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article imageOp-Ed: Bob Arum compares Lomachenko to Manny Pacquiao - and Muhammad Ali

By Marcus Hondro     Jun 20, 2016 in Sports
Bob Arum is getting close to his 85th birthday so perhaps we should excuse him if he embraces hyperbole a little more than even boxing promoters normally do. But comparing a rising fighter, relatively untested professionally, to Muhammad Ali?
Arum touts Lomachenko
That's what Arum, the CEO of Top Rank Boxing, did last week at a press conference days after seeing his fighter, the 28-year-old Ukrainian Vasyl Lomachenko, easily handle Roman Martinez in a bout at Madison Square Gardens. The two-time Olympic gold-medalist Lomachenko knocked Martinez out to move his pro record to 6-1 (4 KOs).
Arum was asked about another of his fighters, undefeated Terence 'Bud' Crawford (28-0, 20 KOs) also 28, who has a HBO-PPV fight July 23 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas against Viktor Postol, also undefeated at 28-0 (12 KOs). It's a unification fight with the welterweight (140 pound) division champ to be crowned and Arum saw fit to bring up Lomachenko when talking about Crawford.
"I was sure if Crawford gets by Postol, he'll be the next big thing in boxing," Arum told media. "But after seeing Lomachenko on Saturday, maybe I have No. 1 and No. 1A."
The loquacious Mr. Arum did not finish there, adding that Lomachenko's performance against Martinez was "the best performance I’ve seen since Ali." Yup, that's what he said, best performance he's seen "since Ali."
That not only puts him alongside Ali but above a lot of fighters that have come along since Ali, Mike Tyson, Sugar Ray Robinson come to mind. Not to mention two great pound-for-found fighters, each recently retired, boxing's most recent poster boys, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Ali the Greatest
Ali passed on June 3 at 74 ago so we won't know if he would have responded to having a pugilists with 7 professional bouts on his resume compared to him. It does seem, however, that he might have laughed it off or ignored it entirely. After all, Ali paid some serious dues and finished his remarkable career at 56-5 with 37 KOs and a host of Heavyweight titles.
Naturally Arum was promoting his fighter, wanting Lomachenko to eventually become a PPV star. That's understood when he's comparing a young, largely untested fighter to greats like Pacquiao (he said Lomachenko hits and moves better and has better balance than the legendary Filipino).
But Muhammad Ali?
Perhaps this one we can chalk up to Bob Arum's promotional desires. But does his age have anything to do with it? If it is his age, it's more likely due to the sharp promoter worrying even less about what people think of his opinions than he has in the past.
Arum is seeking an opponent for Lomachenko's next fight. By the sounds of it he's going to need the modern-day equivalent of George Foreman or Smokin' Joe Frazier.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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