Arum: HBO Must Find Money For Lomachenko, Or It's Off To PPV

By Keith Idec

NEW YORK – Bob Arum hopes Vasyl Lomachenko’s next fight is broadcast by HBO.

The premium cable network has invested in televising the uniquely talented southpaw’s fights throughout his 2½-year pro career. Two of his seven professional fights have been televised live on HBO and four have been broadcast as part of HBO Pay-Per-View undercards (the other aired on Showtime).

His spectacular fifth-round knockout of Puerto Rico’s Rocky Martinez on Saturday night marked the first time the two-time Olympic gold medalist headlined an HBO telecast. Arum wants that trend to continue.

lomachenko-martinez-fight (1)_1

If the network’s well-documented 2016 budgetary constraints cannot accommodate Lomachenko’s next fight, though, his Hall-of-Fame promoter won’t hesitate to make the emerging Ukrainian star the headliner of a pay-per-view event.

“I would hope that we do many more fights on HBO,” Arum said at ringside, following Lomachenko’s impressive victory in The Theater at Madison Square Garden. “If HBO doesn’t have the money and can’t come up with the money, then I’ll go to my pocket and do fights, like I’m doing with [Terence] Crawford and [Viktor] Postol on pay-per-view [July 23 in Las Vegas]. I’m not going to deter the development of these fighters – like Bud Crawford, like Postol, like Lomachenko – because of some company’s budgetary nonsense.”

Arum mentioned a rematch with Mexico’s Orlando Salido (43-13-4, 30 KOs, 1 NC), a previously explored showdown with Jamaica’s Nicholas Walters (26-0-1, 21 KOs) and a fight against Mexico’s Francisco Vargas (23-0-2, 17 KOs) as potential options for Lomachenko’s next bout. Salido defeated Lomachenko by split decision in their 12-round fight, just the second outing of Lomachenko’s pro career, two years ago in Carson, California.

Lomachenko (6-1, 4 KOs) owns the WBO featherweight title and the WBO world super featherweight championship, the title he won from Martinez, but is expected to remain at 130 pounds because there are more lucractive opportunities for him within that division.

The degree to which Lomachenko can cash in on his star-making performance against Martinez (29-3-3, 17 KOs) will depend largely on the license fee HBO is willing to pay for his next fight.

“HBO, they gave him the opportunity,” Arum said. “And HBO is the kind of network – it’s a great premium network – that whatever budgetary restraints [they have], they’ll find money for a superstar.

“If Muhammad Ali was around today, in his prime, and wanted another fight, another two fights, they would find money for a Muhammad Ali fight. They’ll find money for this kid’s fight because you’re looking at history here. You’re looking at history. This is not hyperbole. This is history. This kid is something special. We haven’t seen the likes of him ever – ever.”

Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

Tags: Bob Arum image   Vasyl Lomachenko image   HBO image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Motorcity Cobra on 06-14-2016

[QUOTE=Mitchell Kane;16784767]The machine! :haha: Look at how much he made when he fought Salido and Russell Jr. Lomachenko bet on himself early in his career.[/QUOTE] I mean the Network. Top Rank. Media. Hype. That's the machine

Comment by bigdunny1 on 06-14-2016

ratings just came out and Loma only drew 597k viewers. So HBO paid him MORE then double what Vargas and Salido combined but Vargas/Salido got 833k viewers and drew way more fans in attendance. Yet Arum is asking HBO for…

Comment by LA_2_Vegas on 06-13-2016

[QUOTE=Scipio2009;16785219]I get that; just wondering how putting on that show would work for Roc Nation, the promotional company actually bringing the fighter to the table that'd actually be drawing near all of the business. Cotto-Marquez is still being talked up…

Comment by Scipio2009 on 06-13-2016

[QUOTE=BennyBlanco;16784080]I agree that's the best case and exactly what Arum is hoping for. But realistically, there is zero chance that a non-English speaking, 28-year old featherweight fighter who will likely top out at 135, with no natural US fanbase and…

Comment by Scipio2009 on 06-13-2016

[QUOTE=Motorcity Cobra;16784018]I can't see all those fights happening because of Loma's skill level fighters are going to demand more to fight him, like the situation with Walters. He's high risk low reward. He isn't a big draw himself so you…

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