Top Rank promoter Bob Arum doesn’t see IBF super featherweight champion Gervonta Davis as having any chance at all against his fighter WBO champion Vasyl Lomachenko if the two were to face each other right now.
Arum decided to give his thoughts on the Floyd Mayweather Jr. promoted Davis after he reportedly made some comments about Lomachenko not being a big draw for him to fight. The 22-year-old Davis is trying to build his career by fighting good opposition, and he needs to fight the big names o take his career to the next level. Up until now, the 29-year-old Lomachenko has been fighting on HBO, and hasn’t been seen by a lot of the casual boxing fans that don’t have HBO.
I don’t know why Davis is talking about Lomachenko not being a big enough draw for him to fight him. When I see fighters bringing up excuses about a fighter not being popular enough to fight, it screams out at me that they have self-doubts and don’t believe they can win.
“Well, you know, Gervonta Davis’ people — he looks like he’s a nice kid but he is being guided by the Mayweather people and they say some awful things,” said Arum to Fighthub. ”You know he’s not a bad little fighter. You know he wouldn’t stand a chance with Lomachenko. But let ‘em talk…Lomachenko takes him apart.”
I would agree with Arum that Lomachenko beats Davis. Those two fighters are far apart in age and in terms of their amateur backgrounds. Lomachenko is a 2-time Olympic gold medalist from Ukraine. He’s not going to lose to a young upstart like Davis right now. I don’t know if he’d lose to him even if Davis had years of experience. There’s a difference in talent and overall pedigree between Davis and Lomachenko.
What Arum fails to understand though is despite Lomachenko being the better overall fighter of the two; it doesn’t mean he’s more popular than Davis. It doesn’t mean that Lomachenko will finish his career as a more popular guy compared to Davis. What makes Davis so popular is he’s got an exciting fighting style. He brings knockouts, and he has a lot of hand speed. You don’t see Davis playing it safe, looking to use his boxing skills to with his fights the way you do with Lomachenko. Davis also seems to have more personality than Lomachenko. It goes without saying that Davis has the better command of the English language.
It’s too bad that we’ll probably never get a chance to see if Lomachenko could take Davis apart or not. Mayweather isn’t going to make that fight between Davis and Lomanchenko. Even if he wanted to, I don’t know if Arum would let it happen. I think he believes in Lomachenko’s talent, but I doubt that he would want to do business with Mayweather.
Arum and Mayweather working together to put a fight between Lomachenko and Davis together is pie in the sky crazy. It’s not happening, ever. We just won’t see it in this lifetime. Arum is 87. I don’t see it happening with him. Maybe after he’s gone and someone else is in charge of Top Rank, then maybe. I still can’t see it thought. Mayweather seems protective of Davis, it would be a real massacre if he put him in with Lomachenko anytime soon.
Lomachenko (8-1, 6 KOs) is fighting this Saturday night against Miguel Marriaga (25-2, 21 KOs) on ESPN at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California. This is a title defense for Lomachenko, but it’s against a fighter that isn’t rated at super featherweight or even at featherweight.
Lomachenko needs to upgrade his opposition. Marriaga is not a good choice, and his last opponent, Jason Sosa, was also a bad one.
“Well, we’ll see. Whoever comes to the table first — [Orlando] Salido, [Guillermo] Rigondeaux. I would entertain a Rigondeaux fight,” said Arum in talking about the next fight for Lomachenko. We’ve had some talks. As long as Rigondeaux comes — you know, he’s entitled to a big purse for that fight, but not a crazy purse…it isn’t Christmas where you just give everything away.”
Having Rigondeaux come up to 130 to fight Lomachenko is just wrong. I don’t think it is a fair fight. Without a catch-weight for the two fighters to face each other, it would put Rigondeaux at a huge size disadvantage against Lomachenko. Rigondeaux fights at 122, and he weighs around that weight. in contrast, Lomachenko fights at 130, and he rehydrates close to the 140s.
So we’re talking about Lomachenko having a potential weight advantage of 20 lbs. against Rigondeaux. 20 lbs. is not a big deal when you’re a heavyweight, but for someone fighting at super bantamweight, it’s huge portion of your weight. Obviously, it doesn’t bother Arum too much that Rigondeaux would be at a disadvantage with the weight, because it’s no skin off of his teeth.
Rigondeaux isn’t his fighter, so it doesn’t matter if he’s going to be dramatically outweighed on fight night by Lomachenko. But it’s potentially bad business for the boxing fans if Lomachenko comes into the ring looking like a swelled up welterweight, and Rigondeaux is fighting at his normal weight of 122. I want to see Lomachenko and Rigondeaux fight each other, but not if it’s basically a size mismatch.
It wouldn’t be a fair fight. That would be like asking Lomachenko to fight welterweight champion Keith Thurman or Errol Spence Jr. As good as Lomachenko is, he would have problems each time those guys touched him with one of their big power shots. It would be a real mismatch no matter how good Lomachenko’s skills are. It’s totally unfair to Rigondeaux. I’d give Rigondeaux a 20% chance of beating Lomachenko if they fight at 130.
Arum can get either of those fighters for Lomachenko if he comes with the right money offer to him. Those fighters are going to one a decision payday for a fighting a difficult opponent like Lomachenko. I hope that Arum isn’t counting on getting Rigondeaux and Salido on the cheap. We’re talking about world class fighters with both of them. Salido obviously is starting to show signs of ring wear at 36, but he might be able to raise his game to the level where it once was if he goes through a strong training camp.
“Yeah, well that he’s agreed to do. I’ve talked to Roc Nation [about the fight]. Yeah. [It’s a real possibility] it’s [a] question about the money,” said Arum.
If Top Rank wants to turn Lomachenko into a star, then they’re going to need to overpay their opponents. That’s just the way it is. You don’t turn fighters into stars on the cheap, and I get the impression that Top Rank is being – and will continue to be – too frugal when it comes to spending money to get the right opponents for Lomachenko to make him a star. Top Rank should have opened their wallets to get Orlando Salido to fight Lomachenko in a rematch a long time ago. If they had overpaid Salido and given him his asking price, the rematch would have already happened and Lomachenko’s popularity would be higher than it is now. The same thing goes for Rigondeaux. Top Rank should have made that fight a couple of years ago by throwing money at him to get him to agree to fight Lomachenko.