By Steve Kim
This Saturday night, Vasyl Lomachenko makes his first defense of his WBO super featherweight world title against the dangerous, unbeaten Nicholas Walters.
This event is taking place at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. While there's no denying Lomachenko's prodigious skills, he's still fighting in a venue that holds under 2,000.
But his promoter Bob Arum isn't worried about his fighters long-term marketability.
"As far as I'm concerned he's the best - or one of the best - fighters in the world and that's all I'm concerned about. When you have a talent like that people will be attracted to it and he's extremely intelligent. He's becoming more fluent in English. So I think he has the qualities to be a major star," the veteran promoter told BoxingScene.com last week.
Despite just seven professional bouts under his belt (6-1, 4 knockouts) with already two major world titles to his name, Lomachenko is a fighter who is regularly featured on HBO.
Lomachenko is part of a wave of boxers who come from the former Soviet Union bloc (like Sergey Kovalev and Gennady Golovkin) that have become known entities in the States. This development doesn't surprise to Arum.
"I always thought that was possible. We always had stars from Argentina, from other countries, Alexis Arguello from Nicaragua, so I don't think there's anything particularly strange about them coming from Eastern Europe," Arum said.
"Obviously the amateur training program in these places is superior to that of the West. Golovkin is someone who's followed, he's certainly one of the most exciting fighters you can watch. So I mean it doesn't surprise me, no."
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.