By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Bob Arum knows when and where Vasiliy Lomachenko will fight next.
All that’s left for Lomachenko’s promoter is to sit down with the newly crowned WBA world lightweight champion to choose his opponent. Arum confirmed following Lomachenko’s 10th-round technical knockout of Jorge Linares on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden that the three-division champion will fight again August 25 at The Forum in Inglewood, California.
“Definitely, we’re going to L.A.,” Arum said. “[Lomachenko] told me August 25 is good. So that’s the date, in L.A. Who he’s gonna fight, I don’t know. They said Lomachenko said he’s gonna stay at 135, so we’ll see. Any time I really discussed anything in the future with him, he said, ‘I really wanna concentrate on this fight.’ So I really don’t know.”
The most obvious opponent for Lomachenko is Ray Beltran, who’s also promoted by Arum’s Top Rank Inc. A Lomachenko-Beltran bout would be a lightweight title unification fight because Beltran (35-7-1, 21 KOs) won the then-vacant WBO 135-pound championship by beating Paulus Moses by unanimous decision February 16 in Reno, Nevada.
“That’s possible,” Arum said, “but again, I haven’t discussed that with the Lomachenko people.”
Mikey Garcia, the WBC lightweight champion, is Lomachenko’s most appealing potential opponent at 135 pounds. Garcia (38-0, 30 KOs), of Oxnard, California, appears headed, however, for a lightweight title unification fight against unbeaten IBF champ Robert Easter Jr. (21-0, 14 KOs), of Toledo, Ohio, on July 28 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The 30-year-old Lomachenko (11-1, 9 KOs) also could return to the super featherweight division to defend his WBO 130-pound crown for the fifth time. The WBO has given the Ukrainian southpaw 10 days to determine whether he’ll remain at lightweight or move back down to super featherweight.
Gervonta Davis is Lomachenko’s most attractive option at 130 pounds.
Floyd Mayweather Jr., Davis’ promoter, changed his mind recently regarding a Lomachenko-Davis clash and now is willing to match Baltimore’s Davis (20-0, 19 KOs) against Lomachenko. Mayweather went as far as to call Top Rank president Todd duBoef last month to discuss putting together a Lomachenko-Davis bout next.
The 23-year-old Davis, a former IBF 130-pound champ, knocked out Argentina’s Jesus Cuellar (28-3, 21 KOs) to win the WBA “super” title April 21 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.