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Bob Arum wants Vasily Lomachenko vs. Gervonta Davis fight

Vasiliy Lomachenko, Gervonta Davis boxing photo

By Chris Williams: Bob Arum says he’s waiting for promoter Floyd Mayweather Jr. to give him the signal that Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis is ready to fight Vasiliy Lomachenko, because that’s the match that he wants to make.

Arum isn’t interested in matching Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) against WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney (24-0, 15 KOs), who he says is “Wet behind the ears” and hasn’t shown that he’s capable of being competitive with a fighter like Lomachenko.

Arum is getting a little ahead of himself, because WBA/WBC [F]/WBO lightweight champion Lomachenko still IBF champ Teofimo Lopez before he starts talkig Gervonta Davis. If Loma loses to Teofimo, then they’re going to need to run it back.

The problem Arum has is he can’t get Gervonta for Lomachenko to fight right now, and it’s unclear when he will ever will. The obvious thing for Arum to do is to match Lomachenko against the guys that do want to fight him.

Haney and his promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing are interested in fighting Lomachenko right NOW, unlike Tank Davis Mayweather Promotions. They’re not interested in making the fight with the 31-year-old Lomachenko.

Canelo and Lomachenko deserve to be Franchise champions – Arum

“I think with two guys like that, it’s justified,” said Arum to Fighthub about Lomachenko and Canelo being made Franchise champions. “If Spence isn’t going to be able to fight for a while, and Crawford expands his titles in the welterweight division, I can see down the road Sulaiman making Crawford a Franchize champion.

“People want to see Lomachenko, they want to see Crawford, they want to see Canelo,” said Arum. “As long as these guys fight the best fighters available, who wants to burden them with mandatories that people aren’t interested in,” said Arum.

It’s bad for Lomachenko that the World Boxing Council made him Franchise champion, because now he’s able to circumvent WBC champion Haney, and fight whoever he wants to.

Given that Gervonta isn’t available for Lomachenko to fight, due to Mayweather Promotions not being ready to make the fight, Haney is a great option. It’s not as if there’s a ton of popular fighters in the lightweight division.

If Lomachenko had been fighting nothing but popular guys, then it would make sense for him to be given the Franchise belt. He could then continue to fight great fighters, but he’s not doing that.

Lomachenko’s fights in the last 4 years:

  • Luke Campbell
  • Jose Pedraza
  • Jorge Linares
  • Anthony Crolla
  • Guillermo Rigondeaux
  • Jason Sosa
  • Miguel Marriga
  • Nicholas Walters
  • Roman Martinez

Arum: 10 lightweights better than Devin Haney

“Devin Haney is wet behind the ears, and he has to show that he can fight at a level of Lomachenko,” said Arum in explaining why he won’t make that fight. “Right now I look at Devin Haney, and maybe there are 10 lightweights better than he is.

“I mean, really and truly because Eddie Hearn threw money at Devin Haney, what suddenly made him a star? Contrast Devin Haney and there pushing him and all that stuff with Floyd’s kid Gervonta Davis, who I think is more advanced than Haney, and probably a more exciting fighter,” said Arum.

It would be interesting to see the 10 lightweights that he feels are better fighters than Haney. You would have to assume that Arum would list his own fighters in his Top Rank stable as being better than Haney.

Here’s Arum’s likely lost of 10 fighters better than Haney:

  • Vasily Lomachenko
  • Teofimo Lopez
  • Richard Commey
  • Gervonta Davis
  • Ryan Garcia
  • Luke Campbell
  • Javier Fortuna
  • Masayoshi Nakatani
  • Francisco Patera
  • Yuriorkis Gamboa

It’s difficult to picture any of those fighters beating Haney right now. Of the 10, Lomachenko would have the best chance if he used movement against him. If Lomachenko stands and fights Haney, he probably will lose. Lomachenko is getting old fast, and he’s going to be over-the-hill soon. As such, it would be smarter for Arum to make a fight between Lomachenko and Haney while the Ukrainian fighter is still in his prime rather than waiting.

Gervonta Davis is the fighter Arum wants for Lomachenko

“Floyd knows that anytime he’s ready, we’re prepared to make a Lomachenko-Tank Davis fight, but Floyd is a boxing guy, unlike Eddie Hearn,” said Arum. “Floyd doesn’t want his guy Gervonta Davis to fight Lomachenko until he’s sure he has the experience to even be competitive with a Lomachenko.

“With Eddie Hearn, it’s all about the name and bull-s— and all that stuff,” said Arum. “Nobody is judging whether Haney even belongs in the same ring with Lomachenko or 10 other lightweights that I can name. Fans don’t know. They think they know, but they don’t know,” said Arum when told that boxing fans believe that Haney has the skills to compete with Lomachenko right now.

“Some do obviously, but the professionals know,” Arum said about Lomachenko vs. Haney. “If Floyd gives me the signal that Gervonta is ready, that would be a good competitive fight.

Tank Davis vs. Lomachenko would be a good fight if it happens right now, but it’s not going to happen. That’s the problem that Arum isn’t addressing. It’s nice for Arum to wish for it to happen, but it’s not going to right now. That’s why Arum should use Haney as a Plan-B option for Lomachenko.

Fights need to be competitive to create interest – Arum

“The real problem in boxing is people aren’t buying tickets to the fights, and one of the reasons they’re not buying tickets to the fights is unless there is a rooting interest in one of the fighters, then people don’t care,” said Arum. “They might as well stay home and watch it on television. How do you create a rooting interest?

“You create a rooting interest by stimulating the betting, and the only way people will bet on fights is if they perceive them to be competitive,” Arum said. “So now matter how you promote a 10-1 fighter or 12-1 fight, you’re not going to really sell a lot of tickets, because it’s not a betting fight. When you make a fight that is competitive, and it’s competitive not because some writers say it’s competitive.

“It’s competitive because some gamblers say it’s competitive,” said Arum. “Then you bring people in, because then people want to be there not only to root for one fighter or another, but to root for their bet. You have a rooting interest in the fight,” said Arum.

You can argue that Arum puts together plenty of mismatches that the fans don’t see as being competitive. Yes, other promoters set up fights that boxing fans have no interest in seeing, but so does Arum.

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