Vasily Lomachenko still hoping to face Kambosos next for undisputed fight at 135

By Boxing News - 12/27/2021 - Comments

By Sean Jones: Top Rank president Todd Duboef says Vasily Lomachenko is still hoping to land the fight against IBF/WBA/WBC Franchise/WBO lightweight champion George Kambosos Jr. in the first half of the New Year.

Lomachenko (16-2, 11 KOs) is one of a small handful of fighters that are in the running to face the highly confident Australian Kambosos (20-0, 10 KOs), who has been doing a lot of crowing since his upset win over Teofimo Lopez last November.

Despite reports of Teofimo being injured and weight drained for that fight, Kambosos is taking full credit for his victory.

Fans assume that Kambosos WON’T fight Lomachenko next because he’s talented, and the outcome would be disastrous for the Australian.

Kambosos’ management are picking from this group:

  • Devin Haney
  • Ryan Garcia
  • Gervonta Davis
  • Vasily Lomachenko

Once you exclude Tank Davis due to his promoters being unwilling to let him fight in Australia, it leaves you with Haney, Lomachenko, and Ryan.

We know Ryan Garcia is in negotiations for a comeback fight against Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz for April, as his coach Henry Garcia states, so that leaves just Haney and Lomachenko.

In looking at those two, it’s pretty obvious which one will ultimately be chosen by Team Kambosos.

Haney is the weaker fighter by far than Lomachenko, so he’s the one that will likely get chosen by Kambosos’ management.

You’d have to give Kambosos much respect if he overruled his promoters and insisted on facing Lomachenko, but will he do that? I doubt it.

I see Kambosos going with the easy mark Haney rather than the talented Lomachenko.

Could I be wrong? No. I think it’s a given that Kambosos will face Haney next because he’s the only one with a chance of beating between him and Lomachenko.

Is Kambosos the real thing?

Of course, if Kambosos is the outstanding talent that he purports to be, he should have little problems readily agreeing to a fight with Lomachenko.

On the flip side, if Kambosos is the equivalent of fool’s gold and not the genuine article, he’ll be trounced by Lomachenko and made to quit like many of his other opponents.

Image: Vasily Lomachenko still hoping to face Kambosos next for undisputed fight at 135

“Lomachenko has made it very evident to us, and to his team, that it’s the fight he would like,” said Duboef to Sky Sports on Loma wanting Kambosos next.

“We are amicably trying to have discussions with them for a fight in the first half of next year.”

Lomachenko might not be what Kambosos’ management has in mind for his first fight as the new champion.

When a fighter first captures titles, their promoters put them in a title-milking fight in their first defense. I don’t know why they do that because they destroy the momentum for their fighters, but that’s what they do.

Promoters aren’t willing to risk putting their champions in with talented opposition straightaway unless it’s against someone where the money is so huge that it’s a win-win situation no matter how badly they lose.

It won’t matter that Kambosos stages the fight in front of his fans in his native Australia, which won’t save his ship from going down into the abyss against Lomachenko.

Is 80,000 fans a pipe dream on George’s part?

Kambosos has talked of 80,000 fans showing up for his homecoming in Australia. Whether that’s an empty pipe dream for Kambosos or something that can actually occur is debatable.

Since we haven’t heard Kambosos’ promoter Lou DiBella looking wild-eyed in talking about 80,000 fans, one would have to assume that George is going overboard with his crowd size estimation.

In an ideal world, 80,000 would be nice, but it won’t surprise this writer if only  8,000 show up to see Kambosos, which is still a good number. Don’t get me wrong, 8000 would be great for Kambosos, but obviously, it would be a massive disappointment given his projections for a crowd size of 80,000.

If Kambosos’ is not the real thing, his management may choose to steer a wide berth around the two-time Olympic gold medalist Lomachenko to keep him from losing in the first title defense of his four straps.

However, the top lightweights aware view him as food, particularly the former three-division world champion Lomachenko. He wants the Kambosos fight, as does WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney and his promoter Eddie Hearn.

Of the small bunch of fighters in contention for the honor of facing Kambosos, Haney (27-0, 15 KOs) is believed to be the most likely one to get the match.

The reason for that is Haney has no power and has looked beatable in his last two fights against Joseph ‘Jojo’ Diaz Jr. and Jorge Linares.

Kambosos’ promoter Lou DiBella obviously wants to keep him as the four-belt champion for as long as humanly possible, and he can’t do that if he lets Lomachenko challenge for his straps.

Lomachenko wants his titles back

“He was aggressively matched – he came right out of the amateurs and fought for a world title [in his second fight],” said Duboef about Lomachenko.

“He doesn’t look at a setback as his value going down, and he looks at it as a reset to go forwards,” Duboef said about Lomachenko’s philosophy about taking losses.

“And he has come back with two brilliant wins, and he never says no to any opponents,” Duboef continued about Lomachenko’s recent wins over Richard Commey and Masayoshi Nakatani. “He wants his titles back. He’ll be around for some time yet,” Todd said of Loma.

A lot of boxing fans believe Lomachenko is being and will continue to be frozen out by the top 135-pounders in the division.

That’s why he might as well move back down to 130 because unless the World Boxing Organization orders Kambosos to defend against Lomachenko, it’s doubtful that he’ll ever get a shot at fighting him.