Shortly after his systematic beat-down of tough customer Jason “El Canito” Sosa, the super featherweight division has appeared to run out of credible and willing opposition to offer Vasyl Lomachenko. It can be recalled that back in February the Ukrainian’s camp expressed frustration over super featherweight champions reportedly turning down offers to fight the former two-time Olympian.
"I moved up to 130 lbs hoping champions in this division were not cowards like those at 126 pounds. It looks like I was wrong. To all the other 'champions' in the 126-pound and 130-pound divisions, I say this to you, 'You are not champions, you are businessmen. Bad businessmen.' By avoiding risks, you cheat the boxing fans, and that is bad business.” Lomachenko told ESPN in an interview. That’s when Jason Sosa entered the picture, and we all know by now what transpired next.
Lomachenko vs Pacquiao on the cards?
With yet another near-perfect performance in a virtual display of boxing mastery, the enigma of Vasyl Lomachenko has further engulfed the 130-pound division in fear of the Ukrainian. Top Rank Promotions, Lomachenko’s stable, has yet to come up with an official statement but were early to say that moving up to lightweight is imminent given their fighter’s circumstances at super featherweight.
Given his meteoric rise to boxing stardom and his ability to leap weight classes in a short period of time, some have compared the Ukrainian’s career path to that of Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquiao.
The two fighters are under the same promoter, leaving some to speculate that a fight between the two might be on the horizon. Bob Arum, Top Rank Promotions’ CEO, is notorious for keeping most fights between fighters under his promotional banner, a reputation which adds to the suspicion of a budding fight between 'High-Tech' and 'The Pacman'.
Even though it would be a highly lucrative fight, Lomachenko himself doesn’t seem sold on the idea. In an interview with Sporting News, the Ukrainian pointed out how time would play a critical factor in a suggested match with Pacquiao, and how adamant he is about the possibility of facing an “old” fighter: "In terms of fighting Manny Pacquiao, he is near the end of his career," Lomachenko stated. "In the next two to three years, he will be at the end of his career.
"I'm not going to go in there and beat an old guy. It's complete nonsense for me to chase him. He has his own career. I have my own career. I think that I have a lot of good fighters in my division and at 135 and we can go in there and find out who is the best. Now, would be crazy for me to go in there and chase Pacquiao. He is like three years from now."
Many took the statement as an apparent shot at the eight-division world champion, but putting his statement in the proper context, Lomachenko seems to stress that the time frame of which the fight may take place. Manny Pacquiao is nine years a senior at 38-years-old. A fight between the two taking place in one to three years from now steadily declines Pacquiao’s chances of keeping up with the younger champion in terms of speed.
We must also take into consideration that the fight will be held at a catch-weight of around 137 to 140 pounds, meaning that Pacquiao, at an advancing age, would have to shed weight to meet Lomachenko on the scales, something he hasn't done since 2009. This version of Pacquiao, in Lomachenko’s opinion, leaves much to be desired.
Do you think that Lomachenko should fight Pacquiao, if so, why? Let us know in the comments section below.