Op-Ed: If no Mayweather, Lomachenko likely to bag Pacquiao return bout

Posted Jun 18, 2016 by Leo Reyes
If Manny Pacquiao finally decides to continue with his boxing career, his decision may not happen within this year as he has to familiarize himself with his new job as member of the Philippine senate starting July 1, 2016.
Vasyl Lomachenko
Vasyl Lomachenko,
While Pacquiao is busy with his new job, Vasyl Lomachenko, a new stablemate at Top Rank Promotions is waiting for his return while common promoter Bob Arum will be happy to make arrangement for them to face each other in the ring.
But the planned fight may not happen this year as Arum has been working on the Lomachenko-Salido rematch which could take place later this year.
Arum is eager to transform Lomachenko into a pay-per-view attraction in the shortest time possible because Pacquiao, his top money maker, would probably retire after one or two more fights.
While Lomachenko has only seven professional fights to his credit, his amateur record is simply amazing having won 396 bouts out of 397 amateur fights. In the Olympics, he won two gold medals and countless medals in international amateur competitions.
“People thought I was crazy to describe him as otherworldly and the best guy out there, but he proved me correct,” Arum said. “This guy’s amazing. I can’t even say I was hoping for that because that’s a performance I had never seen before. Have you ever seen anything like that?” Arum asked.
Arum knows that Lomachenko can gain maximum exposure if he is paired with Pacquiao in a highly-promoted pay-per-view (PPV) fight.
Pacquiao is still the second highest PPV drawer in boxing with Floyd Mayweather being the first based on average PPV buys recorded up to the time of their retirement.
Both Mayweather and Pacquiao have since retired from the sport but they still entertain the idea of coming back if there is popular clamor for their return.
Any challenger who gets an opportunity to face either Pacquiao or Mayweather in a PPV fight also gets the same rare opportunity to be introduced to the discriminating PPV buyers.
While Arum would favor a Pacquiao-Lomachenko fight, the veteran promoter would likely give way to a more lucrative Mayweather-Pacquiao rematch once Mayweather announces his return after over a year in self-imposed retirement.