This weekend, from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, one of the world’s best fighters will return to the ring. The WBA and WBO lightweight champion of the world, Vasyl Lomachenko, will defend his titles against England’s Anthony Crolla, a former champion in his own right. The fight will air on the ESPN + app.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, who handles Lomachenko’s career, has been making the rounds all week, discussing this fight, as well as future options for his fighter.
During a recent interview with Fight Hub TV, Arum tried to hype Lomachenko vs. Crolla as best he could, despite many seeing it as a mismatch in the champion’s favor.
“Crolla is a real good pro, he’ll be in there trying, and people will be able to see this once in a generation talent, Lomachenko, perform,” said Arum. “You know, anytime you see Lomachenko in with any good, tough pro, it doesn’t matter how competitive it ultimately is, but you see a master at work. And that’s worth everything.”
Arum admits that IBF champion Richard Commey is a possibility after Crolla, but seems unsure about the appeal of a Mikey Garcia fight. Garcia lost a wide unanimous decision to Errol Spence on March 16th.
“I want him to fight twice more this year, Commey is a possibility,” said Arum. “If [Mikey] Garcia is gonna go down to 135 and realize that his marketability has been affected by the poor performance against Spence, I know Spence was the bigger guy, but you don’t go in and take people’s money and don’t try to win.
“He didn’t try to win that fight, he tried to survive,” Arum added, talking about Garcia further. “But if he’s at 135, that would be a good fight, and then next year, hopefully, if Teofimo Lopez continues, match them right after the Super Bowl.”
Arum seems completely lost whether Garcia can get down in weight to 135 pounds for such a fight, and if he could beat #1 ranked Luke Campbell.
“I don’t know how that fight gets made,” said Arum. “Mikey seems to talk for himself. First he has to decide whether he can come down to 135. He might not be able to. If he doesn’t the fight won’t be made. Hopefully Luke Campbell ends up with the [WBC] belt. And if Luke ends up with the [WBC] belt, that’ll be the fourth unification, because Loma is looking for the opportunity to fight in the UK and he’d be happy to go over and fight Luke Campbell.”
Arum then turned his attention to one of his own fighters, rising lightweight prospect Teofimo Lopez, who has been on a knockout streak as of late.
“So let’s see what happens, but I think the big PPV fight for Loma, if Teofimo continues with this wild, wild streak, is Loma and Teofimo,” Arum said. “That’s the fight that people will wanna see and pay for.”
Arum took things further, even claiming that Lopez’s star appeal could transcend further than Mikey Garcia’s.
“In New York [Lopez] has a bigger audience than Garcia,” said Arum. “It’s the truth. Mikey Garcia is a good fighter but is essentially Mexican. Teofimo really resonates with the Puerto Ricans and Hondurans back east. And Teofimo is a showman. It’s not like Mikey, who, you know, goes in and fights and is not really interesting as a person. Teofimo and his father are really interesting people. And as long as he keeps performing for the rest of the year, believe me, Loma and Teofimo is a much bigger fight than Loma and Garcia.”
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