Mikey Garcia’s trainer says Vasyl Lomachenko fight won’t happen because of Arum
By Jim Dower: Trainer Robert Garcia says he thinks that the unification between his brother WBC lightweight champion Mikey Garcia and WBA champion Vasyl Lomachenko (11-1, 9 KOs) won’t happen because of Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, who will offer too little money for the fight.
Robert says Mikey will offer Lomachenko more money than he’s ever received before to fight on his Showtime card where the fight will generate more money for both fighters. However, Mikey (38-0, 30 KOs) believes that Lomachenko’s promoter Arum will reject the idea of letting his fighter compete on the Showtime card, because he’ll want him to fight only on his ESPN card. The reason for this, Robert says, is because Arum will keep most of the money if the Lomachenko vs. Garcia fight takes place on his ESPN card than if the fight were to take place on Showtime. Robert says Arum will likely offer Mikey just $2 million for the Lomachenko fight when he’s been making twice that on his Showtime cards for his fights against Sergey Lipinets and Adrien Broner.
“Lomachenko will do it because they fight,” Robert Garcia said to ES News Reporting about Lomachenko being willing to fight Mikey Garcia. “He wants to fight the best. But when it comes to negotiations, Arum is going to go, ‘It’s because Mikey. We can’t work with Mikey and Showtime,’” Robert said.
Robert is jumping the gun a little by fortune telling that Arum is going to lowball Mikey with a small offer for the Lomachenko fight. It would be better for Robert to wait until Arum makes his offer before criticizing him for offering him peanuts for the Lomachenko fight. Arum isn’t helping though in predicting that the negotiations with Mikey could be comparable to the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao fight negotiations. Arum said the negotiations for the Garcia-Lomachenko fight could stretch out until he’s 90-years-old, and he doesn’t want that.
”With a Mikey Garcia fight, it becomes the second coming of Mayweather-Pacquiao,” Arum said. “The negotiation will go on. I’m tired of all that. He wants to to fight, let him call me. I’ll give him a number. If it’s not good, f—k it, I ain’t negotiating,” Arum said.
As you can see, Arum is letting Mikey know that he’s not going to be waste time going back and forth with the negotiations for the Lomachenko fight. Arum is going to show Mikey a number for what he feels the fight is going to be worth and what he can get, and it he doesn’t agree, then there won’t be a fight. If Robert Garcia is correct with his prediction that Arum is only going to make Mikey a $2 million offer for the Lomachenko fight, then there’s little chance the fight will ever take place.
Whether Arum would be intentionally offering Mikey less than what the fight can make for personal reasons is unclear. It’s obviously a fight that could go badly for Arum’s fighter Lomachenko. If he gets hit with one of Mikey’s big left hooks or right hands, he could go to sleep and not wake up until the referee has counted to 10. Lomachenko getting knocked out by Garcia will obviously hurt his popularity in a big way with the boxing public. Arum would have to try and rebuild Lomachenko’s shattered career by matching him against other lightweights, but unfortunately there’s no one left in the division that is popular enough for Lomachenko to make the fans forget about him losing to Mikey. The only way for Arum to rebuild Lomachenko’s career after a knockout loss to Mikey would be to move him up to 140 and have him take on the likes of Regis Prograis and Jose Ramirez. I don’t think Arum will do that. As such, Lomachenko might not ever be able to come back from a vicious knockout loss to Mikey. That’s why I don’t see Arum putting in a lot of effort to make the Garcia vs. Lomachenko fight happen. It’s too risky for him. If Lomachenko gets beaten badly by Mikey, then Arum’s hard work of trying to turn him into a star by putting him on ESPN against guys like Jorge Linares and Miguel Marriaga will have been wasted.
”I’ll tell you right now. Mikey is not going to fight Lomachenko under Arum’s terms or Top Rank’s terms,” Robert said. ”Not because he doesn’t want to. It’s because the money will not be the same. I guarantee you Mikey and Lomachenko will make a lot of money. Lomachenko will probably make twice what he’s always making fighting under Mikey’s terms. There’s a lot more money over here to offer him,” Robert said.
It is doubtful that Arum will let Lomachenko fight Mikey on Showtime rather than on ESPN, the network that he has a deal with. Ultimately, the biggest problem with making the Mikey vs. Lomachenko fight happen will be the money. If Arum offers Mikey less money to fight Lomachenko on ESPN than what he’s been receiving for his fights against Broner and Lipinets on Showtime, then it’s not a doable fight. Why would Mikey want to take a tremendous pay cut to fight Lomachenko? A fight against him should be a bigger one for Mikey than his last two matches against Lipnets and Broner. Robert believes that the reason that Mikey will receiver just a $2 million offer is because Arum will want to keep $6 million for himself. Robert says the Lomachenko-Garcia fight will probably generate $10 million, and of that total, he’ll give Lomachenko $2.5 million and offer Mikey $2 million. Arum would then keep the rest, Robert says. Robert says Mikey will not agree to fight under Arum’s terms for the fight with Lomachenko, because the money won’t be there for the fight.
”Mikey’s going to make him an offer that is much more than what Arum can give him, but Arum’s not going to let him,” Robert said. ”He’s not going to let Lomachenko come fight on Showtime on Mikey’s card. Lomachenko is going to make the money, Arum’s not. Arum’s going to make the money fighting on his card. He’s going to offer Mikey $2 million while Mikey’s been making two times more than that in his last fight. They’re going to tell Lomachenko, ‘You’re going to make $2 ½ million,’ but Arum knows he’s probably going to generate $10 million. But over here everything that is generated is for the fighters. Mikey is probably going to give Lomachenko his best offer he can have, but Arum’s still not going to let him, because Arum wants to make $6 million for himself. That’s what I think is going to stop the fight. Mikey has been making three times more than Lomachenko made in his last fight,” Robert Garcia said.
It’s hard to imagine Mikey and Lomachenko only receiving $2 million each for a PPV fight between them. You would think that a fight on PPV should earn both fighters at least $5 million. $2M for PPV seems very low. Granted, neither fighter has proven themselves to be PPV guys yet, but with the right marketing of the Garcia vs. Lomachenko fight, it’s hard to imagine the fight not making at least $10 million in revenue. Of course, if Robert is correct about Arum wanting $6 million all for himself, then that means the fight would need to generate considerably more for the fighters to make good money, and for there to be money for the undercard fighters. If the Mikey vs. Vasyl fight is on ESPN PPV, Arum will probably want to stick a couple of his Top Rank stable fighters Jerwin Ancajas, Jose Ramirez and Oscar Valdez on the undercard. There will need to be money for all of them to get them to agree to perform on the card. I can’t be just Lomachenko, Mikey and Arum splitting the pot between them without money for the undercard fighters.
It sounds like the Garcia-Lomachenko fight is an untenable one given what Mikey will be expecting to get for the fight. If Robert Garcia is right about Arum wanting only to put the fight on ESPN and offer Mikey $2 million, then it’s not going to be a doable one. Mikey can fight on Showtime and make good money fighting guys on that network. It’s unclear whether Mikey will continue to make the kind of money that he made in the Broner fight though, because that was a big name. Mikey’s next fight is going to be against IBF lightweight champion Robert Easter Jr., and that’s not a guy that has the same kind of popularity as Broner. Mikey might need to stay at 140 if he wants to continue to get good paydays.