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article imageBob Arum says Lomachenko comparable, maybe better, than Pacquiao

By Marcus Hondro     Jun 18, 2016 in Sports
When boxing promoter Bob Arum talks about the sport he loves people tend to listen. The Top Rank promoter continues to represent fighters that win and he thinks a newly crowned champion he has ranks up there with perhaps his greatest boxer.
Lomachenko vs. Pacquiao
The young fighter he is touting is Ukrainian rising star Vasyl Lomachenko (6-1 with 4 KOs as a professional) the newly crowned WBC super featherweight champion. Lomachendo unseated Roman Martinez in New York last Saturday at Madison Square Gardens and now has 2 WBO titles, 2 world championships and a gold medal at the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics and the London 2012 games.
Lomachenko already has a place in the record books, having tied the late-Saensak Muangsurin by winning a professional title in just his third professional fight. That came on June 22 of 2014 when he defeated Gary Russell Jr. in a 12-round majority decision to win the vacated WBO Featherweight title.
Considered by some the greatest amateur boxer in the history of the sport, the clinical fighter — his nickname is Hi-Tech — is but 28 and has lots of boxing yet to go. He could fight another decade or more.
And yet here is his boss, the 84-year-old Arum, already comparing him to none other than one of the greatest pound for pound fighters in the game, Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao.
"Pacquiao was great," Arum told the L.A. Times this week. "And there was a lot of what Lomachenko was doing that was similar to Pacquiao. Pacquiao had the speed and elusiveness, but this guy has balance like I’ve never seen.
"Lomachenko hits, moves and he’s not there like Pacquiao," he added. "And the difference is the incredible balance puts him in a position where it looks like the opponent thinks he’s got him, but he doesn’t, and it makes it easier for Lomachenko to get off concussive shots. I would pay to watch him."
Pay-per-view fighters
Pacquiao retired from boxing last April after winning a unanimous 12-round decision over Timothy Bradley but shortly after he left the ring there was talk of him coming out of retirement. Arum said if Pacquiao, recently elected to the Senate in his country after serving two terms as a congressman, does want to fight again he will find him an opponent.
That opponent could be Lomachenko, and the reasoning is that Arum needs to get the Ukrainian HBO fights and increase his profile if he is to become a pay-per-view fighter. With the greatest pay-per-view fighter in the sport's history, the never-defeated Floyd Mayweather Jr. now retired, the boxing world needs young pugilists to fill the void and become viable pay-per-views boxers.
Lomachenko fights more often as a Light Welterweight (130 pounds) while Pacquiao, who won in many weight classes, late in his career fought more in the Welterweight division (147 pounds). They'd have to met at a division in the middle somewhere, likely the 140-pound limit division, Light Welterweight.
With Arum's desire to create a bona-fide draw in Lomachenko and his deep relationship with Pacquiao, such a bout must be considered. It's hard to believe, however, that the 37-year-old Pacquiao (58-6-2; 38 KOs) could beat the younger fighter and at this stage in his career it may be more flattering to Pacquiao to be compared to Lomachenko than the reverse.
Arum wants Lomachenko back in the ring before the summer is out and a likely opponent is Orlando Salido, the very man who handed the (then green) Ukrainian his only loss. If Lomachenko wins that bout then look for him to be lined up against someone who will increase his profile.
After all, when Bob Arum is touting one of his boxers, that boxer more often winds up with a chance to rise to the top, both in the ring and in earnings.
More about Manny Pacquiao, vasyl lomachenko, Bob arum, Floyd mayweather, pacquiao lomachenko
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