [for Pacquiao to fight Lomachenko], guarantee. That’s the least of the problems. People don’t believe it. I give Manny Pacquiao the options, and he picks the opponent. Lomachenko has a real tough fight coming up in November with [Nicholas] Walters, and Crawford is going to fight on December 10. We hope to have an opponent by the end of the day. So either of them are real possibilities. Yeah, [Danny] Garcia is a terrific fight [for Pacquiao]. [Keith] Thurman is a terrific fighter. They would figure in, but they would have to get the issue of who’s better between the two resolved.”

Why is Arum mentioning Lomachenko and Pacquiao as a possibility? If he is just name dropping Lomachenko’s name to increase his popularity at the expense of Pacquiao, then I don’t think that’s a great idea. If Arum thinks that by mentioning Lomachenko’s name it will increase the buy rate for Pacquiao’s fight against Jessie Vargas, then I think that’s a fail. Lomachenko isn’t popular enough to increase buys for the Pacquiao-Vargas fight in any real way. The only way Arum can increase interest in the Pacquiao-Vargas fight is by mentioning Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, which Arum has already done, Saul Canelo Alvarez or Floyd Mayweather Jr. Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach is already name dropping Canelo’s name in connection with Pacquiao, even though there’s been no interest on Canelo’s part for that fight.

Lomachenko might not win his next fight against Nicholas Walters this month, so the 84-year-old Arum is getting WAY, WAY ahead of himself by talking about a fight between Lomachenko and Pacquiao. Even if Lomachenko does win the fight against Walters, Pacquiao would be better off fighting someone like Canelo Alvarez.

Arum wants to match Pacquiao against Lomachenko and/or Crawford, and it’s easy to see why. They’re both in his Top Rank stable. It would increase their popularity for Pacquiao to fight them, but it wouldn’t do much for Pacquiao’s bottom line. If Pacquiao has the option of fighting more popular fighters, then it doesn’t make any sense for him to throw away millions by fighting one of Arum’s Top Rank stable fighters like Lomachenko or Crawford. We saw how well Crawford’s recent PPV venture did against Viktor Postol recently. The fight was rumored to have brought in just 50,000 buys. That’s not good.

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