Arum says Lomachenko to move to lightweight in 2017
By Chris Williams: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum says his fighter Vasyl Lomachenko (7-1, 5 KOs) will be fighting three times in 2017, and moving up to the lightweight division at the end of the year. Just how Arum knows this is the big question.
Did the 28-year-old Lomachenko tell him or is this just wishful thinking on the part of the 85-year-old promoter.
Lomachenko is currently the WBO super featherweight champion, and he’s scheduled to face WBA Super World champion Jason Sosa (20-1-4, 15 KOs) in a unification fight on April 8 at the MGM National Harbor, in Dixon Hill, Maryland. Sosa, 28, is one of the rare interesting fights that Lomachenko has in the weight class.
The opportunities for big fights for Lomachenko are nonexistent. There are no fights out there for Lomachenko once he gets past the Sosa fight, and that’s not even a great fight. Sosa fought to a 12 round draw against Nicholas Walters in December 2015. Lomachenko stopped Walters in seven rounds on November 26 last year in a one-sided fight. Lomachenko might as well be fighting Walters again in a rematch rather than to be fighting Sosa.
“Lomachenko, we feel will eventually, maybe by the end of the year, go up to 135 and there’s a lot more competition at 135,” Arum said to ringtv.com. “There would be tremendous opportunities for him and as you get to 135.”
If Lomacheno moves up to lightweight, there may not be as many fights in that weight class as some might think. The arguably best fighter in the lightweight division is Mikey Garcia. I don’ think he’d ever agree to fight Lomachenko. I don’t see Garcia agreeing to fight Lomachenko. If he did, he would need to do business with Top Rank, his old promoters, who promote Lomachenko. I don’t think Mikey would agree to that fight.
If Lomachenko does move up to lightweight, he’ll likely need to be satisfied in fighting guys like Robert Easter Jr., Jorge Linares, Terry Flanagan and Anthony Crolla. If Mikey gets to them first and beats them, then Lomachenko won’t get much appreciation from the boxing fans and media. He would be getting those fighters after Mikey, and the fans wouldn’t give him the credit if he beats them.
The 5’11” Easter Jr. would be a hard fight for the 5’6 Lomachenko, because he would be sporting a five inch height and a 12 inch reach advantage. Lomachenko would be giving away and entire foot in reach to Easter Jr. That would be a very hard fight.
Lomachenko might need to move up to 140 if he wants the big fights, because I don’t see the lightweight division having any big fights for him after Mikey cleans out the division.