By Steve Kim
While there is no shortage of boxing this upcoming week, the fight that will garner the most attention takes place at the famed Madison Square Garden in New York City, where a battle of two supreme stylists takes place between WBA lightweight belt-holder Jorge Linares and two-division champion Vasyl Lomachenko.
Bob Arum, the head of Top Rank, which is staging this event in conjunction with Golden Boy Promotions, is excited about this match-up - not just as a promoter but an observer of the sport.
"I've been a big Lomachenko fan from the beginning and as he has different challenges it really stirs me up because you want to see if he can rise to the challenge," said the veteran promoter to BoxingScene.com.
Arum's company signed the two-time Olympic gold medalist as he embarked on his professional career in 2013.
A win over Linares (44-3, 27 KOs) would create much bigger opportunities for Lomachenko (10-1, 8 KOs).
"This is a big challenge because Linares - if he beats him - his future opponents will all be bigger than he is. We have to remember that Lomachenko is really essentially a featherweight who is now rising to first junior lightweight, now lightweight and that's a challenge. I think he meets that challenge but it remains to be seen," said Arum.
And this contest was placed in the big room at MSG, which is a landmark achievement for the Ukrainian.
"Absolutely no question about it," agreed Arum.
"It's one thing to fight at the Theater at the Garden, it's a lovely room but it's another thing to fight in the big building where so many of the greats fought. (Muhammad) Ali fought at the Garden, (Oscar) De La Hoya, (Miguel) Cotto - Manny(Pacquiao) never fought at the Garden, (Floyd) Mayweather never fought at the Garden. For Lomachenko to headline a card in the big building that's an achievement for any, any boxer."
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.