Schaefer: Lomachenko Would Have To Face Gary Russell

By Rick Reeno

Reacting to reports that Vasyl Lomachenko (1-1, 1KOs) will be granted an immediate shot at the vacant WBO featherweight crown, Golden Boy Promotions CEO, Richard Schaefer, told that his fighter, Gary Russell Jr. (24-0, 14KOs), is ready to face Lomachenko for that title.

Russell is the mandatory challenger to the WBO belt. Prior to Lomachenko's fight with then champion Orlando Salido, the sanctioning body had ordered the winner to face Russell.

However, Salido lost his title on the scale when he failed to make weight for last Saturday's fight in San Antonio. The title remained vacant after Salido won a twelve round split decision over Lomachenko.

Because Salido was overweight and rehydrated to 147-pounds by fight night, the WBO was willing to give Lomachenko, a two-time Olympic gold medal winner, an immediate crack at the belt.

"I think that's great [with Lomachenko getting another shot], then he'll have to fight Gary problem, bring it on," Schaefer told

Because Lomachenko is promoted by Top Rank, a direct deal with Golden Boy is unlikely. The two companies have not come together to make a direct deal in several years.

Schaefer confirms that Russell-Lomachenko, if ordered by the WBO, would head to an immediate purse bid - with both powerhouse companies opening their checkbooks to secure the promotional rights.

"Exactly, may the promoter who has the deeper pockets win. We're just going to see who that's going to be," Schaefer said.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by LA_2_Vegas on 03-07-2014

Loma got some decent work with Salido - he finished strong and had good stamina, it's not a bad baseline to work from. But this fight right now, just no. Loma was supposed to get by Salido because of his…

Comment by BigAlexSand on 03-07-2014

I see what people see in Lomo but they are to far on his nut**. Though Russell Jr hasn't faced the greatest of competition but the man has been a pro for a few years while Lomo is coming in…

Comment by BigAlexSand on 03-07-2014

[QUOTE=ColdBlooded;14300506]I don't think Russell will be able to hurt Lomachenko though. And Lomachenko is considerably more tested as a pro.[/QUOTE] That's a joke right.. A fighter with two fights is not as tested as a fighter with over 20 fights…

Comment by Sugar Adam Ali on 03-07-2014

This would be a very interesting fight I doubt it gets made but if it's a vacant title, let it go to a purse bid.. Sad thing is that neither has done anything to deserve a title shot,, let alone…

Comment by 285Kid on 03-07-2014

Gary Russell, Jr/Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo will be the fight for the WBO Vasyl Lomachenko/Evgeny Gradovich for the IBF then winner fights Nicholas Walters for the WBA

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