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article imageOp-Ed: Why Bob Arum wants Vasyl Lamachenko to face Manny Pacquiao soon

By Leo Reyes     Jun 15, 2016 in Sports
The fastest way for promoter Bob Arum to turn Vasyl Lomachenko into an instant pay-per-view attraction is for him to arrange a HBO pay-per-view (PPV) fight between his new rising star from Ukraine and Filipino PPV star and senator-elect Manny Pacquiao.
Arum needs to find someone in his stable of fighters who has the potential to match Pacquiao's PPV drawing power before the newly elected Philippine senator makes his farewell 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.
The PPV market is a gold mine for boxing promoters because it brings substantial margins to the fight. It is also hard to crack because PPV buyers expect quality fights which promoters need to deliver.
For Arum, there are at least two candidates who can get the needed PPV exposure if they are paired with Pacquiao in a PPV fight. They are Lomachenko, who has only seven pro fights to his credit and Terence Crawford, who is unbeaten in 28 pro fights.
Lomachenko is the latest hot find of Top Rank who has the potential of becoming a pay-per-view attraction because of his active and aggressive fighting style. There are similarities in the way Lomachenko and Pacquiao behave in the ring. Both of them are southpaws and with awesome power in their left hand. They are likewise noted for their hand and foot speed.
Arum has been grooming Crawford to take over from where Pacquiao left as Top Rank's top pay-per-view (PPV) attraction but it seems Crawford has not reached his peak when Arum needed one from his Top Rank stable to replace the newly retired Pacquiao.
While Crawford has yet to sell his next fight against Viktor Postol on July 23, Arum seems to be favoring Lomachenko following the Ukrainian's victory over Román Martínez last Saturday.
“I’ve been telling everybody how great this guy is. You’ve been reading how great this guy is," Arum said. “Muhammad Ali, the greatest of all time. This Vasyl Lomachenko (is) the greatest of our time. He really is. I mean you’re going to see performances from this guy that you’re not going to believe down the road. He’ll fight anybody.
“It’s going to cost us a lot of money to get people in the ring with him. But he is going to beat anybody around," Arum added.
Meanwhile Arum said he is ready to set a fight for Pacquiao if he decides to continue fighting. “He has to tell me if he is going to fight and if he does, I will get him a fight,” Arum told Nick Giongko of Tempo.
Depending on the result of the upcoming Crawford-Postol fight, it is likely Arum will go for Pacquiao-Lomachennko PPV fight before the end of the year.
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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