By Steve Kim
So what's next for WBO 130-pound ruler, Vasyl Lomachenko? Coming off his dominant ninth-round stoppage of Jason Sosa on April 8th, he now looks ahead for new challenges.
The next challenge could come in the form of a rematch with Orlando Salido (43-13-4, 30 KOs), who defeated Lomachenko (8-1, 6 KOs) in controversial fashion in the Ukrainian's second pro bout in 2014.
Salido has been out of the ring since a twelve round majority draw then WBC champion Francisco Vargas in June of 2016 at the StubHub Center in Los Angeles. Salido is scheduled to return on May 27th in a tuneup fight in his hometown of Sonora, Mexico.
On Wednesday afternoon, promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank explained that he spoke with Salido's representatives:
"I had good discussions with Fernando Beltran (of Zanfer Promotions) and Sean Gibbons (Salido's adviser), the kid has come around, he wants the fight. I think he's going to fight in May in Mexico, a tune-up and then in late July or early August we're planning for Lomachenko to get back in the ring."
And where would this potential match-up take place?
"Chicago is a possibility, a big possibility but also the Forum in Los Angeles if the opponent is Salido," said Arum.
A few days ago, Gibbons made it clear to ESPN Deportes that his fighter is very eager to get in the ring with Salido.
"Before he can fight against Lomachenko, he needs to fight. Orlando has not had a fight back home in a few years, so the timing was right to have a fight at home. We think the timing is right for the fight against Lomachenko. Our goal is to fight May 27, Orlando shakes off the rust and then we reach an agreement with Top Rank for a fight against Lomachenko," Gibbons told the outlet.
"Orlando really wants a rematch against Lomachenko. He wants it financially and also wants it for pride. He is tired of hearing about low blows, the weight, the referee ... No more excuses. Everybody says that Lomachenko is a different fighter now, but Orlando feels that even if Lomachenko has improved he has the right plan to beat him again."
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.