Arum interested in Pacquiao-Lomachenko fight in fall
By Chris Williams: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum likes the idea of a fight between Manny Pacquiao and Vasyl Lomachenko, and he’s hoping to put it together for the fall. It’ll be up to Lomachenko’s father for it to take place.
Lomachenko’s manager Egis Klimas said this week that he thinks it’s an “insane” idea for him to face Pacquiao. Klimas even went so far as to compare the match-up to Lomachenko fighting middleweight champion Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin or 175 lb. champ Sergey Kovalev. However, Arum likes the fight, and so does Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach, who points ou that he’s a natural lightweight.
Lomachenko is fighting at super featherweight right, but he clearly is a lightweight in size. He’s melting down to fight at super featherweight. There’s no real difference in size between Lomachenko and Pacquiao. The only difference is Pacquiao is more willing to face bigger guys than Lomachenko, who seems to like to have the size advantage over his opponents for some reason.
Arum told the Las Vegas Review-journal that he’d like to see Pacquiao fight Lomachenko at 140. If Lomachenko wants to push for a catch-weight before 140, it could make the fight tricky to make. Pacquiao is still the A-side due to his still huge popularity. Lomachenko is a not a pay-per-view fighter yet, so he’s not going to be able to force Pacquiao to come down too far on the weight unless he wants to ruin his chances in making the fight.
Lomachenko was able to use his A-side pull recently to get 122 lb. fighter Guillermo Rigondeaux come up in weight 8 pounds to fight him last December at super featherweight, but that was because he had the advantages in the negotiations. Rigondeaux moved up 2 divisions to face Lomachenko, who was heavily criticized by a lot of boxing fans for not agreeing to meet the Cuban fighter at a catch-weight instead of having him move up in weight 2 divisions.
Lomachenko won’t be able to use his pull against Pacquiao, because he’s nowhere near as popular as him. If Lomachenko insists on Pacquiao coming down all the way to 135 at lightweight to face him, he might not get the fight, and that would be bad news for him. Whether Lomachenko’s manager Klimas realizes it or not, he needs Pacquiao. It would be crazy for Lomachenko not to agree to fight the Filipino star, because there’s no one else that will bring him the payday that Pacquiao will. Mikey Garcia isn’t popular enough for him and Lomachenko to bring in a lot of PPV buys.
Garcia is Lomachenko’s nest best available opponent for him to face to get a decent but not great payday. None of the other top welterweights (Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, Terence Crawford and Errol Spence) are going to bring Lomachenko the payday Pacquiao will, and they’re not going to agree to melt down to 135 to fight him. Crawford might come down to 140 to fight Lomachenko, but Spence, Garcia and Thurman would likely never agree to come down to 140. Those aren’t PPV fighters like Pacquiao.
It’s going to be up to Lomachenko and his dad to decide whether they want to take the career risk in facing the 39-year-old Pacquiao. If Lomachenko doesn’t take the fight with Pacquiao, he may be missing a big opportunity for a payday and to increase popularity in the sport.