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Lomachenko’s next fight likely on April 28

Image: Lomachenko’s next fight likely on April 28

By Chris Williams: Pound-for-pound star Vasyl Lomachenko will likely be fighting next on April 28, according to his promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank. Arum isn’t saying who WBO super featherweight champion Lomachenko (10-1, 8 KOs) will be fighting next, but he is revealing that it won’t be against Manny Pacquiao.

Lomachenko’s father turned down the fight with the former 8-division world champion Pacquiao, because he didn’t want his son to have to move up 2 weight classes to fight him at light welterweight.

Unfortunately, that’s what Lomachenko’s last opponent super bantamweight Guillermo Rigondeaux had to do in order to face him on December 9 last month. Rigondeaux moved up 2 weight classes and didn’t get the benefit of a catch-weight. So it’s OK for Rigondeaux to move up 2 weight classes to fight Lomachenko, but he in turn won’t do the same thing in order to fight Pacquiao at 140. That kind of tells you something about Lomachenko.

“Lomachenko will most likely fight on the 28th of April,” said Arum to

The name that is being rumored to be Lomachenko’s opponent in April is 37-year-old Orlando Salido (44-14-4, 31 KOs), who has won only 1 fight in the last 4 years of his career. Salido was knocked out in the 9th round by Miguel ‘Mickey’ Roman in his last fight on December 9 in Las Vegas, Nevada. I don’t think that matters though. I still see Lomachenko wanting to take the fight with Salido just so he can avenge his 12 round decision loss to him from 2014.

Salido was at the tail end of his prime when that fight took place. If that version of Salido was still around, Lomachenko would likely lose to him again. Lomachenko doesn’t have the fire power to beat a guy like Salido in his prime, and he never will. Lomachenko can probably beat Salido now, but that’s only because he’s almost 40 now, and he’s clearly over-the-hill. Salido’s loss to Roman and his fight before that against Aristides Perez showed that he has nothing left. The journeyman Perez badly hurt Salido in their fight last year in May. Salido came back to stop Perez in the 7th, but he looked sluggish, slow and stiff with his upper body. It wasn’t the same Salido that was arguably robbed in 3 consecutive fights before that against Francisco Vargas and Roman ‘Rocky’ Martinez [x 2]. Salido won all 3 of those fights in my view, but he failed to get any of those wins.

“It’s not realistic because Lomachenko’s father turned the fight down because he didn’t want Lomachenko to go up 2 weight classes for the fight,” said Arum in talking about Lomachenko vs. Pacquiao. “The fight will eventually happen I think, but he will not fight Lomachenko next,” Arum said.

Arum sounds optimistic that he’ll be able to put together the Pacquiao vs. Lomachenko fight at some point. I wonder how long it’s going to take before Arum can convince Lomachenko or his dad to agree to fight Pacquiao. I hope they realize that Pacquiao is turning 40-years-old in December, and he’s not going to hang around waiting forever for Lomachenko and his dad to finally agree to fight him at 140.

If Rigondeaux was willing to move up 2 weight classes to fight Lomachenko, then he should be willing to do the same thing to fight a much more accomplished fighter in Pacquiao. It’s nice that Lomachenko won 2 Olympic gold medals years ago, but he’s never going to win 8 world titles like Pacquiao. Lomachenko will never accomplish what Pacquiao has accomplished in his career. Lomachenko should show the same kind of courage that Pacquiao showed in his career in moving up from 105 to 154 to win world titles.

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