By Keith Idec
Vasyl Lomachenko wanted his fight against Jason Sosa to be contested for his WBO 130-pound title and Sosa’s version of the WBA championship.
The WBA intends to strip Sosa, though, thus they’ll fight for Lomachenko’s championship alone April 8 inside The Theater at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland. After multiple opponents turned down the opportunity to fight him, the Ukrainian southpaw is just thankful Sosa stepped up to accept the challenge.
“I understand this is not Sosa’s decision,” Lomachenko said during a conference call Wednesday. “This is a WBA political thing. They stripped him of the title. Of course I would like to unify the titles. But at this point, I’m still happy to fight one of the best guys in the division. He’s the one who took this opportunity.
“Because every champion, they were running like rats from a sinking boat, not coming into the ring. Nowadays, it’s not about the sport, it’s more about the business. All the boxers became businessmen, not boxers. They’re looking just get the money, not the glory.”
Todd duBoef, president of Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc. (Lomachenko’s promoter), confirmed during the conference call that this fight first was offered to Mexico’s Orlando Salido and Panama’s Jezreel Corrales before it was offered to Sosa, of Camden, New Jersey.
Salido (43-13-4, 30 KOs, 1 NC) is the only professional fighter to defeat Lomachenko, who lost a split decision to Salido in just his second professional fight nearly three years ago. Corrales (21-1, 8 KOs, 1 NC) owns the WBA’s super championship at 130 pounds.
Lomachenko (7-1, 5 KOs), who’s heavily favored to beat Sosa (20-1-4, 15 KOs) in their HBO “World Championship Boxing” main event, said he’ll have to move up to 135 pounds sooner than anticipated if after facing Sosa it remains difficult to get 130-pound opponents to fight him for a reasonable amount of money.
“If the things are gonna go like the way it’s going today – everybody’s running from not fighting me, I will be forced to go to 135,” said Lomachenko, who didn’t mention a specific lightweight champion he’d like to fight. “I hope the guys at 135 are gonna be standing up and coming to fight.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.